When I first really started to consider when to have a baby and thought really hard on it, I struggled with how I was going to make it all work. I worked full time, I also had my photography business, I was dedicated to my workout schedule and loved cooking all the food. I was also a newly married woman so I was figuring out that life as well. My plate was nearly overflowing with responsibilities, commitments and to-do lists.
I knew at my core though that I wanted a family regardless of how busy my life currently was. One day I broke down in tears because I just couldn’t figure out how to manage it all plus a baby. Those tears were such a relief though. I finally was able to acknowledge that I wasn’t in complete control of my life and that I had to let go of all the control I thought I had. It also helped that my husband held me close and assured me as he always does, “we’ll figure it out together.” So I decided to let go of the anxiety around what I thought the future would bring trying to manage all the things I wanted to do plus have a child. Ultimately, family is the most important and my priorities would adjust as needed.
This pre-pregnancy anxiety isn’t just something I have struggled with alone. I’ve talked to many now moms and pregnant friends who have felt the same way. Well now that I am coming up on my son’s 1st birthday (holy crap that was fast,) I’m here to share some of the lesson’s I’ve learned about the initial adjustments from being a “do it all kinda gal,” to a “do it all kinda gal with a baby!”
1. It’s OK not to be supermom
- For us type-A, super achiever types, we are constantly busy running from place to place trying to get everything on our todo list completed. Sometimes it’s a wonder we’re able to sleep. When you become a mom, it’s time for you to do just that, be a mom. The other things you previously prioritized can wait and they will be there when you’re ready to do them again. For me, I took time off of work and photography. I also didn’t work out for 6 weeks after my delivery. I didn’t book any clients for the first 2 months after Charlie. I hated saying no to business opportunities but I knew that I would need that time to just do me. I had to trust that my clients would understand and more would come along (which they did.)
2. Be selfish
- Your time is more precious now than ever so you must prioritize! You won’t have time to do it all since you have a baby and that’s ok. You now just need to be very mindful about that time you do have and how you spend it. Learn to say no if it’s not something you’re truly excited about. And for God-sake- nap. I know you want to use the baby’s downtime to upload those new pictures to Facebook (I’m so guilty of this) but I promise, you will feel a million times better with that freaking nap and it will help you survive those sleepless nights.
3. Give yourself some grace
- You are a new mom. Welcome to the hardest yet most rewarding job in the world. You have heard that a million times but it’s true. You are going to make mistakes along the way but it’s ok. Our parents somehow raised us and we’re still here right? 🙂 Just know you’re not supposed to have all the answers and your going to raise your baby just fine. Love the hell out of that baby.
At the end of the day, you get to come home to this little human that you made and it’s pretty freaking amazing so enjoy it!
I’d love to hear from any of you ladies out there who have had these pre-baby worries. What were/are your stresses? What changed with how you balanced your priorities once you had a baby?