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If you feel like motherhood is hard - you're not alone.
For me, becoming a mother was one of the most anticipated events of my life. It was a dream come true. I really wanted to have kids. And then I had kids… AND I realized it was one of the hardest jobs out there that no one seemed to even notice or appreciate. However easy or hard you have had your motherhood experience (I’m guessing pretty hard since you’re reading this post and realizing it can cause major hag-giness), please know that you are completely not alone.
Without going into details, I really ended up with one of the hardest motherhood scenarios you can imagine – BUT not as hard as a rare few have it. I have come across a handful of women who had and/or still have very little help or support or friend/family circle.
If you have had it easy or think motherhood is easy, please know that you are one of the extremely lucky ones. To tell you the truth, MOST moms have it easy. I’ve talked to countless moms from all walks of life and MOST moms have either a mom, or a friend AT LEAST that can help with the baby.
Regardless of your situation, please know that having it hard is HARD. Especially if you were like me and expected motherhood to be roses and butterflies with lots of help, money, and a life that you could enjoy.
I've talked to countless moms and most moms have at least some kind of network of help. If you have none, or almost none, please know you're not alone. It just means you might have a longer journey to having 'your life back' but it WILL happen.
This post is about how not to turn into a lifeless hag after motherhood. The reason I bring up help is because the moms I’ve talked to that don’t look like “motherhood happened to them” all usually have a really solid and massive support system where they have A LOT of help. This keeps the new mom from getting depressed, or exhaused beyond human limits, and etc. which is what really leads to hag-giness.
UNLESS, and there are moms like that, who just don’t care. I guess that since you’re reading this post you DON’T want to be like one of those moms who look like motherhood wiped out their sexual identity or femininity. And I salute you for that.
Most women give up on themselves after motherhood in our country. It’s really sad. You look anywhere else and women still have a life after becoming a parent. In our country, it seems like motherhood is a curse and not a blessing, if you look at how mom become lifeless zombies without identities or life inside of them.
The Biggest thing you can do is just hang on. Realize this is not forever, even if you truly feel like it will never get better. This is the first step to getting out of the hag-giness mode.
STEP 1: If you are completely overwhelmed and feel like life is over and there is no end to this sleepless, beyond exhausted “existence” – please know that you are not alone in feeling like that BUT that this is also a lie. IT IS A LIE.
Yes, it is excruciatingly hard right now. I don’t care if your kid is a month old or two and you still feel like you are in a newborn stage. Bottom line is that eventually, that kid will grow out of diapers; will start feeding him/herself; will go to school, etc., etc.
HOWEVER HARD IT IS TO PICTURE THE LIGHT AND THE END OF THE TUNNEL, STILL TRY. Focus on just breathing, just handling one second at a time. It will pass, and you will have your life back again where you get enough sleep; enough rest; enough fun and enough YOU time so you can feel like a human being again and not a slave to motherhood.
Step 1: Try, just try to know that this is not forever. You will have time to feel like you have a life again. It might not be tomorrow, but it WILL happen.
STEP 2: Now that you covered your emotional overwhelm, focus on doing second best of whatever it is that you’re doing. If you are a perfectionist and an idealist like me, then you will have a hard time trying to make everything perfect and ideal and still keep your sanity. You will constantly be dissatisfied because it is impossible to have everything perfect and ideal with kids UNLESS you have a ton of help. Most of us don’t have that much help, and few of us don’t have enough or any help.
You need to realize that first and foremost, you need to focus on just doing the basic things to get you through the day. Things like taking care of your baby/toddler. Things like making sure you don’t forget to brush your teeth. What you DON’T WANT TO DO is try to make sure your toddler’s room is perfect, or the kitchen floor is all clean after he/she eats. etc. The kind of stuff that would usually drive you crazy BUT you’re not going through your ‘normal’ stage in life. You’re going through a survival mode now to survive your baby and come out of it still looking like a feminine woman and not a shell of a person that just wears a woman’s body but has no feminine life inside of her.
Step 2: do second best. Don't try to do anything perfectly. Just focus on making sure your baby is taken care of AND that you at least feel like you did bare essentials for yourself.
STEP 3: This is one of the advice I got that has literally saved me and is STILL SAVING ME. Try to create a SAFE playroom for your baby/toddler to play in so that you are not freaking out if you need to go to the bathroom but worry if the kid will hurt him/herself in the room while you are gone.
If you are like me, mine just goes with me because he won’t let me go to the bathroom like a normal person does. He stalks me wherever I go. Still, the fact remains: come up with a room, or a small area in a room if you have zero space, where your kid will be TOTALLY safe for 5 minutes or 50 minutes. This will give you EMOTIONAL comfort that you don’t have because there is always something to freak out about. Just knowing your kid is SAFE will calm your nerves, which will make your life easier to handle in return. Psychology plays a big role.
Plus, if you need to take a shower, or step outside/away because you’re overwhelmed and need a moment to just breathe – having a room/area like this that is totally safe will allow you to make sure you can take that moment for yourself.
Believe me, just being able to go to the bathroom without my toddler stalking me to it and then trying to play with the roll of toilet paper (which he always ends up destroying) is enough mental help to get you through that moment of going to the bathroom without the extra stress. It’s not fun having the toddler mess u the entire bathroom in a matter of minutes.
Step 3: Create a TOTALLY safe playroom/ or a sectioned area of a room for your child to be TOTALLY SAFE in. So that you can take a shower, a bathroom break, or a mental break if you need to knowing your baby is totally safe there for the time being.
