How are you finding rest in motherhood this week? This is the question that I asked myself today as I sat down to record this episode. Simply put? I’m choosing to be kinder to myself. It can be so easy to start beating ourselves up and make ourselves feel like we are doing a bad job or we’re not doing enough as moms. But the more we kind of get into these kinds of negative narratives, the worse we feel. So how can we step out of this mindset and into one that is more nurturing, more forgiving, and more beneficial to us and our children? Let’s talk about it on this episode of Resting in Motherhood. I can’t wait to hear how you’re going to take care of yourself this week!
- Why self-care in motherhood is not taking a shower or getting yourself fed, and what we should aim for instead
- How Brittni’s early motherhood experience was drastically different than her expectations
- Breaking the silence on the thought/fear of hating motherhood
- What motherhood looked like for Brittni after getting a divorce and how this led to burnout
- The steps that Brittni took to heal herself on her solo days of parenting to feel whole again
Baby sleep have you feeling like taking care of yourself is a distant dream? Check out my comprehensive sleep course Resting in the First Year to find more rest for both yourself and your little one, it also has a full module on taking care of yourself!
Read a raw, unedited trasncript of this episode.
Hello, hello. I am so excited to be here today for my first ever episode of the Resting in Motherhood podcast. Thank you for choosing to spend your time with me today. This podcast has been a labor of love. It’s been something that I’ve been wanting to do for so long. And so I’m so excited to start this journey with you. Something that I’ll do at the beginning of every episode, whether it be just myself or a guest that I’m interviewing is ask them or myself how I’m currently finding rest in motherhood. And so as I sat down today to talk to you and chat, I asked myself, how am I finding rest in motherhood right now? And that answer is simply by being kind to myself. It can be so easy to start beating ourselves up. make ourselves feel like we are doing a bad job or we’re not doing enough. And the more we kind of get into those narratives, the worse we feel as mothers. And then we actually end up being more impatient. We end up having bigger dysregulation. we end up having more dysregulation in our days. And so instead of we can choose to be kind to ourselves and really treat ourselves the way we would treat our children or treat our best friend, I often find that motherhood feels a lot easier when I’m nicer to myself. So my way that I’m finding rest in motherhood right now is simply by being kind to myself. And this is a great segue into what we’re gonna be talking about today. because this is a total 180 from my first two years of motherhood. And before I dive into today’s topic, I want to thank you all for joining me today. I’m going to be sharing a few of my favorite moments from my first two years of motherhood And before I dive into today’s story, let me ask you, mama, when was the last time that you did something only for yourself? Can you actually remember? And if it was recently, how did it make you feel? Today’s episode is so near and dear to my heart because it’s been my biggest lesson thus far in motherhood. You see, motherhood rocked my world as I’m sure it did for you. It fundamentally changed who I was and how I saw the world, and it has taught me so many lessons. But one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way is just how important it is to take care of myself. And I don’t mean just showering and eating nutritious meals while these are very important things. And I know we hear this a lot, but we need to actually use it in our own lives as mothers. And unfortunately, it took a really hard wake up call for me to realize this in my own motherhood journey. We often see how important quote self-care is, but we don’t know what that looks like in motherhood. We don’t know how to incorporate it into our lives while our whole existence is now centered. while our whole existence is now centered around taking care of another human. I came into motherhood completely unprepared for what it was going to be like. I heard about the sleepless nights, knew that toddlers were hard, but I totally underestimated how much my life would change. I imagined my maternity leave being a time of cooking, relaxing with my baby, doing cute outings, and so much more. And what I was met with was a drastically different reality, which I’m sure you can relate to. Cooking was not happening, showering was a luxury, going out of the house felt completely scary and overwhelming. Sleep became an obsession and it was all I worried about. On top of that, I turned into what felt like a milk cow. My body no longer felt like mine. My body looked different and it felt completely different. Not only was I left with a baby to get to know, I was left with a stranger when I looked in the mirror. And as the months went on, I feel like I lost myself even more. My sole identity was mother. Taking time for myself felt totally undoable. And if I did imagine it, feelings of glout. And if I did imagine it, feelings of guilt clouded in. My now ex-husband, husband at the time, would stay with Lila