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New moms and dads, it’s time to change up the game. There’s a truism to saying that new parents, mainly moms, are frazzled and worn out, but that doesn’t have to be all the time. Yes, the new addition to your family will have times when they are experiencing new pain, such as teething or nightmares, but you can handle it. You can be there for the baby and for yourself with these few tips.
1. Practice Being Firm in Your No
It’s one thing for the elder generation to come cook and help out around the house. This is what Grandmas have been doing for many, many generations, and there’s a good anthropological rationale for women helping each other. But when it comes to other people, they can wait. Tell them the truth and don’t be shy. That party you’ve been invited to that you aren’t excited to attend? Tell them, “no.” Those relatives who are keen to see the new family member? They can wait. Save time for yourselves. You and your partner will need to conserve your energy, and everyone who’s been there will understand.
2. The Evening Shower
This is one of those little things that will boost your energy. Having an evening shower after the little one has been put down for the night will relax and invigorate you. Even if you’ve had a shower earlier that day, take a moment to enjoy the warmth and whatever special treats you have. It’s one way of taking care of yourself that many people forego, but you shouldn’t. After your shower, put on comfortable clothes and spend time with your partner watching a movie. Then, you can retire for the evening, relaxed and refreshed.
3. Treat Yourself
Life as a parent can get exhausting, especially on days that your little ones are having a bad day. It is important to take the time to treat yourself periodically because being a parent can be hard! While having some caffeine is perfectly fine, try not to rely heavily on it. Taking time to get yourself a Kona coffee or whatever you prefer, can go a long way to soothing tired nerves and giving you a boost for the rest of the day. Try to watch your caffeine consumption late in the day–because about six hours after your morning coffee, about half of the caffeine is still in your system—a little luxury can go a long way. Plus, don’t forget that coffee has many properties beyond caffeine that render it pleasant and pleasurable.
4. Catnaps Are an Absolute
Whenever possible prior to about 2 p.m., grab a catnap, and, yes, even after that. Between ten and 30 minutes allows your body to reset, but you won’t fall into a deep sleep. That would make you groggy and slow to catch things, anyway. However, a short nap can offer you the energy you need. If you’re home and working, it might be a bit difficult to slot it in, but parenthood is all about changing things up and reprioritizing. Ask for what you need—thirty minutes of time. If you’re at work, schedule time with your partner for after you get home to take a bit of time to recharge.
5. Keep Your Sleep Schedule
As much as you might want to sleep in on the weekend, don’t. You can’t make up for lost sleep, anyway, scientists say. So, what you’re really doing is throwing off your sleeping schedule. What experts recommend is that you try to follow a well-aligned sleeping schedule as much as possible. Go to bed at close to the same time as possible, and then wake up around the same time each day, whether it’s a weekend or not. You’ll find that you will have more patience with the little one when they wake in the middle of the night, oddly enough, and not be as sleep deprived if you can manage to stick to it.
All in all, no one would argue that being a new parent is a drain on energy. It’s a huge life change that will take some getting used to and reorganizing. However, there are small ways in which you can refill your batteries, so you don’t burn out. It’s all about the little stuff.