What is the best thing to do after the baby is here? Be a mommy!
Embrace this very unique time in life that passes in a flash. Although when you are up in the middle of the night with a crying baby or changing the diapers of your infant & toddler, when the phone rings, it may not feel so precious!
Discover your new self in your new role in life. Once I was asked, “does life have to change after the baby comes?” I answered, “wouldn’t it be terrible if it didn’t!” Don’t have a baby if you want your life to be the same. It can’t be, it never will be, so why not jump in with both feet!
Embrace being the mother of an infant, toddler, pre-schooler, lower school, middle schooler (yikes) teenager (double yikes), college student and finally if you are lucky–Grandma!
Additionally, begin to find the things that you enjoy and re-kindle your passions. Find a way to get back to what you love. For me that was resuming a regular exercise routine and having play groups with other interesting and educated mothers. Organizing day trips to the beach, the park, the mountains and introducing your children to the world around them. Ultimately, when my daughter began 1 day of preschool (on my husband’s day off), I started my medical practice on Mondays. As she added more days, so did I!
The other day she asked why I still only work 4 days a week. I reminded her that when she was in lower school we had government shut downs on Fridays giving us 3 day weekends all year, whoo hoo! Though the government went back to work and the kids went back to school I decided it was still a good idea for myself to have a furlough day! Make sure to make time for yourself in order to not lose touch with who you are beyond a mother and a profession.
Take a trip with your partner and if you are fortunate to find a loving caregiver, leave the kids at home. My husband and I were never able to master “date nights” as so many couples do, but hey–in 4 years, my baby will be going to college, so you never know!
Still our annual family vacations are the memories we will cherish forever, and I know many families who keep the tradition going even as their children marry and have families of their own.
Remember, there will always time to do what you love and you will be able to accomplish your dreams. Keep sight of what is important now–raising a happy, confident, loved and healthy child who can follow their own passions.
The “sacrifice” you make now will pay off in huge dividends later in life. You will never regret the time you take to spend knowing your children. The funny thing is the quality time often is during the mundane times in life like when you are driving them to school or shopping for underwear. Don’t think you have to create an amazing experience to have quality time with the kids, just be mindful.
I think motherhood gives us a wonderful opportunity to be in the moment. As you are caring for a baby, you must be present to make sure they are safe and supported. As time passes you learn to let go slowly, allowing them to spread their wings and fly. Trust in the process of life and trust in your ability to raise your child.