Finding Your Calm
There is so much to be excited about when you're expecting a baby. All the new little outfits and room decorations. Who is this little creature going to be like? Will they have your laugh? Will they have your partner’s knack for numbers? Will they have blue eyes or brown? Will their hair be curly or straight?
And then, they arrive. And it tends to be less exciting than we imagined. Oftentimes, I hate to say it, but it can even be boring and the tasks mundane.
We feel like we are more often frazzled and fatigued than energetic and excited about the day-to-day going-on’s of having a child (or more than one!).
Then, what happens next? We feel guilty. We feel guilty about not loving every moment of this time that everyone says is so precious. We feel guilty that our patience for our children and the patience for our partner wears thin.
So, how can we do it differently? How do you get the energy you need to enjoy these moments?
I know I say that a lot. But it’s so true.
All those memes you see on social media about how you need to fill your cup or put your oxygen mask on before you take care of others are so true. But how exactly do you do that as a parent?
And what about those days when overwhelm takes over? Because we seem to get in the habit of living in these overwhelmed states as if we’ve accepted it as our new “normal."
Here’s how you can reset and do it differently:
- Make small changes. Anything too big or too drastic just sets you up for failure, giving you one more thing to feel bad about. Sometimes you just need an easy win, so keep it small and manageable.
For example, do you need to drink more water? Get a fun water bottle or slice up a lemon to make it more appealing.
Are you always in a rush when you get home from work? Try setting a timer for just 5-15 minutes and read your kids a story or play a quick game with them to take a pause together to reconnect before starting dinner. Maybe have a task they can help you with like putting napkins on the table so that they feel like they’re contributing.
- Say NO. There is an endless supply of things to do. But, seriously look at what your day looks like and decide: Is this something that really needs to be done today (or at all)?
Do you have your children in too many organized activities? Is there something that they can do at home instead?
Can you delegate some of your tasks or chores?
Are you communicating with your partner on a regular basis about how you are feeling and where you need support and where they need support?
Give yourself grace and permission. We are so not ever going to be able to do it all. We need to let go of that impossible standard. We need help. We need support. And sometimes, we need breaks.
We need to take care of ourselves in order to be able to take care of everyone else. And sometimes you will be better at this than other days. That’s OK. Remember our children our partners, and our friends don’t need us to be perfect. They need us to be real.
So, what small changes will you make today to take care of yourself?
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