A Year Of Motherhood- Most Frequently Asked Questions
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 92
Welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision Podcast! I have taken a little bit of a break from this podcast, but am so excited to catch up with you guys and start recording again!
There have been a lot of new, great developments in my life, but by far the biggest was becoming a mother to my one-year-old son. In my first year of motherhood, I’ve learned so much. I receive a lot of questions on being a new mom and also balancing that with entrepreneurship.
In this episode, I’ll be answering my most frequently asked questions from my first year of motherhood, and discussing:
Getting to work for myself and still be present with my child
Making the decision to work less hours a week while still running a successful business
Self-care and motherhood, and what it was like developing a good routine for myself
How I nurture my mental health as a mom
I hope you enjoy this new part of my podcast, I’m very excited to share more about my journey with motherhood with you guys. And if you want more inside business secrets, head over to my Seven Figure Secrets Podcast!
Hear the Episode
Leah Gervais: Hi everyone. First of all, welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. It has been several months since I’ve recorded a new episode here, and I’m really excited to be here with you guys.
Uh, as just a little bit of a kind of rundown of what has gone on. I don’t know how closely you follow, but I was very consistent with this podcast for like three straight years, and I loved it. I still love it. There’s still so many amazing things about it.
But at the end of last year, at the end of 2022, we decided to take a little break from my personal episodes for a few reasons. One, I launched a private podcast called Seven Figure Secrets, and that just felt very time consuming.
And the reason I launched that private podcast is because I wanted to talk about just some of the higher level things in business that I didn’t feel this was the right platform for, um, things very specific like my Facebook ad strategy or my launch funnels and things like that.
And I really wanted your biggest vision to stay about exactly that, about how to live out the biggest vision in your life and how that can happen and what you can do for that regardless of where you’re at in business.
Or, um, I guess technically, even if you’ve started a business though, my, this is certainly an entrepreneurial podcast, so it was sort of just a strategic decision and also just a logistical one, um, I worked a lot less last year than I ever had before.
Many of you know that I had a baby at the end of 2021. So 2022 was a big new mom year, and, um, I just only had so many hours in the day. And so I decided to take a little break from your biggest vision show.
But we are back and I’m excited to use this platform in a very different way than I’m using my private podcast one, which is just a greater glimpse into my own life and what I’m doing to fight for my own base vision and what I’m doing to in the day-to-day to really make my world go round.
So this February, we are starting off with episodes that are really just results of a lot of questions I’ve been getting asked about motherhood, about life, about business, um, about kind of just big decisions. And if you have any questions or anything you’d love an episode on, please feel free to DM me at Leah Dravet underscore, I’d love to chat with you about it.
And we are kicking it off with a very exciting, you know, topic that I love: Motherhood. Now , this is not going to become a motherhood podcast, and it’s obviously a topic that is a little overwhelming to dissect because there is so much out there on it. There’s so much good, so much bad, so much I agree with, so much I disagree with.
And I’m also only a year in a year and two months at this point. So I still feel like I’m new to motherhood in many ways.
But there’s also so much I’ve learned, and probably the most frequent question I’m asked these days is around the balance, the intersection, the duality of motherhood and entrepreneurship. So it only felt right to do this as kind of my starting episode and share just what I’ve learned over the last year of motherhood, specifically as it pertains to still being an entrepreneur.
Um, still working in a way that, um, you know, is very intentional. And, and just by that I mean it’s not, um, you know, it’s not something I’m doing just for the paycheck. It’s not something I’m doing because I have to, it’s something I’m doing because, well, I, I shouldn’t say that.
My family does rely on my business. That’s, that’s, it’s not like I’m working just out of passion. There, there is a financial piece of it, but it’s also not like I’m being forced to work.
And it’s also not like I’m just like, if it were at one of the jobs that I had before I worked for myself, it would feel like I’m just working to make the money. I’m just working for the paycheck. I’m just working so I can go home and be with my kid.
I actually don’t even know how I would’ve gotten through motherhood and working at those jobs that I just hated . So it feels extremely, you know, I feel very blessed, but it’s also got its own complexities to work for myself, have a job that I really love, and then still be a mom, which I also really love.
So I wanna just talk a little bit about what that has been like and what I’ve learned, what I wish I would’ve known. I mean, there’s so much I could share and so much that I might still unfold over the months that follow.
