As we focus on getting our babies to sleep, we often forget that we ourselves need to get some R&R as well. We all have our own ways of relaxing; some like bubble baths, and others like yoga or going for a run to unwind at the end of the day.
Yet often, even just finding the time just to sit down becomes an impossible task. Your baby becomes your priority over anything, but how can you be a great parent when you don’t make the time to take care of yourself?
The first thing you need to do is figure out your baby’s schedule and rotation. In the first couple of months, Parents Magazine explains that a baby’s sleep cycle is erratic, so in that time, you really should be adjusting your daily routines accordingly. At around 3 months is when sleep patterns become predictable, which is when you can start to have a regular schedule of your own. Simple things, like setting your alarm 1 hour before the baby usually wakes rather than just 15 minutes prior, or allotting the last two hours before bedtime to catch up with your favourite book, will give you more “me time” and help you feel more energised for the busy days ahead.
Something else that gets in the way of relieving daily stress is how you choose to relax. While checking our phones for messages or social media updates has almost become second nature, these apps don’t offer the amount of relaxation mothers need to really unwind from their hectic schedules. Thus, so much of our day gets consumed by our social apps, whether you’re posting something new on SnapChat or mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed. As an Instagram mum reveals in an interview with Tootsa brand manager Julia Smee, it feels like you’re on the job 24/7. Sometimes the best thing for you to do is just disconnect for a little while, or at least don’t check your phone within the first hour after waking up or the last hour before going to bed. You want to start off the day on a good note, and have a decent amount of sleep for the night.
Finally, give your baby some personal space. As much as infants need a lot of attention and care, they also need some independence. Most parents are under the impression that they need to do so much for their newborns, but 1- and 2-month-olds are fascinated by the simplest of things. As the experts from The Bump have shared, babies have just come out of the womb and can do with some alone time in a safe environment to experience the world. This will result in a longer attention span, and more time for you throughout the day.
Once you adopt these little habits here and there, you’ll find the time to take care of your baby without sacrificing sleep or your quality alone time. Being a mother is hard, and there is absolutely no need for you to feel guilty whenever you admit you are stressed or need a moment to rejuvenate, mentally and physically.
Written by Aleah Kristin
Exclusive for hushamok.com