Never could I have imagined what becoming a mother would mean to me. There are no words to describe it or prepare you for the messy, magical beauty of becoming a mother. I am now a past the 6 month marker with my son and it hasn't been until now that I really feel like my "new" self again. I say new because I can no longer be who I was before.
It's interesting for me to realize that it takes the first 6 months after child birth to settle in to your body and develop a routine with your new little one. The early stages are somewhat of a hormonal adrenalized frenzy and its not until 6 months that you realize what has just taken place. I bow to all the mothers out there and have a new enlightened sense of what being a WOMAN really means.
I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me so much in living and being a conscious mother.
1. My first most important tip is : SLEEP + Bonding
Most of you have heard the advice “sleep when the baby sleeps” and really, sleep is a crucial part of being a present conscious mother. Some of us go back to work and may feel that this does not fit their schedule, but I am here to tell you it does. Even if its 10-30 minutes, nap with them with your little one after coming home from work. Let them sleep on you, with skin to skin contact for the extra bonding time. Leave any other chores for after your short siesta. It really does make a huge difference in how you show up for your lil one, your partner and how quickly your body heals. If you can only grab 10 minutes here and there, do it.
2. My second tip is : Meditation + Intention +Prayer.
However you can make quiet time for yourself , even if its as little as three minutes, make sure you do it every day. This practice is my saving grace with sleep. I have had the personal commitment for a very long time now of meditating and praying. When my amazing son came, I already had these practices ingrained in me. I am very grateful that I established this habit long a go and I am here to tell you, it is not too late for anyone to start integrating these practices in. Although I do not have as much time as I did before, I don't know if I could have held on as I have without meditation and prayer. For me everyday is different but I always make sure I do something, whether it’s in the morning when my son naps or if its right before bed.
I know that if I don't take this time I can be reactive and sometimes negative. So whatever works for you, find a way to commit to yourself everyday. My teacher once said, If you are happy the whole family is happy. The woman holds the energy of the household, so if you are unhappy 9 times out of 10 everyone else will be too.
3. My third most important tip is : Yoga + Exercise
I must admit I do not find the time to exercise like I did before and sometimes I go a week without doing much. I stretch and do some short yoga kriyas with my meditation practice everyday and on good weeks go for a class or go for a walk with my son. Thou before the birth of my son, I danced along with yoga classes at least 3 to 4 times a week. Exercise of some sort, even if its 40 squats while you get ready for the day or while drying your hair. Exercise is crucial to help alleviate any stress, depression or unhappiness with your body. The advice is just do something, it will go a long way.
4. My fourth most important tip is: Healthy Eating to Heal
It is easy to fall into bad eating habits as a new mom because of our lack of time and inspiration to cook. Its important to eat well so our bodies heal from giving birth and for our milk supply. Our bodies go through extreme amounts of pressure as we put on extra weight during the pregnancy to create a beautiful container for our little ones. Along with the weight our organs are also being placed in completely different areas than they previously were before we were pregnant. With this it takes the body time to heal and get back to a balanced state. Eating whole organic foods, high in protein and whole grains, to nourish the body is a way to help us stay conscious and will make a big difference on our overall wellbeing. For me, I cook throughout the week with my husband’s help or I buy organic prepared foods at Erewhon, our organic market. The tip here is to think ahead so you are not stuck at home hungry with no fresh foods and decide to make unhealthy choices.
5. My fifth most important tip is : Being with other Moms + Babies
There is a very common feeling of isolation that new mothers can go through. For me it has been so beautiful to share birth stories, everyday baby happenings and partner relationship stories with other moms. I encourage you to find a mommy & me class or a community of supportive mothers where ever you are. My son and I attend yoga classes, RIE classes and a new really fun Spanish music class. Its also very important for the babies to be social with others their age. The key here is to find a supportive group in balance with your personal and family values.
These 5 tips really help me to be happy and present with my son and that is the most important thing to me. We have made a big commitment to raise these amazing children so I constantly remind myself of the importance of doing so and how that requires me to be healthy and happy. These children are our future and to change the world we must start with ourselves, and by doing so we can set positive examples for our children. They learn everything from us, so let us teach them well.