Taking Care of Yourself is a Priority.
It is true that life completely changes when you become a parent. You get to start a new phase of your life, a phase that no one is ever fully prepared. Babies don’t come with instructions, so you have to figure things out as you go. All these things can make that transition very scary for new parents.
However, having these changes in your life is not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of seeing them as the end of life as you know it, celebrate them because having a baby marks a new milestone in your life. It’s all about learning to adapt and making slight adjustments as you go because, in the end, it can prove to be the beginning of the best years of your life.
No matter what people tell you, every new parent is just winging it and making up the rules as they go. No one is born knowing how to parent. That’s why we all need a little help along the way. To this end, here are a few tips that will help make this beautiful and equally exhausting journey a little easier.
Do what you’ve always loved doing
Truth be told, you will probably not have enough time for activities that take up a lot of hours once the baby comes. However, doing things you used to enjoy will play a really huge role in your well-being, and you won’t feel like your baby ‘stole’ your life from you. So, go for a walk, get your hair done, enjoy your hobbies, or catch up with your friends over lunch. Anything to break the monotony of being a new parent.
Over the first few months, you will receive lots of visitors coming to see the newest member of your family. A lot of work will go into entertaining them, and combined with all the new responsibilities you will have with the new baby, you will often be exhausted. That’s why whenever a guest offers to lend a hand in doing anything, say by washing the dishes or folding the laundry, you shouldn’t be afraid to take them up on that offer!
Ask for help
For new parents, this can be a really overwhelming time. You should not be afraid to ask for help. The baby’s grandparents can be particularly helpful and are usually happy to spend any time they can with their grandchild. If you can afford to, hiring an infant care specialist to help would also give you a chance to relax a little.
Get a support system
Nothing makes those first few months of parenting harder than feeling alone. If you are doing this with a partner, always turn to them for support and help. Be sure to talk to your partner about splitting house chores and baby care before you go into labor. You should continue expressing your feelings and communicating even after you have the baby. This will strengthen your bond and make the days feel a little easier.
If you are a single parent, you can lean on your family and some of your close friends for the support you might need. You can also join parent groups, where you’ll meet other new parents and share your experiences with them or learn new tips from them. Teamwork is very vital during this stage, and you will need all the support you can get.
Although a large part of your day will be dedicated to your baby, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect yourself. You will be recovering from the delivery for several weeks after it happens, so eating healthy, doing some light exercises, and sleeping when you can are some of the things you can do to ensure that you are in good shape both physically and mentally for you and your baby.
It is completely normal to feel unsure and even a little scared as a new parent. However, instead of thinking of it as the end of life as you know it, try to find a new perspective on things. Your life is far from over- it is only just beginning!
Above all else, if you feel like your state of mind is affecting the quality of your life, be sure to speak out and seek help. Talk to friends and family, and seek counseling from health care professionals.