Everyone talks about how a baby changes your life, but how to find yourself post-baby is quite the feat! I know what you’re thinking… Emmie is 8 months and you’re just realizing this? The first 6 months felt like survival. Now, I’m noticing that certain things are becoming habits, and if we’re being honest, I miss old Jen a bit. Don’t get me wrong. I love new Jen. She’s a business owner like she always wanted to be and a pretty kickass mom. She’s also a patient wife (say whaaat? ha!) But old Jen – man, she was thoughtful. Old Jen never missed a date, a birthday, a new job.
As Emmie turned 8 months, I realized that we’re no longer in a newborn stage or finding our footing, this is life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy, but life is simply different. It sometimes is hard for me to accept that I simply can’t do everything I used to. Does anyone else out there feel this way? Please, tell me it’s not just me.
So, I decided to do something about it. I’m making a conscious effort to avoid excuses. I’m signing up for events, work, etc. that’s attainable and when it’s not, I’m accepting of it (or trying to be, ha! Come on, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Jennaye Herrmann).
1. Reserve time for self-care
I’ve talked to so many of my friends who have become moms in the last few years, and the storyline is consistent. To carve out the time to find yourself post-baby and being the friend you used to be is nearly impossible. Self-care is non-existent. As a culture, I think we’re so hard on ourselves as women and I am certainly no exception. Why don’t we give ourselves more grace? Why don’t we give ourselves more time to define what finding yourself post-baby really means?
So, to combat this, just once a week I’m taking a long shower (also known as a regular pre-baby shower) and I’m using either a face mask or a hair mask. When I have time, I do both. What I think is most important though is I’m not putting pressure on myself to do both.
2. Know your non-negotiables & don’t make excuses
In order to be a happy person, I have to workout at least 2 times per week (4 is more ideal for me) and I need to see my friends. I’m an extrovert and an only child, which means I crave that connection! I started making more plans – just once every other week. It helps me to take a step back from work and feel like myself again!
We went up to Michigan with friends for Memorial Day. With all of our housing mania, it would have been easy to cancel and say we couldn’t make it. [P.S. I have some news on the housing front, but I’m not quite ready to share it. I think a lot of you will be surprised with what we decided to do]. But, it’s important to me to spend time with people I love and also take a break sometimes.
It is the first time I’ve taken a trip with friends in nearly 3 years that wasn’t a bachelorette party. I am finally popping my head up from my laptop to have fun again. Before taking Girl Meets Party full-time, I worked 7 days a week for 3 years and most days were about 12 hours long. So, now to take a weekend to just chill with friends and not be worried about work is AMAZING.
3. Recognize your priorities have shifted
I recognize my priorities are different. Emmie and Matt are of utmost importance. It’s made me re-evaluate some friendships (which I think is so common in your 30s). The friends that aren’t bringing me joy, comfort, and happiness are no longer a priority. My mom always talks about how life is like riding an elevator. Some people ride the whole way with you and others get off on certain floors. It couldn’t be more true for me, and I appreciate the ride with people no matter how long it is.
I’m sharing this because I know there are more of you out there. It’s hard to find yourself post-baby. Know that you’re not alone. If you’re someone who’s in this boat just know you’re doing a great job. You’re doing your best and that’s what counts. If you feel like you’re drowning in commitments, start saying no. Take time for you and plan it out. I know I’m still trying to figure out my workout routine in particular, which is why I did a juice cleanse. However, I’m hoping to tackle that this summer. For the friends I haven’t seen in a while, I’m making a conscious effort to connect with them because New Jen misses them. At the end of the day, we’re all a work in progress and we need to give ourselves some grace.
Affectionately known to her friends as Millennial Martha for her love of DIY and decorating, Jen can’t help but pour her heart + soul into everything she touches. She’s loved to entertain since acquiring a table and chairs, and giving gifts is one of her favorite hobbies. Jen is the creator of Girl Meets Party. Her dream is to share her passions with the world in hopes to inspire others by making the seemingly unattainable attainable.