By Jordan Sapir
#1. Stop trying to go back to the, “old you”
She’s long gone sister. Gone are the days of dancing on table tops and boozy brunches. Girls trips and happy hour will never be the same. They will be better. Start cherishing your alone time. Take advantage of time with your girlfriends and partner. They will be few and far in between, but they will be priceless. I remember a saying from Girl Scouts. “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the others gold.” This is how I think of the new me. I’ve been upgraded to a gold member. Life is so much sweeter with my daughter. She makes me smile, laugh and cry in ways I never could have imagined. I am so grateful everyday for the blessing. Replace feelings of missing who you used to be with gratitude for the woman you have become. Your body, however, is a different story.
#2. Get into shape
Getting into shape has a whole new meaning now. Extra, extra, your body will also never be the same, so focus on your new body. The body which created human life, birthed a child, was operated on, sewn back together in several locations and now produces milk and has completely shifted to make way for a baby. If you’ve just given birth than your joints are still softer and fragile. After the doctor’s approval, you should ease into exercising slowly. Start off with gentle stretching and long brisk walks (making sure to hydrate). Graduate to sports that you did pre-baby on a different level. If you never worked out before, then find a sport hobby and try to find time to learn/exercise every week. Take it slowly, you’ll get in shape sooner than later. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that this is the new and improved you. So what it doesn’t look exactly the same. Have a look at that little miracle of life and you won’t be bothered– not one little itsy bitsy bit. Oh, that skinny bitch who bounced back in 3 months– is a myth. Even if she’s not, I’ll continue enjoying my pasta that helps nourish my baby.
#3. Stop wearing your maternity clothes
This is a sure way to feel like you’ve morphed into another woman. They were fine when you needed that extra belly room for your bump. Now that you’re baby has made it’s premiere, it’s time to pack up all the maternity gear. I’ll tell you why. If you continue to wear drawstring, elastic waist stretchy material pants and tops, you will forget what it feels like to wear normal clothes. What happens then? Case in point. You know your fat jeans and your skinny jeans? On the good days you wear the skinny and on the bad, well, the slightly larger pair. This for me is a system of Checks and Balances. You have probably never proceeded to eat your way out of your larger pants, go to the store and buy an even larger pair. Here’s the scenario. Going out for date night. You slip on your skinny jeans and realize, hmmm — not going to make it through a 2nd course. Now where are my fat jeans. Slip those on. What do you know? Too small. “I’ll just got out tomorrow before my date and buy a new pair. A bigger pair”, said no woman ever. Stay out of pyjamas pants, stretch pants, yoga pants, elastic waistband pants and most importantly granny panties. Go right now to your closet and take all of your maternity clothes, pack them in a box labeled maternity clothes, so if you ever go inside you feel really bad. Now put them in your Keller for baby number 2/3 or donate them to a girlfriend in need. I have a girlfriend who wore maternity clothes until her second baby was 2 and rationalized it by saying she was still breastfeeding. The correlation? Beats me. Just don’t let that be you.
#4. The moment I wake up, before I put on my makeup …
Life as a new mom can seem mundane. Let’s face it, it is. Don’t be a victim of the pyjama pants granny panties high bun epidemic. I have always worked for myself and mostly worked from home in some capacity. I learned this great tip that I’ve practiced throughout my career. No matter what I have going on, I wake up and get dressed. Sometimes in a sequinned gown, no seriously, that was for comic relief in lieu of a martini at 7 am. Anyway. Everyday, no matter how you feel or what you do or don’t have planned, get out of bed, take a shower and get yourself in order. Don’t get stuck in the conundrum of eat sleep poop. Just imagine how this looks to your partner. He/She/It, leaves the house in the morning to a woman with bags under her eyes, in pyjama pants/sweats, uttering something Rainmanish along the lines of, “Yesterday his poop was more on the yellow side, did you notice it’s a bit more orange than last week. I think we should call the doctor and see if we should come in, or, on second thought, you know what, I’m gonna take a photo and send it to my mom–hmmm–wait no, maybe my midwife–Oh yeah, have a great day honey.” Only to come home to Tada! Crazy poop color index mommy in his barf covered college tee the same sweat pants and mumbling something along the lines of, “You know I am going to call the doctor tomorrow, it wouldn’t concern me, but yesterday it really was more yellow.” (We wonder why they don’t have much to say to us? They are afraid, they are afraid to ask, how was our day, or if we left the house, because, “You really should leave the house, the mid-wife said honey.”) Wake up, wash your face, brush your teeth, put on some semi-normal clothing, if you need help please refer to #3. Even if you don’t manage to leave the house, you’ve managed to look like the woman you vaguely remember. This is one step closer to being that woman. Take that one step further–
#5 Leave the house at least once a day
The “old you” left the house in the morning with a gym bag in tow, makeup for an evening look and packed heels in your purse for impromptu after work drinks. The “new you” feels like you’ve accomplished great things if you make it out of the house before 3. I know it’s like a decathalon to leave the house with a baby on time. Okay, so lets see–I’ve fed, changed, burped, rocked, fed again, changed my clothes after Barfageddon and attached every single toy we own to the stroller, I’ve got my rain cover my mosquito net, sunscreen, bug repellent nuclear attack protective wear. I should be good for an hour. No matter how long it takes you. If you leave your house and you look like a Beaudoin, just leave. Go out, get fresh air and have a walk. There are nothing but advantages to getting out at least once a day. You may feel like Marty McFly, but just embrace that the world feels completely new to you. Besides, this is the new you. Get to know and love her because she’s here to stay.