If you haven't met me yet, I'm Deja. A 35-year old artist and mom to a 4 year old boy. Becoming a mother was never anything I had planned or even dreamed about. It was a huge surprise and life changer that I am beyond grateful for. But it wasn't easy at first. In fact, it was absolutely terrifying and exhausting. At the time, all of my family lived out of state or at least 2 hours away, so it was just me most of the time and I had some help from my son's dad. But it didn't feel enough. It was overwhelming.
I know not a lot of moms can relate to me. Especially those who have help from husbands, parents, siblings or nannies. But I didn't have that kind of help most of the time and I had to focus on not only raising a son, but growing a business from home because when my son was born, I also made the decision to quit my full-time job and be with my son. This was not a popular decision among my family which led me to move in with my sister, boyfriend and their 3 kids. I went from a cozy apartment to a house with 7 people. It was not an easy adjustment because I still didn't allow others to help me, I had trust issues and my son was very attached to me and I honored that.
Even 1 year later, I still didn't have a grip on my new life. I was very protective of my son and had a very hard time letting others watch him which was probably the reason I was so worn out. It felt like every time I went to shower or take a bath, my son would cry. I even tried to keep him in his little rocker next to my bathtub and he would still cry. This new life, the hormones, led to post-partum depression and many tears. Luckily, I came out of that on my own.
When my son was about 1 or 2 years old, I was taking a bath and it hit me. I was sick of being a victim and crying all the time. Feeling sorry for myself. This wasn't like me. It was one of those rare moments I would realize, this wasn't going to be the rest of my life. My son was growing up and he would eventually be old enough to understand and respect my alone time. That I would one day be able to take long baths again, and read books, and sleep all night uninterrupted. It was that moment, in that bathtub when I made a decision. That I was going to find a way to have more self-care and me time. I had neglected my body over the past 1-2 years. I missed important doctor appointments and wasn't living healthy. I literally always put my son first. It wasn't fair to me and it wasn't fair to him either. Because I know he wouldn't want to be the reason that I was hurting so much. And I knew if I would begin to take better care of myself, we would both be happier and it would also help me be a better mom. Happy mom, happy child. The first thing I did was start taking baths with my son. He got to splash around and I got to lay down with bubbles. Sometimes, I'd watch a show on my iPad. It was pure heaven. I loved it. I truly loved taking baths with my son and he did too. It was then I realized there was a lot of opportunity for me to enjoy myself. My entire perception has changed and since that day I have so much fun taking my son places because I either end up having fun with him or I take that opportunity to sit and draw, read or listen to music while he plays.
I Immediately wanted to share this with other new moms who felt hopeless and drained. That there was a way, but also it was something they had to make a conscious decision to do. Once you make that decision, that commitment to yourself and your needs, your entire life changes. So I'm here to give you hope that you can do it and you deserve it! It is for that reason, I created a 44 card self-care activity card deck that not only moms love, but all women who want to be more mindful about their self-care rituals.
Here's a list of 15 things you can try as a new mom:
1. Paint your nails or go to a salon
2. Take a bath with your baby, or alone if you can get away with it
3. Read a book while your baby naps or plays
4. Go for a nature walk together
5. Listen to some music, podcast, or audiobook.
6. Write in your journal, write affirmations or make a gratitude list.
7. Do some fitness. You can go for a jog, or do some squats while holding your baby.
8. Sing! Singing is full of positive uplifting energy.
9. Watch a funny movie. You can do this together or on your phone/tablet while your baby sleeps/plays
10. Dance girl! Dance with your baby, they will love it!
11. Take a nap together, you both deserve that rest
12. Write a blog! Talk about your experience, share something with others
13. Tidy up. This may not be a fun one, but you'll feel so much better after decluttering!
14. Go to the park, and swing on the swings, go down the slide with your little one(s)
15. Get yourself a gift! Don't forget to reward yourself!
Today, my son and I are closer than any 2 people I've ever seen. He loves to see me happy and respects my alone time. When I glow, he sees it and he glows.
If you're feelin' wild, try my self-care activity deck and let the fates decide which self-care activity is best for you that day!
Are you a full-time mom? What do you struggle with? How have you found time for yourself?
I'm just an artist, full-time mom trying to build an empire.
I'm Deja. I will be sharing personal stories of manifestation and more.