Don't Lose Sight Of "You" During Pregnancy

Setting up self-care routines before the baby arrives can help you stay in touch with yourself

What’s even better than rediscovering who you are? Not losing sight of yourself in the first place.

Understandably, moms are immersed in the position of provider for their children; it’s a full-time job. It can be hard not to get lost in your role as caregiver and even harder to make the journey of finding yourself again.

But we’ve got some action steps you can put in place while pregnant to ensure your identity remains intact through the childrearing years.

Make a list of all the ways you can personally show yourself love and then put it up somewhere visible in your home as a daily reminder—it can be any conceivable thing that makes you happy, including going for a walk, having a bath, saying ‘I love you’ to your reflection in the mirror, writing, painting, getting your nails done, taking off for a drive or any number of things. The point is to make it completely personalized, a ready-to-go customized list that you can easily pull ideas from. 

Endeavour to do one thing on the list a day and feel free to repeat anything on there as often as you want. Starting while your pregnant will help cement the self-care habit into your routine and make it easier to keep up once the baby comes along.

Caught up in the joy of your pregnancy, much of your time may be increasingly directed toward getting ready for the new life you’re bringing into the world, which is wonderful. But be sure to keep learning new things about yourself—this will help you hold onto your identity as an individual.

A great way to do this is to be a beginner. Try something out that you’ve never done before—sign up for a class like cooking, life drawing, yoga, standup comedy or learn a new language—anything that you’ve never done and would be interested in trying. Who knows, you may have a ton of fun and find something that brings you a lot of joy. Either way, you’ll get a good story out of it and you’ll expand your sense of self, learning something new along the way.

This practice of being a beginner will not only positively affect you, but also help you connect with your child, who will be a constant learner for the next several years. You’ll show them through your actions that it’s okay to be a beginner, even fun! And hopefully they’ll carry that philosophy with them through life—interacting with the world with humility and a sense of curiosity, instead of a stifling pride that says ‘you must be good at everything you do, otherwise it’s not worthwhile.’ Put in place a practice of adventure, for yourself and your future child, to allow you both to grow as individuals who are curious about the world and open to possibilities.

You’re pregnant, an adult life lies before you. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your goofy pastimes. We’re all a nerd for something, whether it’s writing fanfiction, playing videogames, knowing all there is to know about skiing and hitting the slopes every chance you get, binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the 100th time, having endless files on the history of Ancient Greece—whatever that thing is that doesn’t make you any money but never fails to excite you, keep it up through the pregnancy and especially when the baby finally comes along.

Sure you may not be able to do it everyday, but don’t let it go completely—fit it in whenever you can. It’s important to let yourself have genuine fun, whatever that means for you. Your well-being requires self-love time and occasionally that means being goofy and pulling out the Nintendo DS for a round of Mario Kart in the middle of the night while everyone else is asleep.

While bringing life into this world definitely changes you in wonderful ways, it’s doesn’t have to be the defining aspect of who you are as a person. Maintaining your individuality and making it a priority while your pregnant so that it sticks around when the baby is born, is not only going to help keep you sane through the mommy years, but also give your child a good model for figuring out who they are as an individual. They’ll know it’s okay to take time to discover themselves and what it means to practice self-care. Sounds like a win-win situation. 

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