*We know it can be hard to get out the door when you’re a new mom. So we’ve partnered with Munchkin to share real stories & strategies from real moms that will help motivate you to get out the door and get into your mom flow. Below, Instagram mama and MTHR Collective founder Liz Franco shares her postpartum story.
As a first-time mom, I didn’t really know what to expect with my baby. But I’d see a lot of my favorite moms on Instagram looking perfectly coiffed, out and about with their newborn in a picturesque ring sling, and I thought that was “the norm.”
The reality was a little bit different than that. The anxiety that came with getting out the door with my baby tended to be overwhelming and, to be quite honest, sometimes still is. I had no idea how long it actually took to pack a diaper bag and get us dressed. Sometimes (actually a lot of times!), Walker would decide to take a nap at the exact time we needed to be somewhere, so that definitely was a forced adjustment to our schedule.
I felt like we’d spend so much time getting ready to leave that by the time we got there, I was too stressed to enjoy whatever was going on. Not being able to control the conditions I’d be walking into was difficult. If we got invited to a party, sometimes it would be too loud or there would be too many people or it would just be too SOMETHING, and then I’d just want to go home to my quiet, baby-friendly environment.
I remember we made a trip to the store 6 days postpartum, and I was wearing Walker in a wrap with his little head poking out. A woman in line next to me was amazed that I was out with him already and I felt pretty accomplished! But there were many days we didn’t even leave the house.
The feeling of isolation you have with a new baby was something I was not prepared for. The thing is, after talking to other moms about it, it’s such a common obstacle and I wish it was talked about more. Even during pregnancy, people stop inviting you out; certain friendships change. People assume you don’t want to or can’t be social anymore. Once baby is here, you feel alone even though you are literally never actually, physically alone. Because of that, I did find that I began isolating myself. Coupled with some moderate postpartum anxiety, it just felt easier to stay home at first.
I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to find a tribe of other mamas, especially when you’re dealing with postpartum anxiety/depression. It truly is a special sort of club where these other women just get it. I have a pretty diverse group of mom groups on Facebook and Instagram, but there’s nothing more important than finding other women that are new to motherhood who I can get together with for coffee, and a walk in the park, or a dinner and wine night after the babes are sound asleep.
It was also part of the reason why my business partner and I came up with the idea for MTHR Collective. We both were up working our “night owl office hours,” chatting about the day’s trials and tribulations of motherhood, and how we wished we could go on a retreat somewhere together with other moms and reset our creative spirit kid-free, if only for a few days. It suddenly dawned on us that this concept was virtually non-existent and felt compelled and passionate about pioneering this restful sisterhood. Our first retreat is taking place this fall and we are beyond excited to bring together moms just like us who need this well-deserved break, where we can share our stories and experiences as creative mothers.
But even if a kid-free weekend isn’t possible, it’s so important to join an online mom group, and schedule play dates/meetups. I even try to get together with one of my mama friends at least once every couple of weeks without the kids for some coffee and full sentence conversations.
And…it gets easier as time goes on! Now, that my son is almost a year old and we have our routine down, we’re pretty good about getting out of the house. But we definitely still have some harder days.
My best advice for the mama going THROUGH it right now is to utilize your village, whatever that looks like. Don’t be afraid to ASK YOUR PEOPLE FOR HELP. Above all else, please know that you are doing a great job!
Photography by D. Lillian for Well Rounded.
SHOP MUNCHKIN’S ESSENTIALS FOR GETTING OUT THE DOOR