Everything I used to get out of bed for pre-baby, I can longer can do with a baby.

New Kate: Can’t run to the car park meter

Old Kate: Run to work

Old Kate: Laugh

New Kate: Laughter only accompanied with wetting myself

Old Kate:  Size 8 everywhere/always

New Kate: Size 12/14 with weight not shifting for 8 weeks despite exercise, eating clean and breastfeeding

Old Kate: Worked  

New Kate: Haven’t touched a powerpoint slide in 3 months

Since having Edie my body and purpose in life has completely changed and it has done so, so very quickly. I worry that having time off work means I’ve delayed a possible promotion and that when I do go back to work people won’t think I’m as serious about my career as I was in the past, and this may hinder potential opportunities.  I worry that I’ll never get my body confidence or my body back to where it was. I worry that I will never be able to take Edie on a trampoline without embarrassing myself.

It turns out that I’m not alone in my lack of confidence. Researchers from the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands* surveyed more than 84,000 pregnant women during pregnancy, and up to three years after their babies were born. They found that even three years after having a baby, most women still hadn’t regained the self confidence they had before pregnancy. The researchers noted several possible reasons for a decline in self-esteem during pregnancy, including physical changes to the body, rampant hormones, stress over the baby’s development, and concerns about the future.

During one night when I was up all night, maybe the high levels of prolactin combined with the pain of Edie chewing my nipple off gave me a moment of clarity. I thought what makes me happy which in turn gives me confidence. Seems like I’m a pretty simple being, I came up with the following four things:   

  1. Exercise
  2. Being social
  3. Using my brain  
  4. Being outside

And then I came up with the 30 minute rule. Every day I make sure I spend 30 minutes exercising, being social, using my brain and being outside. After Edie is fed and changed I usually have about 30 minutes of magic time when she’s a very happy chappy, this gives me a little bit of me time.

This allows me to exercise – obviously you can’t go nuts in the early days as you’re core was left in the delivery room but light yoga has been absolutely fine, or take baby out for a little walk.

Being social – think coffee, lunches, dinners, facetiming, anything that allows you to engage with another adult

Using my brain – read a book, write a blog, journal, listen to a podcast, read a newspaper, watch a documentary, do some life admin, cook, take an online course

Being outside – usually a walk with Edie as I’m sure fresh air must be good for her too. Although how much fresh air she gets with us living close to the south circular is debatable    

So everyday I try to find time to exercise, be social, use my brain and be outside. 30 minutes isn’t always 30 minutes and is often 5. However, doing what seems like these simple things has really helped to bring my confidence back, maybe it’s the structure in an otherwise very unstructured day, maybe it’s focusing on simple things that make me happy, but whatever it is I’ve found it really works.

I mean I’m nowhere near my pre baby body weight and I haven’t written a novel but I do feel happy and most importantly so is baby Edie.

*https://osf.io/xv4np/

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