-Find time to shower. If this means you hand baby to your partner, mother-in-law or a friend for 15 minutes then by all means do it.
-Don’t feel bad about stepping away when you have visitors to spend some time in another room. Even doze off for a minute!
-Ask your visitors to help with household chores. Take out the garbage, load the dishwasher, throw in a load of laundry, etc.
-Let people come over and then when they are there take advantage of them! I went through a phase after Jack was born where I didn’t want people over. Looking back I think I just wanted time to myself. If I get to do this over again in the future I will be inviting people over in droves to help with chores and the new baby while I duck out to the other room.
-Treat yourself to a mani/pedi. Your body has been through more than you think. A little pampering can go a long way.
- Have some available healthy snacks around to help make sure you eat enough.
-Put on clean clothes, even if you know you’ll just end up with spit up/pee/poo on you again within an hour.
-Open your curtains and windows every day.
-Make time every day to get out of the house. Even if it is just sitting in the yard or on your balcony/porch. Fresh air and a change of scenery can do wonders for the mind.
-Buy a magazine or book that has nothing to do with parenting and read it in the bathtub.
-Download some free meditation tracks and listen to them while you’re lying down with baby.
-Assign your partner the job of washing the sheets every other night so you can slip into bed on nice crisp linens.
-Order takeout and eat all the stuff you couldn’t have while you were pregnant.
-Have a glass of wine or beer.
-Find other adults to interact with.
-Nap when baby naps. I know it sounds cliché and I remember thinking it was terrible advice because when was I supposed to clean?! But if I had to do it all over again I would nurse him lying down and doze off with him.
Enlist the help of you partner in making these things happen.
Work out time each day to meet your needs!
When Jack was born I took a bath each night and brought a glass of wine, a piece of pie and People magazine with me. I felt a bit strange eating on the side of the tub, but I truly had fun in those moments. Just to be alone and sit in warm water and look at the silly Hollywood people missing out on real life while they focused all their energy on Botox and bimbo shorts. Ahhh, yes, this is the life!
Abby Theuring, MSW