It can be hard to juggle life as a parent. Between taking care of your kids, managing work expectations, and spending quality time with your partner, it’s no wonder so many parents struggle to find balance in their everyday lives. Although it can be challenging, it is possible. Just follow this parent’s guide to self-care to learn how you can find some balance!
Separate your spaces
As your family grows, it’s important that you adjust your living space to accommodate the needs of both you and your family. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to parenthood or not, having enough room so that you and your kiddos can roam freely and grow as individuals in your own space is crucial for your mental well-being.
When you’re constantly cooped up at home, and you’re using the same room to feed your baby, pay your bills, work remotely, and sleep, it can quickly become chaotic. So while you may want or even need to keep your child — specifically your newborn — close to you at all times, you’ll want to try and refrain from doing so when you can, as this can oftentimes lead to attachment issues down the road, and worsening health conditions for you. From poor quality sleep to feelings of stress and anxiety, keeping your kids within arms reach of you at all times can sometimes do more harm than good.
If you’re expecting, now is the time to learn about your options when it comes to home renovations. When the nesting phase kicks in, use this time to evaluate your finances and determine if you have the savings or credit score necessary to fund any anticipated home improvements.
Step away and take a breather
If you’re unable to expand your home, for the time being, don’t fret. There are plenty of other ways to put space between you, your baby, and the rest of your family. Although you’ll likely be at your baby’s beck and call the first few weeks and months they’re home — especially if you’re breastfeeding — you should still try to challenge yourself and step away from the baby or life at home, even if only for a few minutes.
Of course, it’s up to you to decide when it’s an appropriate time to step away and take a breather, so be sure to do this at your own discretion. When you’re given the chance to take a personal time out, remember to take advantage of this time. Getting some fresh air outside, reading a chapter of an engaging book, and performing your skincare routine are just a few examples of small self-care rituals that can serve to support your well-being and your ability to find balance.
Let others help you
It’s no secret that having a baby is a life-changing experience. Even if you’ve gone through the process before, there’s no denying that giving birth and taking care of a newborn is a huge undertaking. If you’re new to parenthood, the early days of motherhood may seem terrifying and cause you to feel overwhelmed more often than not.
Don’t worry, these feelings are rather universal in the parenting community and are completely valid during this time. So much so that there’s even a term for it! Commonly referred to as “Motherhood Imposter Syndrome,” or as Psychology Today puts it, “Momposter Syndrome,” is a term used to describe the feelings of stress and doubt that many new mothers experience after giving birth for the first time. This causes many parents to question their abilities in raising a child, and as a result, makes them feel isolated or alone throughout this process. In turn, those who may be struggling with this tend to be overly hard on themselves and are more reluctant to reach out for help when they need it.
Momposter Syndrome or not, it’s imperative that you reach out for help and let others help you when you need it. No matter who you are or how knowledgeable you are in caring for newborns, the very act of raising a child is hard and takes a village to do. That’s why utilizing your support system is critical. Along with seeking the help of your loved ones, there are also a variety of online parenting communities that you can access through different social media channels. Engaging in groups like this can not only offer you an outlet with like-minded people going through the same process as you, but also provide you with new perspectives that further help you raise your baby and achieve balance.
Prep your meals
Preparing meals each day for your family can be time-consuming and sometimes even draining, especially when you have to account for the preferences of other people. Not to mention, the constant grocery shopping that comes with being a parent can make the process even more taxing as it’s another expensive errand to add to your endless list of to-dos. Nevertheless, having something prepared for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is critical to the well-being of you and your family.
While it may be tempting to fall back on fast food and other not-so-healthy options, it’s important to refrain from doing so as this will negatively affect your well-being and energy levels throughout the day. Instead, try to meal prep at the beginning of the week, as this will make it easier for you to guarantee that you’re feeding yourself and your family the vitamins and nutrients they need to thrive. This could be something that you do every Sunday with your spouse or even something you and your kids can do together. This will allow you to free yourself from the burden that comes with preparing meals that are sufficient and ideal for all parties involved. Plus, it’ll save you time throughout the week as you move from one task to another.
Being a parent is one of the greatest gifts life brings us, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. These difficulties don’t have to define us, however, and with the help of this parental guide to self-care, you too can find the balance you need to live a happier, healthier life.