Are you a new parent? Congratulations! Becoming a parent is one of the most incredible, awesome, terrifying, confusing, bewildering and rewarding (did I use enough adjectives?) experiences there is! There truly is no description for the complete transformation that has happened to you, and life will never be the same. We would like to offer some tips on how to survive and thrive in this new world of onesies and breast pumps. Settle the baby comfortably in your lap and read on!
1) Never turn down help.
Women who have insufficient help may feel overwhelmed by the added workload that new motherhood brings. For a less stressful adjustment to life with baby, offers of help from family members and friends should be graciously accepted. This would be a great time as well to consider hiring cleaning or other paid help, at least on an occasional basis.
2) Pencil in personal time
Quality time away from your child is just as important as quality time with your child. You have to nurture yourself by exercising, walking, enjoying a cup of coffee with a close friend, reading a book….Try to do spend time doing something that is enjoyable and relaxing to you, and gives you a break from the demands of someone else’s needs. Don’t get lost in the whirlwind of responsibilities and remember that your own needs don’t disappear when you have a baby.
3) Spend time with your partner
If you have a spouse or partner, you need to make an extra effort to spend time together. Hire a babysitter, enlist the help of relatives, do whatever it takes to get a weekly or bi-weekly evening out for an intimate dinner, a walk or a movie. Don’t neglect your relationship! Staying close to your partner is not only important for you and your partner, but for your child as well. Being raised by two parents who are close and who love each other is the greatest gift you can give her.
4) Get Social
Make plans with other adults…in particular new parents who understand what you are going through. Spending time in this way can prevent feelings of isolation and give you an emotional support system. Don’t know any new parents? Join a prenatal yoga class or any other class geared to new parents. These classes are a great way to spend time with other Moms as well as getting some exercise or learning something new.
5) Perfect your polite nod and smile.
People love giving unsolicited advice and some are more aggressive about it than others. BUT… know that giving parenting advice is a kind of therapy that every parent (probably yourself included) needs to indulge in once in a while!
If you’ve noticed that most of these tips involve taking care of yourself, then you are right! That’s because a happy, healthy parent is necessary in order to raise a thriving child. Good self-care is of critical importance! When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to better care for baby and handle your other responsibilities.
We hope you enjoy your new baby and this special time in your life!