while I did basic things like take a shower or run to Target, but time for me, truly time for me, forget it. If I had to dig deep here, I would say that taking time for myself was scary for a few reasons. I had this image in my head that in order to be a good mom, I needed to be with her 24 seven. like doing things for myself automatically made me a quote, bad mom. On top of that, I felt like this intense. On top of that, I felt this intense desire to control literally everything. I felt like I knew best and in many ways I did, but the thought of leaving my daughter with someone, even her dad or my mom, who I am very close to, to do something that wasn’t completely necessary, felt irresponsible and scary. Looking back, I know those feelings weren’t fact, but in those days, they felt like my only reality. My life continued this way for over two years. Obviously, Lila, my daughter, grew and some things got easier. We left the house more, sleep got, quote, easier, breastfeeding became second nature, but this disconnection from myself really remained. I didn’t know what I liked to do anymore. I didn’t like how I felt in my body. I had completely stopped taking care of myself. No makeup ever. no hair done, and sweats for my uniform because they hid the parts of myself that I didn’t like seeing. And I wanna just say quickly that it’s not necessary to do your makeup every day. If you don’t like doing your makeup every day, don’t do it. But for me, putting on a fresh face of makeup does make me feel fresh. It’s a little bit of self-care. And so for me, I kind of just started turning into this person that… was just trying to like blend into my environment and not stick out at all. I had truly stopped caring about myself. This left me with very little patience with my daughter. I felt irritated and anxious upon waking each morning and little things were setting me off on a regular basis. I quite honestly wasn’t enjoying motherhood and would even go so far as to say that I often felt like I hated being a mom. I’m just gonna take a moment of silence for that statement because I think this is a statement that we all have felt at some point, even if it’s in the deep, deep dark depths of our hearts or our minds and we would be so afraid to say it out loud. But I think it’s something that we often feel. And it doesn’t mean that we hate our children. It doesn’t mean that we don’t love our children. It’s just that being a mom is truly so hard. And when we’re not getting the support that we need or the self care that we need, we can feel these feelings of resentment towards this incredibly huge role in our life. So if you’re feeling that way now, or you’ve felt it and you’ve been embarrassed to say it or even think it, I see you. I’ve felt that, and it doesn’t make you a bad mom. But then something happened within all of this in my motherhood journey. I had lost myself. I really wasn’t enjoying motherhood. And then my marriage ended. I want to be clear here and say that my marriage didn’t end because of parenting differences or really anything parenthood related. There were cracks from before parenthood that widened with time. The beginning of my separation was a roller coaster of emotions and figuring out how to simply solo parent. And then came his scheduled time with her. And this is where a glaring, gaping hole appeared in my life. I went from being a mom 24-7 to having almost 12 hours of me time during the week. And I had zero idea what to do with this time. This time was incredibly uncomfortable for me. I was left with a stranger, myself. What did I like? No idea. What did I need? No idea. How should I spend this free time? No idea. Who was I? No idea. And so I filled this time with work instead of taking some much needed rest and relaxation time, I worked. I worked hard. And then I ended up not only being burnt out in motherhood, but I was burnt out as a business owner. All because I was so unfamiliar with who I was and the thought of simply being with myself and truly taking care of myself felt really uncomfortable. I was bitter as a mom, tired, overwhelmed, and I started feeling the same toward my business. It was the lowest point of motherhood for me. I knew something had to change. I knew that I deserved more and that Lila deserved more. She deserved more than a mom who hardly had the… She deserved more than a mom who hardly had the energy nor emotional bandwidth to show up each day and love her like she actually needed. So I took a really scary step. I got a gym membership. One of my absolute favorite hobbies before motherhood was working out. I was there five days a week. I loved it. I worked up right until I gave birth to Lila. And then working out just slipped out of my life. So I started going to the gym. on my solo days. The more I moved my body and the more I took this sacred time for myself, the more I started to feel whole. I had more energy, I started feeling good about myself, and then I took this a step further. I started planning fun outings with my mom and sister during my solo days. Shopping trips, trips to Trader Joe’s, fun lunches, and this new person inside of me started emerging. A more confident mother. calmer mother, a more present mother, a mother who realized that while my daughter is the most important thing in my life, I matter too. And by showing up for myself, I’m