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When it comes to enjoying postpartum, expectations can make or break it. So it's incredibly important to adjust our expectations to meet the season.
There are a few expectations that you may not realize you've placed on yourself that need to be thrown overboard to keep this postpartum ship afloat. Here are ten game-changing things you can quickly unload to create a radiant, joyful experience after childbirth.
1. The Organic thing
I am a health nut. A nut, I tell you. And by that I mean I study clean eating and the food industry like it’s my job. (It’s not.) I care A LOT about what I put into my body and feed my family. But there’s a time and place. And postpartum is neither. When it comes to feeding yourself and your family, do what you can. Do what you have time for. Do what makes you happy.
2. Saving the earth
Remember the thing about time and place? Here again. If dishes stress you and no one else is doing them, switch to paper and plastic for a few weeks. No shame. Seriously, the earth will not fail on account of your two weeks of paper and plastic. You’ll get back to recycling and dishwashing like a boss—later.
3. Pinterest Mommying
Some wise person once said 'Don’t compare someone else’s highlight reel to your behind the scenes.' And my friend, ALL of the people have a behind the scenes. And it’s not the put-together crafty perfection that you’re seeing. Break free from the shackles of homemade baby food, busy bags, perfectly planned parties, or whatever your Pinterest poison is. Love yourself, love your kids. Keep it simple.
4. Screen Time Stringency
Let’s establish this here: Screen time is ok during postpartum. You have a lot going on. Let yourself off a hook or three, and go put on that movie for your kids. (This coming from a mama with a guilt complex over screen time. There will be posts on this later.) Grace, friend. We all need more of it.
If you’re that person that gets it done/that never says no/is always committed and on the ball: Now is your time to take a break. If you’re not committed: DON’T. If you are: Take a sabbatical. Easy Volunteering Rule #1: If you’re not being paid, don’t do it. Not right now, anyway.
6. Working out
I am SO FOR working out. I love how it makes me feel (other than like I’m going to die). As your doc has probably told you, working out right after baby is going to have to look nonexistent, and then right after that, really gentle. So go easy on yourself if you’re not jumping right back into that P90X routine or half marathon training.
You can have visitors. Stop concerning yourself with hosting. In fact, assigning these visitors something to do while you sit in your PJ’s with your unwashed hair and messy kitchen staring at the baby in your arms is not just acceptable, it is the most perfect thing to do. And all of the good visitors will be so happy that you’re doing it, rather than hosting them.
8. Your Pre-pregnancy wardrobe
Still the goal. Just not now. Not for a while. And its ok. Keep those maternity clothes going. Get yourself some new jeggings. Wear it proud, my friend. This body with these extra layers just grew a new, beautiful person. (Want some ideas for your postpartum wardrobe? Here’s some love.)
9. Everyone else’s expectations
Give ‘em right up. You just don’t need that.
This isn't the season for perfect anything. Women don’t have babies and just ‘bounce back’, no matter what the storybooks say. This is an adjustment, a joy, a season to savor. It is messy and triumphant and exhausting and beautiful and sometimes isolated and lonely. It is brutal and also touched with wonder. Let it be all of the things. Don’t let perfection near it.
While giving up these ten things will absolutely help you enjoy a peaceful, radiant postpartum, there is one rule: No Guilt. Do your best to give yourself TONS of grace for this season, and allow yourself to fully appreciate the freedom and joy that comes from loosening the standards a bit while you recuperate and adjust.
What's the one thing you feel you most need to give up?