How amazing is parenthood?! You go through the miracle of pregnancy, with a growing baby in your belly and then you bring this soul into the world – it’s just something so incredible.
There’s so many wonderful new adventures to be had during parenthood but also, quite a number of things that ‘trigger’ us!! Parenthood really is the ultimate in self discover, self acceptance and surrender…. especially for new parents.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to practice Self Care and Awareness right from the start.
You can only imagine the number of people I see on a regular basis who are so overwhelmed with life, family, work and daily routines that they have completely forgotten how to just be themselves.
The good news is, this is VERY normal and only takes a little bit of awareness to maintain and stay on track.
We’ve all been there – trust me when I say, I know all too well just how busy juggling work, family and life can be.
So what’s the top 5 tips for create a life of Self Care and Awareness?
- Prioritise your time out.
Guilt and feelings of failure are a common element among new parents, especially Mums. All too often Mum’s feel guilty for having time out to themselves because they think they should be with their babies all the time and do everything by themselves. NO. You NEED your time out and trust me, your family will thank you for it.
Retaining your sense of self can be very difficult in the first few months so I encourage all my clients to schedule in time every week when they take up that offer of help, and handball their baby to a responsible and reliable carer – so they can have TIME OUT.
Time out is not doing house work, running errands or getting stuff done – it’s about stopping and checking in with yourself and understanding what your needs are in this point in time.
Time out can look like anything from staring at clouds with a cup of coffee, to going to the movies by your self or with a friend to having a good old cry – by yourself, without someone asking if you’re ok. Emotional release is a fantastic way to move stagnant energy that you’re holding onto when you’re holding yourself together all the time.
- Take the Help.
People offer help all the time and we polite say no. Stop. Take it. People want to help and they love you, so let them.
Taking up the offer of help is not failing as a parent, it’s being smart. It’s taking ownership of the fact that it’s ok, not to be able to do all the things all the time, and knowing when it is that you need to take a break – that’s strength.
- Prioritise time with your partner for connection
Connection can be anything from sitting together and sharing how you’re going in a quiet space to having intimacy and physical connection. If you’re a breast feeding Mummy and you’re feeling ‘touched out’, another option is to enjoy some time together in nature without talking and just being grounded on the Earth. Sometimes silence is the best medicine you need to restore your energy reserves.
- Nutrition is Important
Work smart when it comes to Nutrition. Having a new baby is so much hard work and retaining your energy for night time feeds is important.
Take what time you do have to make sure your nutrition is well maintained. Order your food online and have it delivered, especially in the first few weeks when you’re in the post pregnancy bubble.
Stock up your freezer with meals and fresh foods before baby comes so you have plenty to pull out and defrost when needed.
If you’re in a position to order healthy meals and have them delivered to your door – then take advantage of that.
If family and friends offer to make food for you – take up the offer. There’s nothing better than a home cooked meal after a big night of wake ups.
Overall, while nutrition is extremely important for you and baby, don’t hold onto guilts if you slip up. All new parents have days when there’s nothing in the house and fast food seems like the best option – your mental health and rest is equally important.
- Take advantage of sleep times
When the baby sleeps, you sleep. Simple. Don’t do the washing, chores or dishes. Sleep.
It’s important to get our hormones working efficiently and sleep is a major factor in keeping your body operating correctly. The normal sleep/wake cycles of our Circadian Rhythm is completely disrupted when we are woken up at night to feed our babies. Melatonin and Cortisol levels become imbalanced so it’s important to keep the stress levels as low as possible and reduce the amount of cortisol being delivered to the body – keeping it awake. Melatonin is your night time free radical scavenger hunter – you need it to keep you healthy, so early nights are crucial to getting your sleep right.
I hope that helps you on the right track to keeping up your Wellness maintenance when you become a new parent. Parenthood is a beautiful opportunity to nurture a new soul into the world, it’s also a fascinating time to learn so much more about yourself. Enjoy, laugh, cry and lean into the experience – whatever that might be.
Love & Light