On the wedding day, we all imagined that affection would just sustain itself --then a few months into it we all realize that we need to stoke the fires every so often to keep it going and that doesn't just happen as conveniently as it used to before our precious babies came along! However, I quickly learned that taking care of myself is what made me feel sexy.
I am vested enough as a mother, for it to be difficult to remember what life was like before giving birth to a little boy, who by the way, I think is the ‘most incredible’ kid on the planet! I can recall, however, being young, married, energized, "down for whatever" in my marriage and truly feeling myself! Then I got pregnant! Whew...if those 9 months weren't hard enough for me and the hubby. Morning sickness, body feeling like I had turned 75 years old over night...all those ailments would soon pass postpartum. Fast forward to now, 1 year old vibrant little boy, millennial Mom with a full-time job, 2 part time hobbies, building my own business, oh yes and my wonderful husband of 3.5 years. Meanwhile this same Mom is trying to juggle the normal social life that a 26-year-old is "supposed" to have.
I can remember when I first sat back and thought about how overwhelming my life had become. Like, there is no way I should be expected to cook 3-4 times a week, keep my body tight, work this job along with all my side gigs and keep things hot and steamy in the bedroom on demand.
Romance started to fall quite low on my "things to do" list--far below, "Look up what baby's poop color means" and "pick up more puréed sweet potatoes."
I made it very clear to my husband that any unspoken expectations of our past life needed to be put on a hiatus until I got my life together. He was intentional about letting me know that he did not expect me to be super woman, but expected me to still be a wife and a Mom that prioritized herself as well. That was all it took for him to say to help shift my thinking.
Prioritizing myself is what I needed to focus on to keep my life together! So, if that means more take-out dinners during the week when my husband and myself are both working late hours in the office, then so be it. If I start to feel uncomfortable about how my clothes start to fit, I know I am not spending enough time working on myself. I have always had a passion for running as time permits in life, running just puts me and keeps me in a great mood. The ‘high’ I get after an early evening run makes the 30-40 minutes I have to spend away from my family all worth it. Besides the benefit of dropping the majority of the postpartum weight is what really got me going.
If I needed my "Girl time" at the mall or hair salon, I needed to let him know so I can take care of my needs. Did I feel selfish...of course not! Okay, maybe for a second--however, how are we as young mothers supposed to be our "best selves" unless we feel and look the way we desire to? Just keep in mind that everyone around you will benefit from a better YOU! When you short-change your own needs, it will carry over to anyone connected to you; whether it be a bad mood or lack of energy. Shift your thinking… "Happy wife, happy life..." for everyone!
When we can feel sexy as wives, we are more able to keep our husbands happy! Our kids will even notice. More energy, better self-esteem...as Mom-wives we should be intentional about scheduling "us time" into our day. If you have time to cook dinner, fold onesies and look up 'how to purée squash' for the baby, you also have time for You! Planning is the key. 'Going with the flow' became a thing of the past when we brought our babies home. We now must be purposeful about what we do and when. I know that I want to have enough energy for the husband every evening after the baby goes down at 8, so if that leaves me with 2 hours to get prepped for tomorrow, get him bathed and fed, I am intentional about getting it done. If I ate cookies at my desk that day and know that I should work in an hour of cardio, so I can feel better about myself for the day, I schedule it.
Ladies, listen...our husbands WANT us to look and feel good about ourselves. If we do not; they will sense that and it will begin to have effects in our marriage. I almost lost myself in motherhood, I was hiding behind my 30 lb postpartum weight gain, but realized that the more time I re-dedicated back to myself, the more I started to feel better about Me! Today, I feel sexier than I did before having a baby. Not because I finally have almost reached my post-pregnancy weight, but because I feel like I have discovered a better me. My marriage is thriving better than it has ever before and I am being the best mother I know how to be!
Adero J. Munford
Adero J. Munford is a vibrant, young and creative soul with a passion for people. She is a Florida native who currently resides in Winston-Salem, NC with her husband of 3.5 years and bouncy 1-year old son. As a young professional in healthcare, mother, dance coach and assistant pastor’s wife, she is also able to find time to pour into the lives of others through ministry work. Her educational background includes a Bachelors in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida and a Masters Degree in Business.
In order to keep herself grounded she enjoys reading, working out and shopping whenever she finds a chance. The best advice she has to give any young millennial woman is to, “Prioritize yourself always, and everything else in your life will benefit from you being ‘the BEST you!’
Facebook: Adera Munford