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How Putting Myself First Made Me a Better Mom

I was struggling with new mom guilt. Feeling like anytime I did anything for myself I was being selfish and somehow being a bad mother. I desperately wanted and needed time, but I just thought that when you have a baby, your needs come second.

Over time this made me stop doing many of the things I used to do that brought me happiness. I stopped having lunch with friends. I stopped getting my nails done or just relaxing and watching a movie so that I could disconnect from all the worries of being a new mom. I stayed home as much as possible because it was hard on me and hard on my daughter, so I thought, when I left. I also gave up daily exercise.

This was probably the hardest thing for me to give up because working out was always a big part of my daily routine. I have always felt better, had more energy, coped with stress more effectively, and just felt happier when I make time to workout at the bare minimum of three times per week.

After the birth of my daughter I found myself not having the time or resources to continue my gym membership. I was going to a group training facility, which was about 10 minutes from my home. Each class was an hour, so with driving time and getting to class a few minutes early to be ready I was gone almost 90 minutes round trip. I just wasn’t going to leave my child for 90 minutes so I could go do something for myself.

Not to mention the fact that there was the time away issue, there was also the issue of the cost of the membership. Group training memberships can be very expensive and hard to justify if you are not using them regularly. I had also made the choice to take an extended and maybe permanent period of time off of work after birth.

This also made justifying the cost of such programs very hard. Combine the feelings of guilt, the time demands, and cost together and it’s just something I stopped doing.

It is easy to get into a routine and this went on for some time and I felt myself having less energy, getting stressed more easily and physically not looking the way I wanted. I kept convincing myself that I was doing what was best for my child and that she was my new priority. I knew that putting my child first is what good moms did. I just had a baby, and I needed to sacrifice because this is what I wanted.

She was the most important thing in the world to me and I was going to give her all of my time and attention so she would know she was loved by meI had become kind of a homebody and did not really have any mom friends with children. I just assumed I was doing all the right things.

Thank goodness I decided to join a moms group and met some wonderful women and mothers. It was in one of these sessions that we discussed prioritizing yourself. We talked about how being a good mom begins with being happy and fulfilled in your own life first. It is impossible to be the best mom you can be if you are unhappy, tired, stressed, and have given up the things in your life that make you happy.

This was refreshing to hear and was exactly what I needed to hear from other mothers for it to hit home. I decided I needed to find a way to get back to some of the things that I knew I was missing.

Fast forward a bit and I found a great at-home, online workout program that allows me to get in daily workouts in about 20 minutes or less a day. They provide demonstration videos for each workout as well as options for no equipment workouts I can do in my living room.

I have my energy back, I am not gone from the house for 90 minutes, my stress is lower, and I just feel better about myself. I have the time and energy to be a better mom and I don't feel guilty making some time each day for myself.

If you are interested in at home workout programs make sure to checkout The Grit Syndicate website or look them up on Facebook or Instagram. You can use code (bitsydiscount) and get an entire month of workouts for only $5. Click HERE to get signed up.

But before you go, let's run through a few pointers to help get you into the mode of putting yourself first TODAY! Try implementing these steps below today and see the impact it will have on your mind and body right away! Also, comment at the end of this article with routines or habits that you have developed that help put you first. 

  1. Wake up with a little extra time so you don’t feel rushed.
  2. Eat a good balanced breakfast. Energy for the day is key!
  3. Schedule your workout time for the day and make it happen.
  4. Get outside with your little one. The sun and fresh air always make me feel better.
  5. Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated, energized, and active.
  6. Connect with a friend. Find a few minutes to socialize even if on the phone.
  7. Think of 2 people and 2 things in your life you are grateful for.
  8. Set a good bedtime for your kids and give yourself some free time before you head to bed.
  9. Dive into a book or even your favorite TV show. Find a way to carve out some personal time.
  10. Plan out the following day and have a schedule so the things you need for yourself do not get forgotten.

Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from ya'll soon! 

Rachel Hamilton

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