Life post-baby can be tough. Although you're head over heels for your new little bundle, it may take a while before you start feeling like yourself again. You likely feel a like lot of different things — milk-machine, chef, housekeeper, insomniac — but "yourself" might not be one of them. As hard as it may be to conquer the postpartum fog, doing something that is just for you can help. There are lots of hobbies to try when you're postpartum that can bring some semblance of normalcy back into your life, plus give you something to do in between nursing sessions (you know, besides catching up on much-needed sleep.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that new motherhood is simply a chance to pick up a few new hobbies in your "spare time." Nor am I saying that being a mom isn't a gigantic accomplishment in itself. You birthed an entire human being, for goodness sake.
I am saying, however, that it's pretty easy to feel out of control with so much newness (new baby, new body, new schedule, new life...) and mastering a new skill or crossing something off your bucket list can feel pretty damn good and give you a small sense of control in the chaos that is postpartum life.
If you're in the midst of the postpartum fog, be patient with yourself, love on your little baby, and master a new skill that will make you feel like your old self once again.
1. Conquer A Book That You've Always Wanted To Read
Reading is low energy, but highly educational and can make you enter worlds beyond the four walls of your home or workplace. Maybe it's a book you missed out on from your college days, or a fantasy novel you've been dying to read. Either way, conquering a book can give you a huge boost of mental energy and sense of accomplishment.
2. Train For A 5K (Or 10K Or Triathlon)
Most cities have local 5k races regularly, even in the colder months. Once you've gotten the go-ahead from your doctor to start exercising again, generally about four to six weeks postpartum, according to the Mayo Clinic, you can start training. Having something physical to work towards feels amazing.
3. Sign Up For A New Class
Is there a skill you've always wanted to master or a group you've always wanted to join? What better time than now to sign up? Be it yoga, painting, pottery, cooking, or anything else that strikes your fancy, having an excuse to get out of the house and learn something new will give you a fresh energy.
4. Cook A Meal You've Never Made Before
On the days when you don't feel like going out, why not turn your own kitchen into at-home Top Chef? Pick out an exotic recipe you've never made before and have at it.
5. Become A Photography Master
Sign up for a beginner's photography class, or watch a few videos online. You happen to have the cutest tiny subject just waiting to be photographed.
6. Learn To Crochet Or Knit
It sounds old-fashioned, but trust me, crocheting or knitting can do wonders to pass the time and it's strangely addicting. You can make something for yourself, your baby, or dream up a yarn creation of your own.
7. Become Your Own Sommelier
It sounds incredibly fancy, but really, it's just an excuse to learn about wine and, subsequently, drink it. Just make sure to do it after feedings, La Leche League International (LLLI) recommends, and follow the proper safety guidelines for nursing moms and alcohol.