New Year's often brings about resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy, or spend more time with family. But for new parents, those resolutions may not hit the mark. New parents are tired, overwhelmed, and may feel isolated. Here are five resolutions that are perfect for families, whether your bundle of joy arrived before the ball dropped, or is coming your way sometime in 2017.
Resolution #1: Delegate
While the new little dictator in your life might be calling the shots, you don't need to do everything on your own -- get comfortable with delegating tasks to others. When friends or family come over, it is OK to give them specific tasks that you need done. Baby snuggles don't have to be free.
Resolution #2: Sleep
Sleep deprivation is the hallmark of new parenthood, right? It doesn't have to be. While getting eight straight hours is going to be a bit more difficult, you don't have to be a zombie. Give yourself permission to take naps, go to bed early, or stay in bed until noon if it means you get enough sleep. "Sleep when the baby sleeps" may not be realistic for most families, but try to maximize your overnight hours as much as you can.
Resolution #3: Take It Slow
It took nine months for your body to change, grow, and birth a baby. Your body won't go back to 'normal' in a matter of days. Give yourself permission to let your body heal. By taking the time for your muscles to heal and your organs to shift back, you are setting the foundation for a strong and healthy body.
Resolution #4: Self-Care
We know that it can be hard to prioritize yourself after having a baby, but you need to at least make your own top five. Whether that is a long bubble bath, a glass of wine with a friend, sleeping in on Saturdays, or getting to the gym, make sure you take time to care for yourself. When parents prioritize their own needs, they are able to prioritize the needs of others better.
Resolution #5: Get Outside
As a doula, I see new parents having hard days. One of the first questions I ask is "when did you last get out of the house?" Even in the winter, when it is cold and blustery, the fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine can help to lift a bad mood. You might get out on your own or take your baby with you, but spending time outdoors every day is a good goal for everyone.
Most New Year Resolutions are forgotten and abandoned by February, or for the dedicated, March. These resolutions are ones you should consider keeping! Whether this is your first baby, or your forth, it can be easy to forget that you need to take care of yourself.
By making these resolutions an active part of your daily routine, you will help yourself to adjust to your new role with ease and excitement. Remember, your village is all around you, even if you have to build it yourself. Lean on them to help you keep your resolutions.
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