When you have a child your life changes in ways you never could have imagined. Suddenly your full attention is on another human being. Everything you do is ultimately for them. Taking care of yourself often becomes secondary. But it’s not wise to completely set aside your own needs. Parents who are tired, ill, and unfulfilled will not be able to offer the best care for their child. So it makes sense to factor your own health and happiness into the equation.
New babies require lots of stuff. From the moment you found you were pregnant you probably started putting together a maternity checklist. But I bet it didn’t include items for parents. Consider setting up your own list of items to keep you fit, well, and happy during the early years. It needn’t cost a fortune; just a few items to make life a little easier.
- A few paperbacks for when the baby is sleeping, and you’re not
- Magazines to leaf through for the scarce 10-minute break
- Bath products for R&R
- Comfy lounge pants and slippers for 4:00 am feeds and the rest of day if needed
- List of Netflix and Prime films and series
- Healthy food and the odd treat
- Music playlist for quick workouts and relaxing
Eating well is hard when you’re busy. This is true whether you’re a new parent or have a busy work life. It’s easier to grab something quick to eat, as opposed to spending time cooking. After a sleepless night and a full-on day, who feels like getting out the quinoa and preparing a delicious and nutritious meal? The following tips will help.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day
- When you get round to cooking prepare twice as much and freeze half
- Don’t buy biscuits and other sugary treats; if they’re not there you can’t eat them
- Snack on fruit and nuts
- Eat little and often as large meals may add to your tiredness
- Let others help if they offer
Finding ways to relax as a new parent is tricky. Become adept at fitting in rest and relaxation whenever you can. If you have ten minutes to spare, sit down and browse through a magazine. Or complete a quick mindfulness exercise. If you’re finding it difficult to get out much, enjoy five minutes in the garden while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. If you don’t have time to go to the gym or your yoga class, find ways to introduce this into your everyday routine. Five minute stretches here or there still count. There are lots of quick and simple ways you can find to unwind around the house.
Accept help wherever possible. If your parents or in-laws offer to help, let them. You’ll find that most people are eager to babysit or offer help in some way. You can’t do everything yourself, and it isn’t a sign of weakness to accept assistance. In fact, the opposite is true.
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Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary for you and necessary for your baby. After all, healthy, happy parents will be in much better shape to look after their children.
*This is a collaborated post