Ten Ways to Take Care of You When You Have a Young Family

If you have ever been on a plane, one of the first things you are taught is what to do in case of
any emergencies. If there is ever a moment where cabin pressure drops in an airplane, masks
drop from the overhead compartment to help passengers keep stable breathing. One of the first
rules to helping others in this type of situation is for every passenger to first put on their own
oxygen mask before turning to help others, why? Because passengers cannot effectively help
others if they have not helped themselves first.

As a new parent, you may feel like you should give up your previous lifestyle now that you have
a family. While change is inevitable – make sure you are taking care of yourself too! Here are
10 ways you can make sure your breathing is stabilized.

  1. Exercise
    Make sure to get in some physical exercise. Your kids will be watching and learning from you
    and you will also feel better after getting some endorphins running. If your children are small,
    join a stroller exercise group, or do mommy and me yoga. Walking or gentle hiking can be
    accomplished while baby-wearing your infant or toddler.
  2. Find A Babysitter
    Finding a reliable occasional babysitter is important. Even the opportunity to grocery shop alone
    while baby is safely in the sitter’s care can give you a little bit of space and calm to think. Using
    that time to meditate? Even better.
  3. Schedule Playdates
    Playdates aren’t always just for the kids. If your baby is too young for playdates, it’s still valuable
    to find a playdate group you can regularly attend and you will be comfortable in once baby is
    walking and moving around. Parents of teens and adults will tell you that some of their best
    life-long friends were found in a playdate group.
  4. Sleep When the Baby Sleeps, Or Don’t
    If you need rest, sleep when baby sleeps. But if you are feeling rested, or will feel better doing
    something else, then don’t feel like you have to follow that advice. Take some time to catch up
    on some reading, maybe do some cleaning, spend some time with your significant other.
    Skipping the nap may help squeeze in some much-needed catch-up time.
  5. Set Aside Some Bonding Time with Your Partner
    One of the biggest relationships that take a hit when having a small family, not surprisingly, is
    the one that conceived it. Suddenly life is all about your beautiful miniature people and slowly
    time alone becomes more of a chore than a delight. Set aside some specific time during the
    week to have a date (even for 20 minutes) and reconnect from a long stressful week.
  6. Get Dressed
    It’s tempting to stay in pajamas all day but try to freshen up every day. Even if your outfit is just
    a t-shirt and jeans the effort you put into looking good will help you feel good also.
  7. Don’t Skip that Girls Night Out
    For moms and dads, try to take a day out of the month to spend it with (just) adult friends. This
    helps you reconnect with other adults and will show you that you have a life that doesn’t revolve
    around your kids.
  8. It Is OKAY to Take A Break
    If you feel that your temper is at its end and you are burning a short fuse. It is okay to step away
    from your problems and take a break. No one will blame you for taking a moment to re-center
    yourself in your bedroom.
  9. Take It Easy
    If there is an easier way to do something don’t feel bad for choosing the shortcut. For example,
    instead of washing dishes maybe use paper plates or order food for dinner if you do not have
    the energy to cook. Small changes during a stressful day will help you work effectively and be
    more present for your small family.
  10. Say No
    It is not the end of the world if you say no. You can say no if you do not want to do something or
    do not want to go somewhere. Saying no when exhausted to do something or genuinely do not
    want to do something is fine.

At the end of the day, you are a parent with the ability to do what you can to make your life
easier and less stressful. You are doing an amazing job of trying to be the best parent you can
be and caring for yourself should always be a top priority. Put yourself first because when you
are mentally healthy, you will be the best super mom or super dad your children need.

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