Tired? Here are 4 tips on how to prioritize yourself when staying at home with a baby.
Sometimes it feels like moms almost brag about how little sleep they are getting. As if being tired is some sort of accomplishment. At one point, I was one of those moms. My focus was always on my little one, making sure he was getting as much sleep as possible, whatever it took. And getting enough sleep and relaxation is important.
However, we sometimes seem to forget that we, as parents, also have a need for sleep, relaxation and other things that help us stay sane. Because at the end of the day it really is like they say on an airplane; you need to secure your own mask before helping others. If you wear yourself out, you are no help to anyone.
So how do we make sure both mom and baby gets enough sleep and relaxation? Perhaps you heard the phrase “sleep when the baby sleeps”? Well, that is often easier said than done. Believe me.
Here are 4 tips that can help you get back that important me time:
1. There is no shame in asking for help
After giving birth to my son, I somehow had the feeling that to be the perfect mom I needed to do everything on my own. I would breastfeed, get him dressed, change the diapers, and the list goes on. Afterall, I was the only one who knew exactly how he liked to be rocked to sleep in the stroller. And the correct way to hold the bottle if he were to have that. Or was I? The moment I gave up on being the perfect mom and let my parents and friends help I realized that this not only benefited me, but also my son. I got to relax and take a nap, while he got a well-rested mom with more energy. And my parents and friends got to build a relationship with my son. That is what I call win-win-win!
2. You can’t do it all
We all visualize what kind of mom we want to be when we get pregnant, and some have even though long and hard about it ever since being kids themselves. But it is important no not let our expectations of our selves make motherhood harder than it needs to be. Yes, your little one will look gorgeous in a matching outfit, but perhaps the most important thing is them staying nice and warm. A lot of moms and dads think that they will get so much done when they are on maternity/paternity leave, but the truth is that being home with a little one takes everything you have and more. So, leave the expectations at the door and prioritize what you need to stay sane.
So, your baby is finally asleep, and your house looks like a mess. Your instinct? “I need to clean this up really quickly and then I will rest”. And then, before you know if, just as you sit down, your baby wakes. No rest this time either. But it does not have to be like this if you just prioritize you before everything else. Once your baby is asleep, either in the stroller, in a crib, or perhaps on top of you, you put your feet up and you do nothing*. Absolutely nothing. And when your baby wakes you do the cleaning together. With the baby either in a sling, in a bouncer seat or just on the floor with some toys if you have one of those babies that thrives on the floor. Or you just leave it all until your partner comes home.
4. Get some exercise and fresh air
Maybe you have experienced it before? Everything seems dark, you are tired, and you just want to stay inside, preferably in front of the TV. But could you manage to invest just 10 minutes in yourself? Both fresh air and exercise has proven to boost your mood, lower your blood pressure and helps decrease levels of stress and anxiety, which again affects your sleep. Go outside, get your body moving and let your thoughts run free! It truly is therapy for a tired soul.
To sum it up:
You are a great parent! You do your best for your baby, but we just can’t do it all. At the end of the day, it is hard to not put your baby first. But do yourself a little favor; don’t put yourself last. You are worth it. And dads; this goes for you too! Your babies will benefit from you feeling like yourself.
*If you have one of those babies that only sleep in motion Sleepytroll Baby Rocker might be something for you?