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Pregnancy And Postpartum Life - Postpartum Life | April 30, 2021, 3:12 CDT

Look and Feel Your Best as a New Mom

Taking care of your baby and taking care of yourself don't have to be mutually exclusive goals.
Anastasia Climan
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Photography by David Heisler

There is no shortage of five-minute makeup routines and home spa tips for busy moms. Of course, those perks might not be important to all mothers. When you're a new mom, time and energy are scarce resources. Learning to prioritize what you care about will help you focus on making changes that matter.

Figure out a plan that works

If getting your hair and nails done makes you feel attractive, put those appointments on the calendar and make accommodations for child care. If money is tight, find acceptable at-home solutions and set reminders to accomplish these tasks and don't put them off.

If you love working out or want to improve your fitness level, find ways to do it that fit into your schedule. For some people, that means a mom-friendly exercise class or home workout routine with your infant. For others, a late-night spin class after the child's bedtime routine will be a better bet.

You may not have the same range of options you did before becoming a parent, but where there's a will, there's a way. Get creative and keep your goals on the top of the list.

Simplify your home

Clutter is an energy drain, especially when there's a bunch of new baby gear scattered around. If you find yourself bogged down by endless laundry or piles of toys, it's time to start decluttering. Invest your efforts in organizing (and discarding) the items around you to free up time otherwise wasted on cleaning or searching for things.

Perhaps one of the most crucial areas to tackle is your closet. Getting dressed for the day does a lot for your sense of purpose—even if you don't intend to leave the house. As a new mom, you probably struggle with in-between sizing or clothing that doesn't match your current lifestyle.

Consider setting up a capsule wardrobe. This limited collection of clothing, shoes and accessories can be found simply by shopping in your closet. Setting aside the items that don't fit right now or make you feel less-than-your-best will make getting dressed more efficient and less frustrating. 

While you're at it, pack up the maternity wear. As tempting as it can be to keep those maternity clothes around, you need to put them away if you want to start feeling like your old self again.

The shower is another quick-fix area. There will be times when a daily shower is the only precious moment you have to yourself. Be sure your favorite shampoos, soaps and bath products are at the ready to help you recharge. You'll emerge feeling refreshed and prepared to deal with the day (or night) ahead.

Be flexible by expecting change

Infants can change drastically from one day to the next. If you're having a tough week or feel like you've fallen out of good habits, don't worry. Chances are you won't be in the same routine another month from now. Understanding that the situation is temporary can keep you from your breaking point.

Roll with guilt (like we all do)

Why is it that guilt and motherhood seem to go hand in hand? Whether you're struggling with breastfeeding, worried about your child's screen time or concerned about sending your little one to day care, there's always a reason to feel like you're falling short as a mom.

It helps to remember that all moms feel this way sometimes. Beating yourself up isn't going to solve anything. Try to take a practical approach to the issue at hand. What advice would you give a friend or a sister going through the same situation? Don't be harder on yourself than you'd be on others. Instead, focus on what matters: providing your child with a safe, healthy environment and a self-assured, stable (and happy) mom.

Anastasia Climan