You're not just a mama. You are still YOU. Just a new & better version
Introducing Liz Lim: Mama of 2 boys, Eli & Sunny, also studying and working as a dental assistant.
When she’s not busy raising 2 little ones, she is undergoing a self-love journey and connecting with other mums on her Instagram, encouraging them to embrace their beautiful postpartum figures.
We chat to Liz about what "Not just a MAMA" means to her, battling the baby blues, honour your body and trusting your instincts.
What does motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood to me means a journey into a new self. Breaking, just to come together again. It’s messy, exhausting, challenging but also the most rewarding! It’s unconditional love, it’s family, and it’s happiness. A real life rollercoaster.
What comes to mind when you hear "not just a mama" and what are those other identities inside you that you want to honour?
After becoming a mother I feel like I kind of lost my identity. But it was more about becoming more myself than I ever was before I’m still navigating this new self, this new identity. And through navigating I’m also reminded that I’m “not just a mama”. I’m a lover. A friend. A human being. And honouring these things takes a lot of work but I’m learning everyday.
My relationships have changed, with myself, my partner and people in my life.
I try to do things for myself each week to make myself feel good, to feel like “me” and not just a mama. Whether that be going to the gym or putting some music on and dancing.
I like spending quality time with my man and honouring the “lover” in me.
I make time for my friendships because it’s so important for my mental health & happiness to spent time with my friends and be able to take my mum badge off & relax.. and have a conversation with another adult.
I always have so many tabs open I remind myself daily that I’m a human being and not a super human. That I need to take time off to switch off from everything and just breathe.
How to be a mum but also make time for you, your dreams and passions?
It’s so easy as a mother to put your kids and everyone else’s needs above your own. And sometimes even pour from an empty cup. But so important to make sure you’re looking after yourself, as well as pursuing your dreams and passions to fill your cup up. I try and make sure I schedule time in each week to do this, even if it’s for an hour.
Also, get comfortable with asking for help! This was something I struggled with but eventually learnt that I can’t do anything for myself unless I ask for someone’s help (with the kids).
Can you tell us a bit about your postpartum journey, both physically and mentally?
I had baby blues BIG TIME after my first. No one had told me about it. So I didn’t understand what was going on. Plus, I was learning what this new roll as a mother meant. It was super tough coz I didn’t have many mum friends at the time. And the friends and family that were visiting were coming to see the baby. Nobody asked me how I was doing. But everyone wanted to see the baby. I know they all meant well and they were excited to meet our little bundle of joy. But little did everyone know I was battling baby blues. All I wanted to do was spend time with my new little family, bond with my baby, get comfortable in my new roll, gain confidence as a new mother, also give my body a rest to just heal. My body had been through the most traumatic thing it had ever been through, yet the most beautiful and powerful thing!
Meeting new mums, joining mums groups helped so much! I felt understood. I felt like I wasn’t alone. And that was the most important thing for me.
After number 2, I expected the baby blues again but it was a completely different experience. I think it had a lot to do with having the confidence has a mother. Because I wasn’t afraid to say NO VISITORS. And no I’m not ready for you to hold my baby. I was familiar what with my body was going through and the healing it still had left to do after pregnancy and giving birth. 9 months postpartum now and my body is still recovering.
Advice for other mums/ first time mums?
Trust your body. You were made for this.
Don’t be afraid to offend people or to say no to visitors. You know whats best for you and your baby. Give yourself and your beautiful little family time to bond. Everyone else can wait.
Honour your body. Be gentle with yourself and patient with your body. Creating and carrying a baby is one of the most amazing and magical things!
Trust your instincts as a mother. You can never love your baby too much or spoil it. Cuddle your baby, go to your baby when he cries, rock your baby, nurse your baby to sleep, sleep with your baby (safely, of course). There is nothing wrong with following your instincts and going against what’s written in the sleeping training books.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether that’s asking a family member or friends to help with the kids, so you can go do something nice for yourself. Do. Not. Feel. Guilty.
You are the most important person in your babies world. The best toys, new clothes, the cleanest house, do not matter to them at all.
Children's Ground is a not-for-profit organisation creating a different future with First Nations children, families and communities experiencing the greatest levels of disadvantage.
From infants to Elders, they work with entire communities over a 25-year period to make real and lasting change. Celebrating culture, recognising talent, inspiring hope, delivering excellence and creating opportunity, Children's Ground is an evidenced-based approach, designed with First Nations leaders to achieve radical reform.
Read more about Children's Ground HERE and the noble work that they are doing.
We also encourage you to follow Children's Ground on Instagram / Facebook so you can follow their journey, learn more about the approach and find out more ways to donate.