Happy Purim! Enjoy our special holiday-themed content, and scroll down to the end of this post for even more.
I know I’m not the first one to tell you that having a baby changes everything. Your skinny jeans have now become a piece of aspirational decoration in your closet. Your boobs have turned into permanently-attached flotation devices. And a strange sense of knowing exactly who you’ll be spending the rest of your life with has replaced that deep-seated crippling fear of choking on a pretzel in your apartment and not being found for three weeks.
But no woman wants to let motherhood take over her entire identity. While you can hit the gym or yoga mat to work on that stretched out stomach, and pump pump pump until your boobs look like empty Capri Sun pouches, what can you do to feel young again and completely terrorized by the thought of dying alone?
Here are three easy tips to get your started:
1. Remember that your children can totally abandon you
Right now your precious bundle needs you for pretty much everything. Where would they be without you changing their diaper, plying them with milk (breast or formula… no judgement here!), and bouncing them around when they get fussy? While it’s easy to get caught up in the constant minutiae of life with a newborn, remember that before you know it, they’ll be 18 and of sound mind and age to make the decision to leave you forever. That’s right—there’s no guarantee they’ll call, write, or visit you ever again… and you can’t make them! So next time you find yourself fantasizing about a touching scene of you in your old age surrounded by loving and caring adult children, remember it’s just as possible your kids will grow up into assholes who won’t even bother to make it to your 80th birthday party in Palm Beach (even though the spread will, of course, be to die for).
2. Keep in touch with your depressed childless friends
Of course you’ll naturally start gravitating towards socializing with other new moms. These women are dealing with many of the same issues as you and will be filled with helpful advice and commiseration. Plus, who else can you talk to about comparing the BOB 2016 Revolution FLEX Duallie Stroller with the Allen Sports JTX-1 Trailer/Swivel Wheel Jogger? But it’s important to stay connected with those friends who are still in that pre-family stage. They’ll help you drop the “mom mode” and regale you with fun tales of Tinder dates, hilarious missed connections, and crying yourself to sleep every goddamn night. If you’re married and feeling secure, they’ll also tell you about their friend’s sister’s roommate who works as a nanny and is totally sleeping with the kids’ dad. Goodbye, peace of mind! (And goodbye, nanny!)
3. Make sure to schedule some “me time” AKA “a mental breakdown”
New moms hardly ever get any time to themselves. Between doctor’s appointments, Mommy & Me classes, and a kid who won’t sleep for longer than two hours at a time, it’s easy to ignore yourself and your own needs. But self-care is so important, so be sure to schedule some “me time” to sit quietly with your thoughts, practice some mindful meditation, and freak the fuck out. Start by focusing on your breath–the way it enters and leaves your body–and let go of those daily worries like what to make for dinner. Then gently allow your mind to follow down that well-worn tunnel of existential despair. Thoughts like even when I’m surrounded by people, I’m forever trapped in my own body and my friends say they understand me, but how can they when I don’t even understand myself are great signs that you’re well on your way to an unmitigated, pre-mommy era mental breakdown.
Yes, it’s normal for motherhood to take over your daily life in those early years, but you don’t have to let it take over your identity. So the next time you find yourself missing the woman you used to be, take a deep breath, put on some Elliott Smith, and let your tears mingle in with the baby’s bathwater.
Today at Kveller we’re celebrating Purim, a holiday with “the characteristics of a spring masquerade,” “a festival of merriment, play, and [ahem] pranks.”
Check out our other celebratory articles here:
And Coming Soon…
Brave! This Mom Went to Costco With Her Toddler— and Without Xanax
Why I Always Make Sure My Kid Says Please When Asking for Another F*@$ing Poptart
Don’t Know How to Talk To Your Kid About God? Well, Uh, Geez, Neither Do We
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This “Hot MILF” T-Shirt is Actually a Feminist Statement: Here’s Why.
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