But, um, here’s what I started with. So, uh, yeah, that is kind of what you can expect. Um, in terms of what’s coming up with the show for the next few months, please let me know if you have any questions or any requests and just DM me when you hear something cause I love connecting with you guys after you listen to these episodes.
For more hard business, um, advice and tips and looks into my own, please visit Seven Figure Secrets, the podcast, you can get there on my website. It’s private, but it’s free. You can sign up right there on the site and you’ll have access to all of the episodes.
And that’s where I share a lot more about my six figure month breakdowns and the different strategies we’re using and different things that are working well and things that aren’t working well. So if that is what you’re looking for, that is where you’ll find it.
So let’s talk about motherhood. Gosh, I can’t believe it’s been over a year. This is, i, a good time to kind of share some reflections on it. And I divided today’s episode up into four different sections, working and motherhood, self-caring and motherhood childcare and motherhood, mental health.
Let’s start with self-care, which has been so overused. Honestly, all of these have been overused. I’m gonna stop getting in my own head about sharing these. I’m just gonna share what I’m gonna share. Hopefully you can take little bits of what’s helpful and what’s not.
I would consider myself someone who has consumed a decent amount of social, or motherhood, social media in particular. I’m sure there’s people that have consumed a lot more than me, but I feel like I have been exposed to the different kind of genres of motherhood Instagram and motherhood TikTok, where you have, you know, people on the, on the side where they are just really trying to lament about the struggles of being a mom and how hard it is.
And, um, I think some of that’s relatable until I think it’s been taken way too far. And then on the other hand, there’s people that are showing the real joys of motherhood and how consumed they are with it, which I think is inspiring, but also that can be taken too far and it can make you feel almost guilty if you aren’t that in as, if you’re not as, um, if motherhood isn’t as big of a role in your life as it is to some of these other moms.
So I feel like I kind of know, you know, uh, the, uh, uh, the different dialogues about it, but this, so, but let me just go ahead and start anyway. So, self-care is something that we obviously know is probably more important as a mom than it is any other time in your life or for any other person because your self-care is no longer just care for you.
Your self-care has a direct impact on the way in which you’re able to care for your baby. So I wanted to share some of the things that have really helped me continue to care for myself since having Paul.
The first thing that I think is important to note is that I feel like I had a pretty good self-care routine down before I had him. And I don’t mean that it was that I had a perfect morning routine or that I never struggled to take care of myself, but I certainly felt like it was a priority and I felt like I knew the importance of it before I even got pregnant.
And I think that that really helped me because self-care, if you don’t have those values or those staples or those kind of just north stars when you are pregnant or when it’s just you, then it’s very hard to build those habits when you’re in the middle of breastfeeding.
Sleep deprivation, a completely new chapter of life, trying to balance very intense things in your, in your new life. And throwing something seemingly new in there, like taking care of yourself and prioritizing your own wellness feels nearly impossible. In fact, it will always probably be pushed to the bottom of your to-do list.
So before I even had Paul, some of the things that really helped me were sobriety, just choosing not to drink at all. Um, exercising regularly, kind of having that be non-negotiable. That was something I kept up with during my pregnancy.
Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of days where I didn’t get off the couch and I was exhausted, but for the most part it was, you know, a consistent thing in my life. Um, uh, hydration and healthy eating. Again, of course I had my exceptions, but these were just things that I was educated on and that I knew.
Um, and just carving out time for myself is something I always was really good at. And that has really, really served me because I think as a new mom, that would probably be way pushed to your, the bottom of your to-do list for me, that’s usually looked like getting up very early in the mornings before anyone else is awake and doing whatever it takes to make sure that that happens.
Um, you know, not staying up too late if it makes you feel crappy the next day. I, all the time I hear people say, well, I just, I, I snooze so much cuz then I stay up too late. And I, I I, I don’t understand it. To me it’s like, if I know that I get alone time in the mornings, then I will not stay up too late. So, um, anyway, I think just having a prioritization on self-care really served me before having him.
Since having him, I have found that the best way to take care of myself in a practical way, this doesn’t just, this doesn’t always include like my mental health, but just practically speaking to sort of take care of myself is to pretty much include him in as much of it as possible because then it doesn’t need to feel like a him.
I’m either with him or I’m taking care of myself, but it can feel like I’m taking care of myself with him, it’s just a lot more practical. It’s just how things are gonna work out better if possible.
