Self care for parents

by Michelle Way – Child Health Nurse

Having a baby often requires a fair amount of adjustment, as you get to know your baby and adapt to your new role as parents. Looking after yourself and your partner is a vital part of being a parent and building a loving family. Not only do you feel better, but you parent better and set a good example for your baby when you look after yourself, and each other. Here are some tips for self-care as a parent:

  • Self- care is ongoing and requires maintenance. Set up little feel-good rituals like an evening walk, a picnic, morning tea or a weekly catch up with a friend. Small goals are absolutely ok and if they are achievable you are more likely to stick to them.

  • Support your partner in their self-care activities. Often this requires good communication and sharing expectations of one another, but if you can be in tune with one another’s needs it makes your relationship and the parenting team stronger.

  • Take your baby along with you. Self-care can mean time away from baby (and that’s ok) but there are so many things you can do that your baby can enjoy too – like catching up with friends (particularly if they also have babies), going to the beach, swimming, listening to music, walking in nature or taking a nap.

  • Try to live in the moment. Enjoy the special moments with your baby as they happen, and try to avoid worrying about what the next day, week or months might hold for you as chances are this may increase your sense of stress or anxiety.

  • Give yourself permission to let some things go. We juggle many balls as parents, some of these are glass and some are plastic. If you drop the plastic balls nothing bad will happen, but if you drop a glass one it will break. Putting the washing away is an example of a plastic ball, whereas your mental health and wellbeing is very much one made of glass.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top