Many new mothers find it difficult to maintain their own identities once the baby arrives. We explore ways to fulfill your spiritual needs, both as a mother and a person.
As most new mamas know all too well, taking care of a newborn doesn’t leave much time for…well, anything else. Yet it is vital to your well-being (and sanity) to find a way to take a few minutes each day to explore who you are—apart from being somebody’s mom. Whether it means taking five minutes during your son’s nap or giving Grandma an hour with the baby every week, taking time for yourself will provide the rejuvenation you’ll need if you want to make it to kindergarten. Learn to balance nurturing your spirit and your baby by incorporating one or more of these simple suggestions into your routine.
Keep a journal. Renee Trudeau, career and life balance coach and author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life, says that you can start journaling before your baby is even born. Don’t know what to write about? Trudeau suggests that moms-to-be or new moms “reflect on what in her life she is grateful for, what kind of day she wants to experience and how she is feeling in the moment.”
Meditate or pray. Even if you were not the most spiritual or religious person before having your baby, Trudeau says, “questions about your life purpose, connection to a higher power and a desire to deepen involvement in or join a spiritual community are issues that come up for many new mothers.” If joining or renewing your membership in an organized religion sounds appealing to you, keep in mind that many places of worship offer daycare services, so you won’t have to worry about your little one while you’re strengthening the spiritual connection you desire. If traditional religions aren’t your cup of tea, taking a few minutes to meditate or reflect on your thoughts and feelings can still be a surprisingly refreshing habit to form.
Take yoga. Any form of exercise is not only good for getting your body back in shape, but can also give your frazzled mind the break it deserves. Yoga is an especially good choice for busy moms because it feeds both your physical and spiritual needs in one class. Join a gym that offers daycare or consider taking a mommy and me yoga class if you can’t bear to leave baby at home. You’ll be surprised how relaxing a fitness class can be!
Volunteer. Trudeau suggests “volunteering (with your child) to help a family in need” in order to “connect with your essence and remember what’s really important to you.” This will not only set a good example for your child, but it can help to expand your mind. Being a mother can be such an all-encompassing job that it’s sometimes difficult to remember what else is out there. As hard as your life may be at the moment, it can be grounding to remember how fortunate you are in the grand scheme of things, and uplifting to see the difference you can make.