Be kinder to yourself: Here are some self-improvement tips for the new mama
When you become a mama, you’ll find out motherhood isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. There are days you’ll feel alone, even if you’re surrounded by domestic chaos. You will also feel you’re not enough and even wonder if you’re navigating parenting right. We feel you!
Be reminded that when you became a mama, you gained strength like no other and a heart that’s bigger and ready for any challenge. Self-improvement may be the last in the to-do list of new moms but doing something for yourself will benefit the whole family. Here are ways on how to improve self esteem, even during the days you doubt yourself.
Accept that this is your season
Childbirth brings vast changes not only to your body. When a baby is born, a mother is also born– you will never be the woman you used to be. Biology will make a new mama prioritize motherhood; it’s amazing how some new mamas lactate upon hearing their baby’s cries!
There may be moments you’ll miss your old self and that’s a normal feeling. You’ll miss having spontaneous trips, sudden meet-ups with friends, and taking work assignments that won’t make you think twice because you have a baby at home. You’ll probably miss even the small things – taking a bath uninterrupted or having coffee time during breakfast! The more you dwell on the things you can no longer have for now, the harder it will be for you to transition into parenting, mama. Accept that this season is for growing little humans, and growing your heart.
Cut social media time for self improvement
Social media does great things, like connecting us to people from all seasons of our lives. But social media will also make you look at other mamas’ accomplishments and somehow make you feel sad or confused. The poem Desiderata however said it best: “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
Don’t be envious of other parents who seem to have it easy – because it’s never easy! They may be projecting a different life on social media and you know that it’s not all there is in their family home. You can also cheer for their progress without looking down on yourself.
Use the internet for better things
Find other pages to follow instead of just scrolling down your feed full of friends’ (sometimes senseless) updates. We recommend ‘No bad Kids’ author Janet Lansbury for valuable parenting advice, especially when you reach that toddler stage.
Yelled at your helpless child? Stop beating yourself for what you think is bad parenting. Make a move and learn how to be better through Parenting with Intention, a great self-improvement book for mamas. It’s full of mantras for calmer parenting. Believe us, this will help you change your perspective on life in general.
Dr. Siggie Cohen is also a must-follow for self-motivation and parenting tips not just for new mamas but for everyone who needs help with introspection. Help yourself beat anger management, which most tired mamas actually have a problem dealing with.
Self-improvement? Physical health is a priority
Health is wealth so it’s wise to boost your immune system. Apart from proper diet, exercise, and adequate sleep, you can be in top shape if your body has essential vitamins and minerals.
To keep your nerves healthy, take B complex. For better blood circulation and improved oxygen flow, you must have iron. For stronger bones, calcium is the way to go.
Consume more essential vitamins like Vitamin C, which you could get by consuming plenty of citrus fruits, broccoli, or potatoes. Vitamin C supplements, especially those paired with Zinc, a mineral that helps improve vitamin absorption, will help ensure you get the daily needs of your body. The powerful Vitamin C-Zinc pairing also helps you recover faster from colds.
Don’t take D for granted, too! For lots of Vitamin D, get some sunshine! This vitamin helps you have good levels of calcium and phosphorus. With the right amount, it will also protect you against respiratory diseases like COVID and other respiratory tract infections. Doctors also recommend sunbathing to prevent allergy attacks.
Motion is key to a better you, mama
You also need to find a way to get moving, not just to get your pre-baby body back. You need it to gain strength for the days of carrying or chasing after active toddlers. The World Health Organization recommends that “women should be encouraged to mobilize as soon as appropriate following the birth.”
Even when lying down, you can also do some exercises. In between baby’s naps, while lying down, change positions from left to right to help your abdomen regain some strength. This is a good movement point especially for those who just underwent Cesarean delivery.
No mother is an island: find your mama squad
As a new mama you will lose some friends who can no longer relate to your new life. This will be hard to accept especially when we’re talking about friends you’ve had since grade school. But it’s the natural progression of some friendships and there’s no rule you can’t make new ones!
Try edamama Connect, where every mama can find not just a friend– there are also experts who are ready to lend a helping hand. Under Edamama connect, mamas can find another mom with a similar experience, and at best, get answers from real professionals. From pregnancy cravings to preparing for birth; breastfeeding to solid meals, mealtimes, playdates, learning strategies, legitimate product recommendations, party ideas, among others – every mama is welcome to share her thoughts or ask for advice.
Go green for a better you
Scientific studies show that healing can be found in nature. People under stress or trauma recover faster when they see more trees. But if you live in a city where greens aren’t abundant, have some nature-inspired pieces as part of your interiors.
Consume more vegetables too and see how this could help you recover faster. It helps in food digestion (goodbye, constipation!), offers a balanced diet, and even helps you lactate better (hello, malunggay!). There are also green supplements you can try.
Do something just for yourself every day
Incorporate a me-time in your routine and explicitly enforce this in your household. Having a sacred 15-minute break can help clear your mind and let you accomplish a task that will truly be self-fulfilling. Go shopping, eat in a nice restaurant by yourself, read through some book chapters, or enjoy a Netflix episode – you get it mama!