Um, and I also enjoy it more. I like that he sees me taking care of myself and I like that he gets to be there and it doesn’t feel like this tug of war of like, if I’m with him then I’m, you know, not focusing on myself or that I’m not putting myself first and that I’m just giving my whole body and mind over to this baby that doesn’t actually feel good.
Of course, you wanna give everything you can to your child, but not at the cost of you. So practically speaking, what that looks like is for the first year of his life, even a little bit later, I still do this. Sometimes I would take full on bougie baths with him every night. I would ta put Epson salt baths in them. We would like candles, um, we would put bubbles in there.
Uh, you know, sometimes we’d put bath bombs in there and I would just really experience a nice bath just with my baby. This felt like something that a lot of new moms, you know, I kind of felt like no one ever had time to do because all I could see on Instagram is people saying, I don’t have time to shower.
Well , how can you get creative with that? And sometimes Paul, when he is not feeling well, I’ll shower with him too.
We’ll kind of do a steam shower, so whatever works for you. But if you have a ritual, sort of a bathing ritual, I know it might not sound ideal to like have a baby with you in it, but it ended up being something very fun for us to do together and it just felt like a really nice way to unwind every night in a way that I would’ve done pre-baby and now I got to do, but with my baby, which in my mind made it feel better.
It didn’t make it feel like, oh, this is something I wish I could do on my own. No. I was like, this is like a dream come true. This is something I always love to do and now I have this little amazing baby to do it with me.
So really, um, taking the time to do that, I also breastfed so it was easy enough to just breastfeed him in the bath and that was just a nice relaxing, good for my body, good for him, good for us thing to do every single day.
Loved doing that. Highly, highly recommended. We’ll do that with another baby.
The other thing that I’ve just been able to do with him a lot is I cook with him a lot. I often will grocery shop with him and then cook pretty extensive meals with him. I never have been much of a chef. It’s still not like my favorite thing to do.
But Paul loves being in the kitchen. He’s very curious and he also, especially when he was younger, loved being worn. Like I could just, you know, wear him on the front of me, um, and cook for hours.
And that was a really great bonding time for us because it’s great for them, it’s good for their development for you to wear them and it is nice to have your hands free. And then I would just cook. So that stopped me from eating a lot of crappy takeout food.
Um, which I was very tempted to do and did a lot early on in my first year of motherhood when I was just like ordering. We were just ordering food cuz we were trying so hard to figure out how to take care of him.
But as he got a little bit older, um, this was another way to kind of just take care of myself was to include him in cooking, get more familiar with it and cook more so that I knew I was eating better food for myself. I would cook bulk meals for myself.
Uh, and then for him as he started eating. Um, my husband usually takes care of dinners. Um, but you know, between the two of us, just making sure that we can eat at home more so then than knot is, is really helpful. We still do go out to eat pretty frequently, I will say, you know, a couple times a week.
Um, but it’s more just because we enjoy it, not because we have to and certainly not because we’re just looking for food to eat, um, off the cuff.
Um, I also would exercise with him. So I’m in a chapter of running right now because I am training for the New York City Marathon. But before I, uh, or when I’m not running, I would also just exercise with him.
Whether that means he would be on the floor and I would do like a quick little 20 minute yoga class. I always would do little adaptations by Jack’s exercises.
I still do a lot of hers. She’s a former client of mine. She is pregnant with her second. And so she has a lot of postpartum friendly exercises, very gentle, which was really great as I was healing from diocese recti and just my body was healing.
Um, and I also sometimes though, when I was ready to kind of do some more strength training workouts, I would again wear him, strap him in like the baby, uh, baby carrier.
And I would like, use him as my, I called him my Paul Bell cause I would never call him a dumbbell . And so I’d have this like 15 or 20 pound weight strapped onto me, and I would like to do lunches and do squats and do all of that and just try to include him with it.
Um, you know, a very obvious thing that I think a lot of new moms talk about, but that really helped is I also, we would walk almost every day once my, um, once my, once I was healed. I didn’t do that. I barely left the house, I would say for like six weeks in the beginning.
But once I, uh, had recovered a little bit, um, and really the whole first year I would do epic walks with him.
I’d take the dog and just really try to get outside, and move our body. So exercise with your baby, bathe with your baby, eat with your baby, cook with your baby, grocery shop with your baby.
Try to do the things that are staples in your own self-care routine such as including your baby as much as you can. W for so many reasons, one, they don’t know what’s going on that young anyway. At first, sometimes I’d feel bad, I’d be like, I wonder if he’s bored. And it’s like, um, , no . He’s just happy to be part of whatever I’m doing and I want him to see me take care of myself.
