Self care is important in maintaining physical and mental well being – and when you have just had anew baby that is especially important.
thanks to Ashley for he second guest blog!
Bringing a new baby into the world is a magical event. Your life becomes infinitely more fulfilling, your love is abundant and your schedule is now filled to the brim as a caretaker. But being a caretaker means taking care of you, too.
It’s not selfish to practice self-care. Even as a provider and nurturer of others, you still need to look out for yourself. If you’re not at your best, then how are you supposed to be there for your baby? Between the diaper changing and feedings throughout the day, make some time for self-care, too.
Take care of yourself by taking a day off, especially if you’re the primary caretaker. The first few months will be hard for moms because you’re feeding constantly, but pumping breast milk into a bottle will reduce the amount of time your baby needs to be attached to your body. Just because a new life depends on you for survival doesn’t mean that you can’t take an occasional breather for yourself. Some moms say that they barely have time for a shower or a workout when they’re caring for a newborn. Well, you should make time while your baby is napping, or take a few hours off each week to do things for you. Being a great parent doesn’t mean that you have to be glued to your child 24/7.
Many parents stop being lovers and resort to being co-parents, which eats away at the fabric of the relationship. The whole point of your relationship wasn’t to build up into something great, only to end at this point. A baby is supposed to enhance your bond, not replace it. Your relationship doesn’t need to take a backseat to parenting if you can find simple ways to keep the romance alive and care for the love that you have. Go on a date night so that your relationship doesn’t suffer, or cuddle on the couch after the baby is put to rest. You’re not bad parents if you’re not always putting baby first.
Let Someone Else Take Over
Since Dad can’t breastfeed, it would be fair if he handles the diaper changes, bathing, burping and bottle-feeding more than Mom does. As a new mom, let your partner share some of the duties of childrearing. As a new dad, pick up responsibilities whenever you can to alleviate your partner’s burden of 24/7 parenting. Both parents: Don’t hesitate to hire a sitter to watch the baby even when you’re both at home. You don’t need a night out in order to hire help. Sometimes you just need someone to babysit while you’re organizing the house or taking a night off from parenting duties.
Reduce Stress at Home
When your place is overwhelmed and cluttered, you’ll feel overwhelmed. There’s enough stress that comes with raising a baby, so why add more stress by living amongst chaos? A decluttered home and a peaceful bedroom will lead to a relaxed living space and a soothing environment for a good night’s sleep. They say that once you become a parent, you never get a full night of sleep again. That doesn’t have to be the case. To get the elusive sleep that new parents always lose, you can train your baby to sleep so that you can sleep. It may be hard to get a full night’s rest with a newborn baby at home, but there are ways to catch those Zzz’s whenever possible.
Chances are that you’re not only a good parent, but you’re also trying to be a good spouse. The baby is getting the best part of you, and your partner is getting the leftovers that aren’t exhausted. It’s tempting to always make sacrifices for your child because that’s the instinct of a parent. You want to feed them first because you don’t want them to feel hungry. But if you don’t care for yourself, then who will be around to care for the baby? A happy parent leads to a happy baby, and a person who runs out of steam can’t take care of others.
Photo Credit: Pexels
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