Finding Balance after Baby
Juggling the demands of family life and personal life is a challenge especially if you choose to return to work after having a baby. The key is to figure out what you can change and what you can’t and then focus on what you can.
First of all, examine your expectations. Strive to be present, not perfect! Prioritize your life around things that matter most. Spend quality time with your baby, your spouse and other family members. Take time to reconnect with friends and give yourself the time you need to connect with yourself. Spend a few minutes everyday sitting quietly and just watching your mind while breathing slowly and consciously. Notice your thoughts, your body and how you feel.
Taking care of your self needs to be a priority; after all, who takes care of the caretaker? If you get sick, who will fill in for you? Make sure to take time to exercise. Exercise can be as simple as taking your baby for a walk, putting music on and dancing with your baby, or attending a mommy and baby exercise class. In the early days, your baby may have erratic sleep patterns. Be sure to get enough sleep to keep yourself alert and healthy. What you eat plays a big part in keeping yourself in balance as well. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Try to stay away from processed foods with loads of sugar. Staying away from foods high in sugar will help you stay healthy, keep your hormones in balance and bring your body back to pre-pregnancy proportions, maybe even better than before you had your baby!
Seek help when you need it. Know your strengths as well as your limitations. And be sure not to criticize those who are trying to help you. If your husband puts on the diaper the wrong way, oh well, at least the diaper is on. Try to keep positive communication between you and your spouse. If he needs help in learning the daily tasks of taking care of a baby, set aside time to show him what needs to be done without being sarcastic or punitive.
Growing a family has its trials and tribulations. The way you handle stressful situations can greatly impact your health as well as those around you. Choose to look at stressful situations as challenges, opportunities or learning experiences rather than problems.
Whether or not you choose to return to work after having a baby, make time everyday to just “be” with your baby. When feeding your baby, look into your baby’s eyes without judgment and without expectations. Notice your baby’s temperament and underlying personality. Try to imagine what it is like to see through your child’s eyes. Know that your child has his or her own path and your job as a parent is to help your child to find that path.
By bringing balance into your mind, into your body and into the important relationships of your life, you will find yourself healthy, happy and ready to meet the challenges that parenting brings.
Be present to yourself and those who matter most.
Allow others to share the load.
Let go of unrealistic expectations.
Act upon your priorities.
Nutrition is important for staying balanced in mind and body.
Communicate positively to strengthen relationships.
Exercise your mind, body and spirit in everything you do!