Two, it’s the easiest way to make it happen. And three, you don’t want this internal like my baby versus my own wellbeing. Uh, tension in your mind when it doesn’t need to be like that at all.
And overall, I would just say that it’s important to be the most selfish in your life when you become a mom because it is so directly related to your baby’s wellbeing. And, and this, this narrative on social media about a mom giving up everything for her baby.
I really fundamentally disagree with it. If you don’t have anything for yourself, you don’t have anything to give. And the more that you, um, have this like mommy martyr mindset about, well, I can’t because, or this is taking all this from me.
Think about what that’s doing to them subconsciously. I really believe that they pick up on that energy. And also it puts you in a total victim state of mind when for most of us, we wanted to be moms. And it’s one of the biggest blessings in the entire world. It is truly the the greatest thing that I’ve ever experienced.
I’ve never been this happy and I don’t think I could feel that way if I felt like everything that I had to do was for this baby and not for myself. And I feel like I’m better at motherhood because I do fill my own cup up.
Now I will say that this isn’t as easy as I’m making it sound. I certainly have my moments, of course, where I feel like I could be giving more. Am I, should I be giving more? I think that that’s only natural.
In fact, I actually don’t think it’s natural. I don’t think it’s natural. I think it’s very common. I think that that’s the society we live in nowadays. But I think this mom shaming thing is kind of a result of patriarchy programming. I don’t actually know that I believe it is natural. Um, but here we are and it’s something that most moms are experiencing.
And you have to just be very easy with yourself and know that by giving to yourself, you’ll be able to give more to your child and also just consider the example you wanna be setting for them. So those are some of my thoughts on self-care as a mom, especially as a new mom and with a baby. Um, now I wanna just talk a little bit about working and being a mom.
So I decided to work three days a week. The first year that Paul was alive, I’m still working now, I’m more like three and a half days a week, but I still have a good chunk of the week that I spend with him. And, uh, during the week, I also will pop out and go see him go to a class with him Up until a few weeks ago, I would breastfeed him throughout the day.
So I, uh, get to be very flexible and see him throughout the day. My first tip toward understanding how you wanna balance work and motherhood if you choose to do both. And if you, uh, well, I shouldn’t say it’s not a choice for everyone. If you have to do both or if you choose to do both, is to try to be bold and stand up for what you truly want.
With this, it was very scary to go down to three days a week. And I was very afraid my income would suffer. And it did suffer a dramatic award. We still made something like $900,000 in sales the year that I only worked three days a week, but it was less than I did the year before. And that was a risk, and I was willing to take that risk.
Now I know that this might be triggering to some people who feel like this is an incredibly privileged stance because not everyone can just choose to work three days a week.
But I encourage you, if that’s something that you want, consider how you could make that happen because life is too short to do things that you don’t wanna do. I’ll just keep at that. If you are doing both motherhood and working, then I really encourage you to kind of get to know yourself, to find the best way to do both, uh, in, in a way that suits your personality.
For me, I am an extremist. I’ve known that about myself for a long time. I do things all out or not at all. So it feels good to me to work three days a week fully. I will typically on the three days that, uh, of the week that I work, I work super intensely.
I’m very focused. I don’t really talk to anyone. I get a lot of things done and I don’t really think about motherhood all that much.
Of course I think about Paul throughout the day and I love getting photos from the nanny and things like that. But on those days I am fully in my entrepreneurial hat and I work not that late, but relatively late in terms of his bedtime. Usually I’m only with him for an hour or two before he goes to bed at night. So that is sometimes hard, but that works for me because once I’m in the mindset of working, I just can ride it home.
Then on the other days of the week when I don’t work, I kind of enjoy not looking at my computer at all. It took me a little time to get the hang of this. Sometimes I would still check my email on days that I was off or check slack or things like that. And sometimes I still, uh, you know, do a little bit of work, uh, while he naps.
But for the most part, when I’m in motherhood mode, I like to be in full mom mode. I do play dates for us. I do, I take us to different events. I try different meals with him. I take us out to meals, just he and I.
If my husband is working and he does usually work on those days, I research schools when he’s napping or I do things around the house. I don’t touch work and that’s really worked better for my personality because it allows me to go all in on one or the other.
