It would be fair to say that there are more than a few shocks to the system when it comes to life as a new parent. Sleep most definitely falls into this category and unsurprisingly is the side effect that usually grabs all of the headlines.
However, there is more, and another example comes in the form of ‘me time’. In other words, back in your pre-parent days, you had all of the time in the world to spend on your pastimes. Then, as parenthood struck, all of the said time mysteriously disappeared.
Unfortunately, it’s just not going to be possible to magic this back – this is part and parcel of being a parent of a young child. There are some ways to at least mitigate the issue though, and give yourself that break that you will no doubt thoroughly deserve. Let’s not forget that by giving yourself this respite, you’ll be doing favours to both you and your child – and improving the quality of your life emphatically.
Understand your new situation
First and foremost, understanding your new situation is half of the battle. If you are approaching parenthood with the thought of living a very similar life to what you have been up until now, you’re set for a rude awakening.
Those that follow the above approach will experience a shock to the system – and it will hit you harder than anyone else who is a parent for the first time.
Make a date night
The basis of this article is showing you how to have ‘me time’, but sometimes this also stretches to ‘us time’. Life as a parent is stressful, and it can be easy to forget about the gel that brought you and your partner together as a couple.
This is something that you can’t allow to happen. If you have family nearby, tap into their resources once a month, or even more frequently. If there is a set evening where the two of you can enjoy each other’s company, it will do wonders for your relationship and your mental state at the same time.
If you don’t have family nearby, at least consider asking friends or even a babysitter.
Plan at least one ‘treat’ day every year
As well as the occasional date night, something else that can help you with the elusive ‘me time’ issue is setting aside a day a year to treat yourself. When we refer to the treat-factor, we’re talking about spas and other pampering activities.
Again, there’s little chance of this happening frequently, but if you can at least plan a date in the calendar and indulge your body, it will make the world of difference as you approach the world as a new parent.
Rely on each other
Finally, being a parent is sometimes about relying on each other. Particularly after the breastfeeding period, taking it in turns to wake up in evenings can be a fabulous day to relieve the pressure from your other half. Or, just making sure that you understand your partner’s general life requirements, and helping them to realise these can make a considerable difference to your baby-life balance.