I know that this is a blog about nutrition, exercise and wellness. I however, feel that being parent overlaps with my nutrition, exercise and wellness so that is how I am tying this into my normal theme on this blog. I would also argue that being parent is having an impact on my nutrition, exercise and overall wellness. The balance of work, family life and staying healthy is quite the challenge when you add a small child into the equation. This small, tiny human now demands all of your attention and limits your ability to stay late at work to hit up the gym or may drive up your alcohol consumption due to his needless crying in the evenings. Of course, you also have to factor in the lack of sleep. When breast feeding at night, you have to wake up every 3-4 hours, change the baby and then feed him. All of this totally throws off your own sleep schedule. All of these factors have an influence on your overall health.
I didn't want this to be a total complaining session about how tough it is to be a parent, but I wanted to discuss the challenges and maybe some ways to help you be successful in overcoming them. I have quickly learned that I need to take time for myself. That is use to always be going for a run, doing yoga or walking the dog. Now with a baby this has had to change and shift a little bit. I honestly haven't been able to run as much as I would like. By the time I get home from work, make something for dinner, feed the baby, and get the dog walked, the sun is setting and I have lost daylight for a run. I am excited with the lengthening spring evenings that I will be able to fit in more week night runs with William. But even if I can't fit in as many runs as I would like, I try to take time each night for myself. Last night it was a shower. Simple, I know, but after being frustrated by a fussy baby and needy dog I just wanted to do something for myself and nice warm shower fit the bill before crawling into bed.
- Take time for you. I am working on this and I am still figuring it out. It looks different each day, but taking this time for me helps me to be a better mother, wife and employee.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. I have to admit this is a huge challenge for me. I am a Type A, control freak and learning to let go has been tough. I like to do things my way and learning to delegate is necessary. I also have had to learn to be ok with things not always getting done, like cleaning the bathrooms or doing ALL the dishes every night.
- Enjoy the little moments. There are some great moments in being a parent. Those smiles that I get after feeding William or taking a moment to snuggle with my husband on the couch after William has fallen asleep. Those little moments are wonderful. Stopping from rush of life and embracing those moments has been another thing that I have been trying to do.
Hopefully you have found this post encouraging. You are NOT alone in your parenting journey and it is tough. That balance between your role as a parent, your job, and your family is something that is always changing. Keeping working hard at it and enjoying every moment.