On the other hand, there are some other people like Lisa, one of my coaches and one of my good friends. Uh, she’s kinda the opposite of me. She works every day five days a week but just ends early because she really likes doing both motherhood and work on the same day.
She likes being able to kind of have both at the same time, which I totally get. But I find that for me the amount of energy that it takes to transition from work mode and work brain to mom mode and mom brain is quite a bit.
There’s it, it’s quite a transition. It takes my mind some time to stop thinking about work or stop thinking about what I’m doing or stop thinking about my ideas or stop thinking about my clients and to then totally focus on motherhood and vice versa. So that’s not what works for me. With that though, I do wanna give you the tip of having a work to mom ritual. This was really helpful when I still worked at home.
Now I have an office and I work, you know, um, out of it, which is really nice. But have some sort of little ritual, even if it’s five or 10 minutes where you are able to sort of release work and release the drama of work from the day.
Drama’s not maybe not the right word, but just whatever consumes your mind from work that day, leave it with your computer, leave it with your designated work workstation and go fully presently into motherhood.
So that could look like you listen to a specific song or maybe you journal for a few moments to just get out all on paper, everything that’s in your mind so that you can release it. Um, I think going for a walk here is a really nice thing. Taking the baby for a walk and then coming back and just being in full mom family mode, some sort of way that your mind separates the two I think is really useful. So those are some of my tips on workingAnd momming together.
And the next thing I wanna share a little bit on is childcare, which is related to these things. I will say I had no idea that child care would be as hard as it is or as dramatic as it is in New York.
There feels like there’s a big, um, kind of, you know, tension almost, or it’s like a big conversation of daycare versus nanny. Which one are you gonna do? Which one are you gonna do in New York? I will say most people do one or the other.
There’s not as many stay-at-home moms as I think there are in other parts of the country. But I also think that that might be because a lot of the moms that I’ve met are also first time moms and maybe it’s different when you’re on your second or third kid. Maybe that’s when they try to, you know, parents decide that one of them should stay at home.
Um, but I do always feel extremely fortunate when I take Paul to these classes during the week. And uh, and a lot of times I’m the only mom at them, which is not meant to give any shame to moms. Um, I send my nanny to them sometimes too, but it really does make me grateful that I have a job that I can, um, control and that I have mobility over my schedule.
I mean it definitely makes everything, everything worth it. So childcare has been hard. It has been hard. It’s hard to leave your kid, it’s hard to know what you want and who you want and what instructions to give them and when to helicopter parent and when not to. I’ve, you know, I’ve dealt with all of that for the first eight weeks. We had a night nurse and I thought I was the smartest person in the world.
Like I was hacking motherhood by getting a night nurse when I was pregnant. I dunno that I would do it again. Um, I could talk about this in more detail if anyone’s interested, but I don’t, it was not as smart as I thought it would be.
Um, it was nice having the help. Certainly it was nice to just sort of like to know that you have some relief at the end of, or the day after, especially if you’re exhausted. The reason it wasn’t as helpful as I thought it would be is because I ended up breastfeeding.
And if you’re breastfeeding then there’s really only so much anyone can do for you anyway. No one else can feed the baby. So in the middle of the night when he cried, the night nurse would come get me and I would or, or bring him to me and I would sit up and feed him and then bring him to her and she’d get him back to sleep.
So that was helpful, but we really were only in total probably shaving off like half an hour, an hour of sleep a night, uh, which just involved getting him up, changing his diaper, getting him ready, swaddling him, um, and then getting him back to sleep after I fed him.
So I don’t know that I would do it again if I were to breastfeed again, I think if you’re going to formula feed or you’re going to do both and you’re willing to not breastfeed during the night, then by all means get a night nurse for the love of God, get a night nurse. But if you’re breastfeeding, I don’t know that it’s as useful as you think it would be.
Something that I think I could have done that might have made it more useful. I actually did do this for a little while, but then there were some complications, which I won’t get into.
But if you can, if you are breastfeeding and you are able to get to a place where you can skip one feed, um, which would mean that you would maybe go like 4, 5, 6 hours without uh, breastfeeding or pumping or any milk being moved, uh, then I think it could be worth it.
Although you could also just have your partner do that shift where you can sleep for four or five, six hours, skip that one feed and if you can get a surplus during another feed where you can pump that milk, that’s kind of what I ended up doing.
