Do you ever feel like becoming a Mom made you lose your mojo? Dr. Lissa Rankin felt that way for quite a while.
Lissa's daughter was born four years ago during what became what Lissa calls "Her Perfect Storm." "I gave birth via C-section, then 2 weeks later, my beloved father died of a brain tumor, my 16 year old dog died, and my healthy 33 year old brother wound up in liver failure from the antibiotic Zithromax. Plus, I was expected to go back to practicing full time as an OB/GYN only 5 weeks postpartum," recalls Rankin.
Can you say MAJOR LOSS OF MOJO? Sheesh. "It's taken me years to get it back, and now I'm committed to helping others get their mojo back," promises the good doctor.
Dr. Lissa Rankin's tips for new moms who want their mojo back:
- Take time away from the kids
Every single woman I asked listed this one as ABSOLUTELY critical. You need both time to yourself and, if you have a significant other, time alone with your partner.
Kids need to know that you have your own identity, and that YOUR life is as important as theirs. "But that would be selfish," you say. NO. It's not selfish. You can't effectively nurture others unless you're taking care of yourself.
What do you love to do? Get massages? Play tennis? Spend a whole day lounging on the beach? Have a girl's night out? Take a long hike? Go to a yoga workshop?
Figure out what you need to feel nourished, then go do it! (Personally, my husband and daughter are dropping me off at Sonoma Mission Inn today to soak in the mineral baths and curl up with a good book, while they go to Train Town. Do I feel a wee bit guilty about being at the spa while Siena rides trains? Yes. But will it nurture me so I can be a better Mommy this week? Yes.)
- Just because you're a Mommy doesn't mean you have to dress/ wear your hair/ talk like June Cleaver
Go shopping in trendy boutiques and let the 19-year old betties hook you up with the latest fashions.
Get a sassy haircut from a hairdresser with Pink locks. Glam it up by letting an expert hip up your makeup. Hell, cuss if you want! (When a four letter word slips out in front of my daughter, I tell her it's a "grown- up word."
That way she can't call me a hypocrite for using words I've assigned as "bad." I tell her that when she's a grown-up, she can decide whether or not to use words like that, but for now, they're not kid words). Who says you have to look, talk, and act frumpy just because you're a Mommy? Throw in some lingerie and a little bit of cheeky, and you've got mojo, Mama! Which leads me to #3
- Plan nights out
Whether you're in a partnered relationship or you're a single Mom, go out! Get out of your stained sweats, primp your hair, and put on high heels (or if you're more like me- clogs).
Spend at least one evening each month when you don't fold laundry, you're not talking baby talk, you don't have to listen to your teenage daughter slam the door one more time, and the only poop you'll have to worry about is your own. It'll remind you that you're a grown up.
- Have fun with your kids
If everything you do is a drag, you might as well kiss your mojo goodbye. And we all know that motherhood is full of boring, tedious details. Try to spin even the most mundane chores into wild and crazy experiences.
Instead of yelling at your 5-year-old to clean up his room, try turning it into a game, by grabbing two boxes for organizing and seeing which of you can fill the box with bedroom junk first. First prize for the winner is bubbles! If you have a long car ride ahead of you, SING! (My daughter's personal favorite is Wheels On the Bus, but I'm trying to get her into Aretha- Queen of Mojo!)
- Live with purpose
It may not feel like you have much life purpose, when you're whole existence revolves around pumping breast milk with a creepy breast pump that makes that horrible eeeee-ahhhh, eeeeee-ahhhh sound.
But breast-feeding can give you huge purpose. You are nourishing your baby to optimize the health and well-being of your child for years to come.
While picking up dirty socks and carting your kids off to flute lessons may not seem meaningful, remember that you committed to bringing a kind, conscious, evolved human into this world, and because you are here, the world will be a better place. But don't hang on my version of purpose, figure out what yours is. Write it down. Post it somewhere you can see it often.
- Don't forget about sex
I know it can be hard, especially when you're a new Mom, to even think about sex. Your body changes, your breasts are no longer yours- they're Juniors, you're exhausted, and your hormones are all over the place.
I've had patients tell me they don't care if they never have sex again. But that kind of attitude is sure to eat away at your mojo. For most women, sexual activity helps you feel alive, gets you in your body and out of your head, and stimulates your mojo juices.
Even if you're not in a relationship, attending to your physical needs is a critical step in keeping your mojo. Don't have a partner? Be creative. Remember that Sex and the City episode when Charlotte bought the Rabbit vibrator and wouldn't leave her bedroom all week? My honey bought me one, and it's really all that. Don't be shy. Own it, baby!
OwningPink.com is an online website and community, offering resources and support aimed at helping women and men reclaim their most authentic selves. Offerings include blogs, workshops, tele-classes, coaching, and a health center in Mill Valley founded by Dr. Lissa Rankin to help redefine health.
Mission/Vision: Owning Pink's mission is to hold sacred spaces for people to feel safe exploring their authentic selves and owning all the facets of what makes us whole human beings - our creativity, our spirituality, our health, our relationships, our sexuality, our work and ourselves.
Audience and focus: Attracting primarily women, we support them in reclaiming the scintillating life-force (mojo) that is our birthright, by offering resources and support in the areas of creativity, spirituality, sexuality, relationships, success, and more.
History/background: The term "Owning Pink" was born at Lissa's 35th birthday party. Her friend Carmen was seven months pregnant with a little girl at the time, and Carmen's husband, Stephan, announced, "My girl is never going to wear pink.
She'll wear yellow, green, blue; she's going to be a feminist. She could be president! But she's never going to wear pink." There was Lissa, decked head-to-toe in her pink birthday outfit - pink sandals, pink dress and pink boa. She couldn't resist opening a big can of Pink whoop-ass and telling Stephan, "Honey, you tell her she just has to Own Pink."
The Owning Pink movement grew out of Lissa's desire to combine the various aspects of her life - doctor, writer, artist, mother, etc. - into a powerful whole. It is in owning all the aspects of ourselves that are so often fragmented and compartmentalized - family, work, creativity, sexuality, etc. - we tap into our true power. It is only by Owning the various aspects of ourselves that we can we live authentically and be truly whole.
It is a recognition of the unique power of feminine creative energy that is in all of us -- women AND men.