When you’re a new mom, you can forget about yourself. Every waking moment, you are focused on one thing: keeping a tiny human being alive and happy. Everything else––even your own well-being––seems like an afterthought.
And then the negativity spiral kicks in: toxic messages we’ve learned from social media, magazines, and TV about our appearance and our abilities can creep in, making us feel trapped, alone or defeated. We feel guilty for gaining weight or being too tired to exercise. We worry about keeping up with our careers while being the parents our kids need.
Shapermint Gal Schanita knows your pain. When she gave birth to her first child, it was just her and her baby.
“My husband actually didn't come to the states until five months after my son was born.” Schanita told us. “So it was all mommy. I got two-minute showers squeezed in every day. And with breastfeeding being a 24 hour job, it was just like...hair, skin, everything, me..out the window.”
When she looked in the mirror, the negative messages she had learned from well-meaning but critical teachers and parents told her she wasn’t doing enough.
“Reprimanding yourself...keeps you from moving forward,” she says. “Because it's taking the headspace that you need to dedicate to actually moving forward.”
Check out this video to learn how Schanita is learning to find her way back to herself after motherhood:
When you say “NO” to the negative messages you’re getting from the world about what mothers should be, and say “YES” to the mom you really are, you’ll discover the strong, beautiful person you’ve become after having kids.
Thanks for sharing your story, Schanita! Stay amazing, mama!
So, my name is Schanita Ratnayake and I'm from the Bronx! I'm a new yorker.
Being pregnant... it was something I really always looked forward to. So, that was really cool.
After having him... you know, you forget about yourself. My husband actually didn't come to The States until five months after my son was born. So it was all mommy. I got 2 minutes showers every day and breastfeeding being a 24 hour job, it was just like hair, skin, everything me out the window.
But I wouldn't trade it for anything. He is an amazing little boy, hanging out with him and spending time with him. It is definitely time that I'm starting to... you know, get back to me. In terms of you know, being healthy, taking care of my skin, exercising, all those sorts of things.
I wish I had been able to balance myself a little bit better at the beginning. But, you know... better late than never.
So I talk to myself in my head a lot, that's throughout the day.
Talking about my day and saying good things about myself. Or negative things: "Ok shouldn't have done that", "That wasn't the right thing to do"... but I do find that the positive times are a lot fewer. Than, probably, the negative ones.
So, now I'm at a stage in my life where I'm trying to not only train myself to, be more positive in my self talk. But doing it also for my son, because I don't want him to... to have, you know, the same Issues that I do with my negative self talk.