What I would end up doing is like in the mornings I would pump a little bit when my supply was the heaviest and um, then I would have a little bit of milk for an overnight bottle. So that was kind of helpful. I think in hindsight what I would do in those early days or what I would do if I have another baby, hopefully one day I will just take the eight weeks completely off of work, which I did do.
But I found that I know some people, like my friends in other countries, think that I’m nuts that I went back to work after nine, 10 weeks, but I missed being good at something. I know that might sound crazy, but motherhood as amazing as it is, I was such a newbie and I was so out of my element and I was so just lost in a sense.
And I feel very good at being an entrepreneur. I’m very good at being a coach. I’m very good at what I do and I miss that sense of confidence and I missed almost that sense of just like intellectual stimulation. So I don’t know that I would need that much time again.
What I do think you could do, what I think I would do next time if I were to do this like maternity leave of my own making would be almost to have like a a uh, a return to work quote light where after like eight weeks you just do some work for me that would be like maybe I could start working with my clients again, but I just wouldn’t sell anything.
Or maybe I would um, you know, do a few calls but not all of them. Hopefully you have good enough clients where they understand if you need to cancel because you just didn’t sleep at all the night before or if you have some health issues going on.
But to me I actually felt like my postpartum anxiety and I say that not having ever been diagnosed with it, I don’t think I had official postpartum anxiety. I think most people experience some sense of postpartum anxiety because it’s a stressful time. I think that most of mine went away actually when I started working again because it gave me less time to obsess over small things.
Like exactly how much milk is he getting or exactly how much does he weigh or um, is his head slightly flat? You know, all these things that can make you go nutty when yes, of course you wanna pay attention to your baby, but there’s a fine line between noticing and obsessing.
And I think we live, especially in the US. We have a very helicopter style of parenting and I don’t think it’s healthy. And I noticed that when I started working again. And keep in mind I only went back to work three days a week. I worked from home the whole time.
So it wasn’t like after nine weeks I was going back to a 40 hour a week job putting my kid in daycare. Um, you know, not seeing him for, for five days of the week during the day. Uh, I was pretty much there the whole time. I was able to say hi to him every time he was awake. Um, and I breastfed during calls and everything so it felt, it felt like going back to work light, so to speak.
And so I do think that that worked well. Um, so yeah, I guess my point is I wanted to share a little bit about my night nurse experience because I was so excited about that and I just wanted to share in case that’s helpful for you.
And then the other tip I wanna share on childcare is just that, and I don’t know that I had the words for this before I had the baby, but outsource as much of the quote, invisible load as you can because you’re going to want to be with your baby as much as you can. I don’t think I realize that.
So it makes a lot more sense to outsource, uh, laundry, cooking, cleaning, um, shopping, whatever you need to do that could stop you from being with your baby, getting your hair done. That was in the beginning. Especially because Paul, you know, babies like white noise in the beginning cuz they are used to so much noise in the uterus. The sound of your blood rushing through the placenta sounds like a vacuum cleaner.
So I would take him to the salon with me and get a blowout and he would go to sleep to the sound of the hair dryer and that was great cuz that was like one last thing I wanted to do, but I still wanted to take care of myself.
So the point is, in the beginning, a lot of well-meaning friends and family will come over and they’re like, oh, I’ll hold the baby while you shower, or I’ll hold the baby while you do whatever and, or I’ll hold the baby while you nap.
And it’s like, I don’t wanna go nap in my house while you’re here while you’re holding my baby. That’s actually not that helpful. Um, it would be great if you could clean my apartment or something like that. So that to this day is still what I lead with.
So we have childcare, like I said, I’m pretty intense on the days that I work, but I often will be able to go join Paul for a class during the day and you know, then it’s up to the nanny to do kind of all the other logistics to get him ready to change his diaper, to get him lunch, to get him to sleep, to, you know, tidy up his nursery to do his laundry.
And I can kind of just get to enjoy the part of being with him where I take him to a class or take him on a playdate. Just enjoy the mom part. So really making sure that when you’re outsourcing things, you save the best for you and that you get to spend the time with them that you want.
And also, this doesn’t mean that you should feel guilty if you don’t always wanna spend time with them, that’s okay too. Um, you should do what works for you. But I think that that is, that’s been really helpful for me. Final thing to touch on is mental health.
I don’t even really know where to begin with this, honestly. I think the best thing I’ve done for my mental health as a mom is delete Instagram for my phone. Um, I definitely would get caught up in the rabbit holes of like stay-at-home mom Instagram.
