5 Quick Breaks for New Parents
One of the things about being a new mom that totally caught me by surprise was the complete lack of time to myself. I guess I figured I would be able to steal away occasionally to gather my thoughts or to catch a little break, but I soon discovered that – at least in my situation – there were hardly any breaks for me at all. If I wasn’t nursing I was cleaning up a diaper, or if I wasn’t trying to comfort my baby to stop her from crying I was changing her clothes because of a new spit-up incident. It never ended, and although I adored my baby like nothing else in the world there were plenty of times when I felt like I was going to go bonkers because I could never catch a breather.
Hopefully you have a spouse or family member who is willing to give you breaks once in a while, or at least a newborn who likes to nap for long stretches of time. Either way, you should have a few things that you use to get a short break that refresh and rejuvenate you without taking a lot of time. I know some people advise, “Take a leisurely walk around the block” or “Enjoy a nice bubble bath,” but I think my list is a lot more realistic and doable during the hectic first few months with a new baby.
1. Have a cup of tea or coffee. You might be amazed at how relaxing one single hot drink can be when you know you get the whole cup without interruption.
2. Work on an ongoing project. For me it was working on my novel; for you it might be scrapbooking or painting a picture. Set a timer for ten or fifteen minutes and request that time to yourself while you do something not related to cleaning up after a newborn.
3. Read a chapter in a book. Unless you’re reading a book with really long chapters you can probably steal away to read through one while someone else takes care of your baby.
4. Listen to a song. You can’t always get someone to agree to take the baby so you can get away for even ten minutes, so have a favorite song ready at all times on your music player and consider it your “rejuvenating song.”
5. Just sit. Set a timer for however long you can get and then just sit. Reflect on how amazing your baby is and give your mind a couple of moments to reset.
If your spouse is just as overwhelmed as you are – or even more so – then you’ll probably meet with much less resistance for asking for ten uninterrupted minutes to have a cup of tea than you will asking for an hour to go to the gym.
Even the most fantastic parents need a break once in a while, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time.