If you’re anything like me, then finding balance after having a baby has likely been hard for you. Having a new baby changes literally everything. I know people like to joke about how you have to say goodbye to everything from sleep to having a social life, but I had to admit that it’s actually mostly true. There’s nothing wrong with diving into motherhood head first and temporarily putting yourself on the back burner. I am a strong advocate for putting focus on your baby for those few months until you get the swing of things. However, at some point you realize that it’s time to get back to you and get back to the things you used to love to do.
I can count on literally one hand how many HOURS, let alone number of times, that I’ve been away from my son. It is no exaggeration – you could ask anyone that knows me, and they’ll tell you that my son is conjoined to my hip. Even when I was going through PPD and I could have really used the break, I refused help from people in my life. The type of help I wanted included me being there while someone watched him for a few hours. I have only left my son with his grandparents 3 times total between both sides.
As he’s getting older, I’m realizing more and more how important self care really is. I felt like emphasizing self care in my life made me selfish or a bad mom. But that’s simply not true. It’s truly all about finding balance. As long as my self care regimen is not compromising my ability to mother and raise my son, then it is perfectly fine and acceptable, and even necessary.
All of that said, I just want to share some quick tips that I’ve found useful in finding balance after having that new addition to your family. I’m still working on implementing these into my own life, so please understand that I am also speaking to myself.
1. Create a routine and stick to it as much as possible
For the first couple of months after my son was born, I did not have a routine at all. I didn’t have a solid bedtime for him, or wake time. Everything was pretty much winging it and I’ll figure it out as I go. Showers were a rarity (I’m not ashamed to admit that). Food didn’t make its way into my body until sometimes well after 12pm, despite the fact that I was breastfeeding. Forget about doing anything I once enjoyed, because my son needed me. I later realized though, that I most definitely could’ve done things I enjoyed if I had planned my days out better).
The fact is that when you create a routine, it makes finding time to do other things much easier.
2. Get moving!
I know everyone says this, but it’s really not a cliche I promise you. Get your body moving! Exercising helps you to feel better both physically and mentally. Whether it’s Zumba/dance fitness strength training, jogging, or doing yoga, I promise you will finish feeling refreshed in every way possible.
Moving also helps you to gain your focus back. So not only will you feel refreshed, but it’ll help motivate you to get some other things done too. And there you go – balance!
I recently posted about a 35 minute HIIT workout! Challenge yourself to complete it and I promise you’ll be feeling so much better! Click here to access my 35 minute HIIT workout!
3. No time? MAKE time, and find balance!
Everyone around me could tell you that my famous words were always “I don’t have time to. . .” Regardless of what it was, it just honestly felt like I had no time to do anything except wake up and take care of my son each and every day. Being a stay at home mom is not as easy as it looks. I know people like to scoff when you mention being a stay at home mom, but I absolutely promise you that it isn’t easy. But that’s a story for another time.
I started realizing that I had to find and make time if I ever wanted to get anything done. As exhausted as I was at the end of every day, I still had to use that time to start focusing on other things.
Here are some ways I’ve been able to find times throughout the day to get things done.
-During nap time. Nap time doesn’t automatically mean sleep time for you. You cannot always sleep when the baby sleeps, or you literally won’t ever find a balance
-During wake time. I’ve found that my son enjoys watching me get up and move around. He is occupied for a good 30-45 minutes while doing Zumba because he enjoys listening to the music and watching me dance.
-During tummy time. When he was about 2 months old, he finally started enjoying spending time on his play mat. During this time (because he was in my line of sights), I was able to relax and watch some TV for about 20-30 minutes (or until he was over being on the mat).
-During bedtime. I know we’re completely exhausted by the end of each day, especially those who have other kids on top of a newborn. However, the best time to get anything done is when the baby is down for bed. This is when you’ll get the longest stretch of uninterrupted time to focus on other things. Those things can be self care (taking that shower) or working toward those forgotten goals and aspirations.
4. Spend that time with friends and family, especially those who don’t mind helping you with the baby.
I mentioned this the other day on my Instagram reel when I was talking about tips for fighting PPD. I’ve found it super helpful to get together with friends and family that don’t mind helping with the baby. Not only do you get to connect with other adults, but you may have a chance to get some quiet time or shift your focus toward something that you really need (or want) to get done. Sometimes it really helps just being around other adults. It often felt nutty for me to be home all day every day with just my baby to talk to. This was especially true when he was under 4-5 months old, before he was able to do much of anything.
5. Get an accountability partner.
Find someone that you’re close with, someone that you trust, and ask them to help to hold you accountable for finding balance in your life. It may be that you just need encouragement or an extra push to wash that load of clothes or to do the dishes.
This is something I really could’ve used, but I was often too embarrassed and ashamed to reach out to anyone. Don’t be like me! Find yourself some help in a friend or a family member!
All in all, finding a balance can be hard. It takes serious effort as well as a change in mindset to really find one. These 5 tips are a great start though. I hope that you are able to find a balance in your life and get back to looking, feeling, and being yourself again!
Enjoy this article? You might enjoy reading “5 Early Warning Signs of Postpartum Depression.”
Click here to read.