It's not just the effort and time required in taking care of this tiny little bundle of joy which makes it so hard to find time for yourself. There's also a psychological drive known as primary maternal occupation which centers your entire world on the relationship with your newborn baby. Appreciate this, and you can find ways to nourish and care for yourself also. You were just living a child-free life and then boom, your life is now diapers, cuddles, coos, cries and a blurred memory of what life was like before the baby. It can be a shock to your system, but a few basic directions can help you calm your mind and body.
First if all, you need to set a parental plan. Discuss with your partner about how are you going to approach so many issues after the baby. Like how are you going to manage visiting relatives and in-laws? Who is going to wake up in the middle of the night when the baby will cry his or her heart out? Or how do both of you feel about letting your baby cry? Once both of you get on the same page about the baby emotionally, physically and philosophically, the things will be more comfortable and smoother. Also, do it before the birth of your baby because later you won't have time as constant sleep deprivation and emotional and physical exhaustion will set in.
Do not go for extreme physical demands like gymming and marathon training. Both the parents should put these things on hold at least until after the baby's first year. The mixture of a new infant and his or her training schedule might not blend well. Especially if you are a single parent, you might feel lost as a new parent, and you might have no time for taking care of yourself and of your own exercise needs. Single mothers sometimes need some exercise post-pregnancy. But it will get settled. Obviously, it will take time, but you will get adjusted. It will be way more helpful if that adjustment is a team effort.
Plan for your baby's arrival before he or she comes in the world. Before your newborn comes into the world, make a plan for daycare, pick-ups and drop-offs, also schedule downtime, and date nights if possible. It will make the pattern for the next a few months and you won't have to juggle between schedules.
Try to stay flexible because the first year of a new child's life demands an enormous level of adaptation as parents. Let your kid guide you about flexibility, structure and creative problem-solving. Kids are life-changing with the challenges they offer. It can enhance your life if you learn to react and adjust to the issues kids bring. You will learn to think in a better way.
Keep a log of baby's sleeping, feeding, and crying habits. It will help you recognize the pattern of your kid's behaviour and will give you an account which you can give to caregivers or babysitters s instructions. Put only those tasks on your daily to-do list which definitely have to get done. If you are confused to know what type of task to put on that to do list then think that is your family's health, well-being and safety would be at risk if it doesn't get done? Outsource things that can be done just as well by someone else, or you dread doing such as yard work, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. You will appreciate these short breaks.
If financially feasible, for the first year or even the first month, sign up for a food delivery service. Those meals are prepared and are nutritionally balanced, wholesome, and savory, and they provide variation. It will also dismiss the necessity for menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Also, you can stock up on the takeout menus.
Hugs your partner when you can. When you're exhausted and overwhelmed fall into his or her arms. You are allowed with a full year to balance your family around the new baby.
Take advantage of the Internet. Many online panels provide a comprehension check for new mothers and fathers but stay away from an overload of the information. You have to keep in mind that everything you read is not honest or a safe fit for your family.
Always stay united and connected to your partner. With so many new responsibilities on your shoulder with the baby, it's hard to find time for yourself let alone it be your relationship with your partner. But even in this hectic schedule take out time for each other and in this time talking about yourself and not the baby or you can talk about the baby for the first 10 minutes. Do not compare your baby to anyone else's. Resist this thing of "comparing and despairing" Especially when it comes to your baby.
Find the humor in this hectic schedule and laugh a lot. Manage the sleep deprivation Becuase in a huge part of that first year of your baby's birth, sleep is a rare thing, and it is not good for health so somehow manage to get adequate sleep if not the 8-hour long beauty sleep. Go to sleep when your baby sleeps. It is a time-tested lesson, and it does work. Because sleep is a medical need for everyone even for new parents and especially mothers. Sleep is also very essential to prevent new moms against postpartum depression. Also when one parent is not sleeping or up taking care of the baby, the other one should be sleeping. One parent should sleep with the baby at a time, and the other one should sleep separately with a white noise machine and earplugs. Get a few consecutive hours of sleep each night and protect your brain chemistry from crashing.
Don't try to be a superhero. It is fascinating to try to take on everything, insisting on taking care of everything for the baby but it will make you exhausted, and it is neither good for the baby nor for you. Having babies around make it tough to notice dirty dishes in the sink or high piled laundry. Let these things sometimes go in exchange for catching a break. Don't feel guilty about it, it is normal and let it go.
Search for instructions online or ask some experienced mothers about to make your baby sleep better. You can wrap your baby in a blanket, and this way is called baby burrito, it makes your baby feel more guarded and sleep better.
If your baby is having sleep issues, address them as soon as possible. You can buy a good book on sleeping methods to make your child, and yourself sleep better. Rotated the nights in a week. One of you can take Sunday night, and the other can handle Monday night. In this way, one of you will always get a good night's sleep.
Exercising is good for health also for stress. But it is hard to manage to workout when you have got so much to do with the baby. The first year of your baby's life is very crucial, but simultaneously it is very disruptive to your work out schedule. This time is emotionally and physically demanding. It is actually a time to nourish the baby and yourself, not the correct time to add the extra trouble of getting back into shape. New moms can do isometric or pelvic exercises while they cook or they can try abdominal contractions while they nurse the child. You can also go for a pre-dinner walk with your partner and the baby, and it will also set the routine as a family for a lifetime of normal daily exercise.
Contrary to common belief, when you are very tired, exercise can increase your energy. Do exercise with the baby. You can go for swim or yoga classes with the baby. Go out in the sunshine it will enhance your mood for sure. Take your kid for a walk or a run on a hike with a front pack or in the jogging stroller. But keep in mind to protect your child from the harmful sun rays. When you are diapering your baby, you can stretch or do squats up to 10 times daily. It will boost your fitness. You can do squats with an overhead 'baby' press if the baby is old enough to see you. Your baby works as dumbbells that grow as he or she gets heavier with the time and your muscles get adapted to lift the progressively heavier baby.
Exercise is a collective thing. So you can do exercise 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the afternoon, and 15 minutes at night. It will add up and increase your metabolism.
Remember, this stage of your life will pass too quickly, so have patience; enjoy the joy of having children.
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