Guest Writer: Amanda Henderson
There is no way to know the struggles you will face and how you will react to your first time as a parent. Some parents find it overwhelming while others coast through it. Neither reaction is wrong, but those who struggle may need a little extra help. These seven tips offer options for new parents that need support wading through the chaos.
1. Take Care of Your Physical Health
There are many elements to taking care of your physical health. Start with nutrition. The food you consume has a direct impact on your mental health. You can begin with a simple change, such as reaching for fruit and nuts for a snack rather than something processed. Make a smoothie with protein and nutrients when you need something quick and easy. You’ll find yourself with more energy and less hunger throughout the day.
2. Nurture Your Friendships and Family Relationships
Being a new parent can get lonely. Call your friends and family when you feel alone at home with the baby. Get out of the house occasionally and visit with your loved ones. It’s a good habit for mental health and a great way to maintain relationships. Do you need breast milk or would like to sell or donate milk? This is a great way to connect with moms across the county on a common goal. Visit Ship The Milk to learn more.
3. Take on a New Hobby
Look for a new hobby you can do in your downtime. Newborns sleep away most of the day, leaving you with more time than you might expect. Of course, you can use some of it to catch up on your sleep, but the rest you might dedicate to a hobby. Take up knitting, play video games, or get creative with painting or drawing. You can even start a blog, we would love to post your blogs at Save The Milk! It doesn’t matter what the hobby is as long as you enjoy it.
4. Spend Time Outdoors
Get your exercise outside. When the weather is nice, you can put the baby in a stroller and go for a walk. Take up gardening so you and the baby can spend some time in the backyard. If you prefer not to make it a task, simply turn your outdoor space into a comfortable spot to hang out and soak up some vitamin D.
5. Make Healthy Changes to Your Home
New parents spend a great deal of time at home for the first several months. Even for an introvert, that can become unhealthy. Make changes to your environment as you start to feel the walls closing in. For example, houseplants provide oxygen and create calmness in the room. Take some time to get organized. Clutter is a major stressor and an unfortunate part of having children. Open the windows to let in more natural light and start working on getting things in a more manageable state.
6. Ask for Help When You Need It
Do not be afraid to lean on your support system at any time. Your family and friends are there to offer you a break and give you the much-needed time to complete tasks or just read a book and relax. When you feel overwhelmed, reach out. Here is a great mom community to join. A healthy, happy parent is a better parent. It is difficult to give your best to your child if you never feel your best.
7. Earn a Degree to Pursue Career Goals
New parents may find that a great way to fulfill educational or career goals is to pursue an online degree. An online degree also offers ultimate flexibility when it comes to scheduling; studying and course completion can fit into the demands of a household with little ones. Moreover, online programs are often more affordable than traditional university courses, making them ideal for individuals operating on tight budgets. For example, if you’re interested in advancing your career, a degree in information technology can help you develop skills in programming, networking and security, and data management. Have an interest in becoming a Lactation Consultant? It doesn’t take long and doesn’t cost that much. Who knows, Save The Milk Lactation may even have a job waiting for you!
Remember that parenting changes daily, and you will not always meet all of your goals. Whether you’re becoming more fit, taking up a hobby, or earning a degree, show yourself some mercy and kindness when you fall behind. Then you can pick right back up and start again.