It’s been seven weeks since the birth of our beautiful baby Isla and I wanted to check in and share a little update on how the post-baby staycation went this time around after we decided to hole up and really soak in some family time for ourselves. After Paisley was born - I felt a lot of pressures; learning how to mom, pressure to make sure we welcomed all our friends and family eager to meet her, pressure to maintain our relationship to it’s pre-kid status. Trying to hold myself to some impossible standard, combined with the beautiful chaos that undoubtably comes with a first baby, really took a toll on me both mentally and physically. It was not a pleasant experience and definitely played a part in my recovery from postpartum depression.
It wasn't all bad news however, I learned a lot about myself in that first year and it really unleashed a lot of inner strength that I used to get my stuff together and adjust to a new normal. One thing it did teach me were a few life saving measures I knew I would want to take for baby #2 - starting off my journey towards the post-baby staycation. The basic concept of the post-baby staycation is to forgo some of the traditional pressures and expectations put on new moms even in the early weeks after delivery. Essentially you unplug, stay cozy and wait to share your little one with friends and family until you and baby have both had enough time to recover and adjust. For me this meant no hospital visits, getting off social media and leaving the welcome baby meet and greets at least a few weeks. No trips across town with a newborn, no need to respond to countless check in messages, and time to enjoy our new baby to ourselves.
Admittedly I wasn’t entirely able to stay off social media the first few weeks but I certainly cut back significantly. Everything else I had hoped for however, I was able to honour for myself, for Isla and for our family. My mood this time around was so much better, although I was still tired from the newborn feeding schedule I was less foggy, certainly less judgemental of myself and it allowed me to soak in so many lovely moments with both Isla and Paisley. Things that came in handy for us were definitely all of the freezer meals we stocked up on ahead of time. I filled our freezer with some of my own ready to cook recipes and a whole whack from one of my favourite local businesses Simply Supper. My husband also took the first week off of work to stay with us at home, having him around and all to ourselves was so lovely. We are a very social family so we are often out visiting friends or on the go with one activity or another, having us all together just home for one week was such a gift and definitely made me realize the importance of slowing down like that a bit more often. I set some clear boundaries with our core friends and family ahead of time letting them know about my staycation wishes, of course they were so amazing and supportive, we are very lucky to have them in our lives. In the end it was mostly about setting expectations at the door, being kind to myself and really soaking in time together just the four of us.
I sometimes feel like we put so much time and energy into caring for ourselves when we’re pregnant, and as soon as that kiddo is out in the world we can forget that our bodies are still recovering. For me postpartum recovery has been just a critical as proper prenatal care, and to all of the other moms out there approaching their due dates, or those who are struggling post delivery try to remember just to be kind to yourself. I know I am the best mom and partner when I make sure my own well-being is looked after first. It’s not selfish, it doesn’t make you a bad mom and you are most definitely worth it.
Shoutout to all those who’ve been there for us- you know who you are, it truly takes a village, and we love you <3