If you have ever been on a plane you likely remember the flight attendant instructing you to always put your oxygen mask on before helping others. That is the perfect example for self care during motherhood. New babies can be demanding and before you know it your needs slowly get pushed to the back burner. While meeting your infant’s needs is important it can be impossible to do if you are suffocating. Here are a few quick self care tips:
1. Eat! It might sound silly to say do not forget to eat, but as a distracted and busy mom it can be very easy to forget until you are grumpy and light headed. When you do eat be sure to eat foods that will keep you healthy and energized. Make extra at dinner time for a quick lunch the next day, have your partner pack you lunch and snacks before they head to work, and keep non perishable snacks in the diaper bag for when you are out.
2. Rest. Go to bed early, nap with your baby and do not be afraid to ask your partner or support people for help to get extra rest. Research shows babies benefit when moms nap so no excuses needed to go grab that nap! http:// http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23137338
3. Make your health a priority. With all the well visits and sick visits for baby, errands and day to day life, it can be easy to put off appointments for yourself. As moms we might think we need to always sacrifice but if we are not healthy we cannot help our families. Make thay doctor appointment, visit a therapist, get a massage or whatevet else it is you need.
4. Have fun. Make time to do things you enjoy. There are lots of ways to have fun even if baby is with you. Meet a friend at the park, grab coffee or do a project you enjoy. Date or girls nights out, with or without baby, can be a mood booster. Life changes with baby but it can still be fun.
5. Accept help. It takes a village to raise a child and accepting help means you are not pushing yourself too far. It is physically and emotionally draining to try to do it all on your own. Needing help does not mean you are not adequate it simply means you are human and not designed to do things alone.
Being a parent is full of blessings but it is also a lot of work. Take care of yourself so you are able to take care of your family. Go do something for yourself right now!