STEP 4: I know, so far we have been focusing on mental and practical aspects of hag-proofing your life. If you think it’s stupid, think again, please. 99% of depression from motherhood comes from lack of proper help and lack of stability in your life that’s caused by the new blessing. So first and foremost, we need to focus on your mental health and the practical ways to make your life easier.
There are many other ways, of course, like hiring a nanny or daycare, but in this post I try to do stuff that is 100% free (or as free as possible. It might take a few bucks to get those baby gates and etc to make the room/ section of a room totally safe, but then there are always costs with kids that are unavoidable.)
SO STEP 4 IS: Look at yourself in the mirror every day and tell yourself you are not a hag. Tell yourself you are a survivor. Tell yourself that you WILL NOT let yourself become a hag. Psychology again? Yes, but this is the active step towards the next step where you take action.
Step 4: Take 5 minutes every day (force yourself to find the time even if you don't want to) to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you will not allow yourself to become a hag. This is powerful.
Step 5: You’re waiting for the hard stuff? Here it is. Don’t stuff your face. If you already need to lose weight, then JUST DO IT. I’m in that boat. I’ve stuffed my face until I realized that I was eating to comfort myself. By the time I realized it, I had already gained over 50lbs of ‘comfort.’ Am I giving up? No. Am I feeling like a fool? Yes.
Realize that you are in full control of your life. DO NOT give your life to the control of your kids EVEN IF IT FEELS LIKE THEY CONTROL YOU NOW. True, they control your daily schedule, but they don’t control your self image or what you eat or how much you eat.
Just do it. It is a powerful phrase. Start your diet. Exercise. Do whatever you need to start feeling good about your body and your self image – especially if you know you’ve let yourself go. Without taking the initiative, it is hard not to start feeling bad and hag-like. Before you know it you will believe in the hag-like mentality and become one.
You are in full control of your life. Kids made life hard, but they did not take away your freedom of choices of what to eat or drink or how to think. YOU are the one who has power over that no matter what circumstances you are going through.
Step 5: Cut the loose ends. If you got fat and hate it, then just start working on yourself. JUST DO IT. Whatever it is FOR YOU, personally for YOU, that is making you read this post and worry about becoming a hag - focus on eliminating that. If it's extra weight, then just start slow and keep it steady. You are the only one in control of your own body image. (Assuming you have a healthy body image and can tell when you have something to work on and when you are fine.)
STEP 6: Focus on what you wear. If you’re like me and still can’t fit into your old clothes, that’s fine for now until you are done working on step 5 or whatever step 5 means for you. For me it is losing a few. But step 6 involves your wardrobe. Look at what women that you never want to become are wearing. The hag-moms that you are terrified of even looking at. There are a LOT of those around, unfortunately. And they don’t want to change. I’ve talked to a ton of them and they JUST DON’T WANT TO CHANGE. Or they “think” they can’t change which is basically not wanting to change but in a psychologically weird way.
Then look at those women who do dress the way you like. It doesn’t matter if they’re young or old/ moms or not. DON’T TELL YOURSELF SUBCONSCIOUSLY that you can’t look like that anymore because you have a baby. IT’S A LIE. I’ve met so many moms that you could bet money that they didn’t have kids. Well, they did. They just didn’t let themselves hag-up. (I’m coming up with all kinds of hag terms right now, aren’t I?)
In fact, I met one just today, who looked like a Barbie doll. She had a 6 year old boy accompany her. She didn’t look particularly rich or blessed with help. What she did have is belief in who she was. I bet you she worked hard to look like a Barbie doll after having a kid. No woman finds it easy. It all comes down to some doing the work and going the extra mile for themselves to feel good and some just giving up or not wanting to start fixing the hag-giness. You can do it. Just don’t lie to yourself that you can’t.
Step 6: Focus on what you wear. Read up above to learn details. This is important.
Step 7: Recognize when you need help. It is hard to admit we need help, especially in our society where any kind of vulnerability is looked down upon. But some vulnerability is actually strength. It takes guts to admit you need help. It takes courage to admit that yes, I’ve become a hag, but I CAN AND I WILL fix it. Most people don’t have the guts. Be the one that does.
If you’re depressed, recognize it and get help from your doctor. If you ended up with bad habits after kids that you never had before you had kids, recognize it and get help from your doctor to start working on getting rid of those bad habits. If you feel like you can’t, then just know that thinking you can’t is another way of telling yourself you can’t or won’t.
Be mindful of your thoughts. Your thoughts lead your life in more ways than you know. I have to keep that in mind every single day. Thoughts are powerful. Be strong. Put some thoughts into what you want to get rid of in terms of bad habits and just do it with the help of a good professional.
Step 7: Recognize when you need help. It takes guts to ask for help. Ask your doctor for help.
Step 8: One of the best advice I’ve ever gotten was this: if you want to succeed, don’t ask a loser. In other words, if you know someone won’t encourage you but will try to bring you down, then don’t share with them your ambitions about self-improvement. By the end of the day, anti-hagging yourself comes down to self improvement.
If you’re surrounded by hag-moms, then don’t expect them to make you feel encouraged or supported when you tell them you’re going to work on making yourself hot again. It won’t happen. Hag-moms are like swamps: they suck you in. Instead, find those moms who genuinely want to work on improving themselves too. Facebook is a great help in our day and age. Social media is great help. Look around you.
There are tons of hot and ambitious moms around who don’t let their lives be over when they have kids. Surround yourself with the kind of women you want to be like; the kind of women who will encourage you to improve and will applaud you and expect you to succeed. You will automatically notice that you will start brushing your hair and paying attention to your nails and small details that make you look better and better every day before one day you wake up and realize you did it. You’re no longer a hag-mom. You’re a sexy mom no one would ever bet went through hell to get to that point in her life.