better able to show up for her. And guess what? The more I took care of myself, the more I took time for myself, the easier it became. I started adding in other I started adding in other activities like acupuncture, going to the chiropractor, going to the infrared sauna, getting a pedicure, meeting a girlfriend for lunch or dinner. Not all of these in one single free day, although that would be amazing. But I mixed them in and I started realizing how much I truly loved the person I had become in these last two years. I realized that while I was in the thick of it, not taking care of myself, a new person had been growing all along. A confident mother, a strong woman, and someone who I would have looked up to when I was younger. And I realized that there was nothing about me to hate or dislike. It was just that I didn’t know who I had become. I realized that while motherhood, especially solo motherhood, is extremely hard, it can still be extremely joyful. I so regret the amount of time I waited to start taking care of myself. I waited two long years before I started taking care of Mama Mi. Two years that were so hard. Unbelievably hard. And I don’t think that doing things for myself would have made them easy, but I do think it would have made them easier and more bearable, and it would have helped me show up in a different way, a more rested way. It would have helped me show up with more patience. And the lesson has been this. And this lesson has been my biggest lesson to date. Taking care of myself is essential to showing up as the best mom that I can be. And my daughter missed out on that version of me for two solid years. I want to acknowledge that my divorce forced this time in my face, but I so wish that I could go back in time and start nurturing myself from the very beginning. I would let go of that guilt. I would prioritize myself to And I would not feel bad about doing things for myself, even little things. I would take advantage of having a partner and I would lean on him more. I don’t think that this would have changed the outcome of our marriage. In fact, I know it wouldn’t have, but I know for a fact that it would have helped my mental health tremendously, and it would have helped his relationship with Lila, our daughter. It would have given me time to get to know the new me. I spent two years not liking her and hardly knowing her. And what a shame. What a shame that I wasted two years not nurturing this new being, this new mother, two years gone. So whether you’re a solo mom or you’re in a relationship, my message for you today is to nurture yourself. It doesn’t need to be a full spa day. Although I’m not recommending this because I think we all need a full spa day. But it could be as simple as you need it to be. It’s going to feel uncomfortable in the beginning. It will probably bring up some feelings of guilt, uncomfortable feelings as you get to know the new you. But if you can remind yourself that by filling your cup, you are better able to fill your child’s cup or your children’s cup. It feels a lot easier. If you don’t have a big support system. Find ways to infuse joy and nurturing into your life. Go for a walk each day, sit in the sun, listen to your favorite playlist, read a book during a contact nap, listen to an ebook or an audio book while doing a contact nap. The important part here is that you are intentionally nurturing yourself and getting to know who you are in this new role. The more regularly you do it, the easier it becomes until taking care of yourself becomes a regular part of your life. There’s a beautiful, beautiful quote that I love by L.R. Nost. She says, taking care of myself doesn’t mean me first. It means me too. And this is the lesson. You matter too, mama. Your experience matters too. So what’s one thing you can do for yourself today? Whether it be big or small. I want you to think of something that you can do for yourself and go do it. Whether it is going to get a cup of coffee, whether it’s texting a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, whether it’s going for a walk or shoot big and say, you know what, I’m going to go get a massage. I’m going to go get my nails done. Whatever that may be, do something for yourself. And it might be nothing on that list. It might be something completely different that truly brings you joy and peace and rest. And the other thing I’ll say that has really helped me in motherhood is journaling. Getting my thoughts on paper, just doing a mind dump, has helped me so much in motherhood, just kind of reflect, get through my day. I usually do it either at the beginning of the day or the end of the day. And it really just helps me first connect to where I’m at and then also just get anything that’s out. out of me. And that also to me is a pure form of self care because I’m taking intentional time for myself. I’m spending time with myself. I’m constantly evolving as a mom. I’m constantly evolving as a business owner. You’re constantly evolving as a mom, as a person, as a friend, as a partner. We’re all constantly evolving, but it is so important to continue to get to know ourselves as we evolve. And as mothers, the more we can take care of ourselves, the better we are able to take care of our children. So what is that one thing you can do for yourself today? How can you find rest in motherhood this week?