That would make me feel like I potentially would want to stay home more or that I didn’t feel guilty for going to work like it. I know he’ll be fine because I’m working. I just missed him, miss being with him. I still, I still miss him when I’m gone and it’s so short, you know, they, they grow up so quickly and, and I do think there’s a lot to be gained from that and I’m glad that I listened to a lot of that cause that’s really how I structured a lot of my life.
But, um, we, the thing about stay-at-home mom, at mom say at home mom Instagram is that it looks like they’re just staying at home and being with their kids all the time and fully momming and being really hands-on and getting to do crafts and doing all these things with their kids, but they are still working.
Like, let’s be clear, if you are an Instagram influencer, you’re still working, you’re still on your phone a lot, you’re still distracted, you’re still writing emails, you’re still doing things that like, pretty much I’m doing except I just like what I’m doing a lot more than I’d ever wanna be an influencer.
And I don’t wanna subject my kids to that. Like being an influencer has never been on the radar for me. It’s the temptation of just being home all the time and being totally present as a mom with your kids. Um, but I don’t even think we really get a good taste of that.
So just remember that when you’re seeing other moms that are on Instagram and I’m not trying to like, there’s no one I have in mind that I’m calling out. I just think it’s helpful to remember that like whatever you’re comparing yourself to, um, it probably doesn’t look all that different from what you’re doing anyway.
So that’s been helpful. And then I also worked with a postpartum life coach. She’s, actually, she doesn’t only do postpartum, but she’s a mom and she specializes in it. And I worked with her for the first six months and that was really helpful and it was really nice to do something for myself.
I think I drove her a little crazy because on our calls I’d always be like, I’m gonna go on a walk on our calls or I’m gonna work out. And it was just my way of taking care of myself w in two ways like killing two birds with one stone, taking care of my mental health and my physical health. And I’m sure she’s like, can you please just sit down and like, have this call? But I always wanted to be doing something and it’s just what worked for me.
So that was really helpful. Um, I’m trying to think if there’s anything else really profound that has helped my mental health. I mean I think that my mental health has been as manageable as it has because, um, I have very much taken care of my physical health and made a point to sleep and made a point to, um, put boundaries up around things that aren’t helping me.
My mental health has been the worst when Paul doesn’t sleep, which we’ve had, I would say three tough regressions and they have been extremely difficult Moms out there that go a year or two without sleeping through the night. I envy, admire, I certainly look up to it. It’s not me.
So those have been really dark times. Definitely I have had my moments of feeling like, I don’t know how to do this, but get through. Um, and then the other time that I had a very challenging mental health period was around nine months postpartum, which I actually ended up reading that between nine to 12 months postpartum is peak post.
Um, that is peak postpartum depression time, especially if you’re breastfeeding. There’s something about a dip and hormones that happen around then that really can make you crash. Super challenging around two to three weeks of feeling like I was going in and out of waves of just darkness.
Um, seek professional help, seek therapy, um, consider getting on antidepressants. I’m really just being vulnerable here because I think it’s important to talk about. Didn’t end up needing to, uh, kind of chose not to, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but that wasn’t what I ended up needing to do. Um, and other than that, my mental health has been overall okay.
I have to say. I think I’m very lucky. Um, I have a good support system. I have good physical and mental boundaries. Um, exercise has been huge. Have picked up running during this time and running always makes my day, always makes me feel so much better.
And, and just so much more, uh, present and and grateful.
So this was kind of a long episode, but I just wanted to answer some of the most frequent questions I’ve been getting on motherhood. How unbalancing it, how I’m finding it, how I am doing it, um, how I’m making time for things. And if you have any further questions, feel free to message me.
Overall, I have never, I feel like I’m in the happiest chapter of my life. Sometimes it makes me emotional because I don’t know how I’ll ever be as happy as I am now. Um, I really can’t say enough good things about motherhood and, and I feel so grateful for that.
Cause I know that sometimes it can be a very hard experience for people and, and you know, I have a lot of compassion for that. Um, but I hope that my experience and some of my tips can help you if you are a mom or you’re going to become a mom or you, um, are pregnant.
And, uh, or if you wanna pass this along to someone you know that is a newish mom or will be, um, I hope that it helps. There’s always, you know, value in hearing from others.
And I hope that that’s what you got from this. And I will talk to you guys on the next episode of Your Big’s vision. Bye.
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