“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.” --Maya AngelouThese babies. They come into the world and we dive deep into parenthood. If you're in the toddler phase or beyond, you can probably barely remember those first few months of infancy. It was a haze. A glorious fog of diapers, wardrobe changes, feedings, and sleep. Two-hour stretches (three, if you were lucky) of the same, same, same. Because of a parent's innate commitment to his or her child, we leave little time for ourselves. We're ALL IN--the kind of love Maya Angelou references above. "Who was I before this child arrived?" But good news: The fog lifts. You start to get in a rhythm, and there's time (albeit, limited) for you again. We asked a few of our favorite moms the moment they remembered who they are, when they felt a few inches of themselves eek back into life.
"It was the first time I went out with my girlfriends to dinner about a month after having my first son. I hadn't gone out to a restaurant since Jacob was born, so I remember being so excited to put on "real" clothing--a step up from my stained nursing tank and lived-in sweats. I didn't do anything special to my hair, or even put on makeup, but just wearing (my maternity) jeans and going to dinner with my friends felt like such a special moment for me.
We talked for a couple hours and caught up on life and bad reality TV. It felt so normal, and while of course I know I showed off baby photos, I was able to have a dinner that felt a bit like my life before having a baby. And I also enjoyed the pace of a long uninterrupted meal and the filled donuts at Flex Mussels. Highly recommend :)" --Cheryl, mom to Jacob and Will
"For me it was going back to work. Even though I was really sad about leaving the baby to be taken care of by someone else all day, being able to shower in the morning with the rest of society (instead of any rare moment I could get a chance to), wearing clothes all day that didn't have spit up on them, putting on makeup, having adult conversations, and using my brain again in a work setting...that made me feel like me again. I realized quickly I need to be working--staying at home isn't for me. That said, I spent many sessions in the pumping room that first month back crying while watching my son in his crib on my dropcam app." --Gina, mom to Sebastian and Colette
***"I was one of those women who really loved breastfeeding. I live in Park Slope so it’s almost against the law to bottle feed and as crazy as it sounds now, I think I was afraid to give it up. But I was starting to feel anxious. It was the winter and snowing all the time and I felt incredibly isolated. I was still watching what I ate and drank and there was a limit to how long I could be away. I knew the time had come.
A few nights after I stopped, my husband took me to Nobu for a celebratory sushi dinner. We shared a big carafe of saki and I hate all the raw fish I could consume. We laughed so hard and I remember just being out on the town in Manhattan and thinking how glamorous it all seemed after months in new mom zombie mode. It was so liberating and I was also excited to go home to my precious baby—and give her a bottle of formula!
That was a night I will always remember!" --Selene, mom to Jade and Dylan and founder of The Gain
"I had a lot of complications with my son's delivery and was physically impaired for about two years until I finally decided holistic efforts weren't working and I'd have to get major surgery to repair the damage the resulted from the birth. For two years I was pretty limited in my outings because of the discomfort and inconvenience of the condition. I threw myself into work because it required minimal physical activity (sitting at a desk) and it was mentally distracting. But things got worse and surgery became the only option if I was going to resume a normal life. The surgery required about two weeks of rest and then three months of rehabilitation. I didn't feel like myself again until about another few months after that. I can't pinpoint a single moment, it was more like interior acknowledgements along the way--getting through a workout without doubling over, taking a road trip without stopping every 45 minutes to go to the bathroom, finally feeling unselfconscious again in my favorite jeans. Fitting back into and feeling cute in your favorite jeans post-pregnancy has become a cliche, but I can tell you it's a very real milestone." --Isabel, mom to Beck
"I distinctly remember feeling like me again the first time my husband and I sent to the movies post-baby. I think our daughter was about 6 months old, and my in-laws had offered to babysit so we could enjoy ourselves out in the world. We went to see Juno...at night! I'll never forget. I hadn't experienced the city without pushing a stroller or wearing a baby on my chest for a long period of time.
There are few moments more enjoyable that the luxury of sitting through the previews in a theater, not worrying about whether your infant has gone down for their nap easily. (Ok, maybe just minimal worrying.)" --Maureen, mom to Clemens and Wes
"I remember feeling really alive and accomplished when I pulled it together enough to get dressed and go out in the world for breakfast with friends. I felt euphoric and super chatty, like I had been cooped up too long. I took my daughter, Vera, too. She slept in her stroller the whole time--which is probably why I didn't feel like "crazy mom." I still remember she was wearing a tiny sweater dress and tights...which would definitely not happen these days!" --Wendy, mom to Vera and Bruno
Even if you can't get out of the house, getting a minute to yourself to scroll Instagram or drink your coffee while it's still hot can be enough to keep you afloat in babyworld. That's why bloom's founding dads created the coco go bouncer. Give baby a place to rock, bounce, or simply sit while you take a minute. Bonus: In and adult-friendly color palette, it looks pretty great in your living room.