While I am not one to harp on the challenges of motherhood, it is undeniable that when you become a mom there is an adjustment period. As is the case with any life-changing events. And, motherhood is most certainly life-changing.
I remember when my son was a newborn, I received a text from a friend that said she would be praying for me "as you two learn each other". I'm not going to lie... I kind of chuckled at that. I obviously didn't realize how true that was.
We did have to learn each other. Sure, we knew each other on some level. He knew the comfort of my voice and, crazy as it may sound, I already knew some of his personality. I knew he was strong-willed and a little (or a lot) bossy. But we had to get to know each other in a whole new way. Now that he was taken from the warmth of my uterus and placed into the warmth of my arms.
We had to find our groove. I had to find my groove.
I didn't have any issues with the general care of my baby. I wasn't nervous to hold him or change him or anything like that. But it took me some time to figure out what made me feel good as a mom on a day to day basis. I feel it is important to emphasize, I do not always do these things. In fact, some of them I really need to work on but I know that these things make me feel like I am in a good groove. When I practice these things, my days just seem to go so much better.
1) Focus on your strengths.
Anytime I start to feel like I might be a "bad" mom, I list all of the ways I am a really great mom. I may not be the most "pinteresting" mom but I can tell a story like nobody's business. Also, I don't want to brag but I'm pretty much a rockstar at music time. As odd as it may sound, story time and music time aren't just good for my son's development but they are good for my mommy confidence, too.
Like anything else, there will be less enjoyable things about motherhood and things we don't do quite as well. And that's ok! We don't have to be amazing at everything but making room in motherhood for the things we are already gifted at will help us find our mommy groove.
2) Invest in your appearance.
I know this might sound superficial but we've all heard the saying, "when you look good, you feel good". Making small investments in your personal appearance will go along way in getting into the mommy groove. There are so many things that change when we become moms, including many physical changes. And this doesn't just mean weight gain. Yes, there is weight gain and, yes, some of us struggle greatly to shed that weight but other things change, too. Instead of falling into a rut, embrace the changes and make some investments that will help you feel confident in your new skin, as dry as it may now be!
3) Properly fuel your body.
I have never been one to "forget" to eat. Ever. But chasing a toddler around the house is busy and there are many interruptions. Sometimes it takes so long to prepare a meal for myself that I decide to just skip it or I go for a quicker much less healthy option. Even though I know that eating right helps me have a better day.
4) Be physically active.
Remember how I said that I don't necessarily do all the things that help me get in my mommy groove? Well, this is definitely a thing I do not always do. (And I am working on it!) Being physically active can make a huge difference in how you feel from day to day and, yes, how you feel in general directly affects how you feel as a mom.
To quote Elle Woods from the Legally Blonde, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." Or yell at everyone that comes within three feet... you can fill in the blanks on that last part. The point is, being physically active makes an incredible difference in your mood and attitude. And in your mommy groove!
5) Have a schedule.
The days that I feel most in my groove are the days that I stick most to a schedule. I think it's because having a list and checking things off makes me feel productive. And, also, it helps me to actually be productive. You can plan your day as rigid or as flexible as you want, the most important thing is that you make a plan you can (and will) stick with. For me, I don't necessarily time my day down to the minute. Instead, I make a list of things that I want to accomplish in each day. Both for me, personally and for my son. (Check out my toddler checklist.)
When do you most feel in the groove?