Mental health in every season of life is so important. Listen, you can’t pour from an empty cup so make sure you are taking care of yourself. Let’s specifically talk about mental health in parenthood because we all know parenting is CHALLENGING!!!!
I will say I am not perfect, and I have hard days, but that’s what this is all about! If I can’t help a parent face to face at least you can read this blog post and maybe feel that you are not alone and you got this!
Before we dive in, I want to talk about my mental health and my experience with having a newborn and now being a toddler mom. I knew about postpartum anxiety and depression, but you really don’t know how it feels or how to deal with it until you have it. I had postpartum anxiety and depression for at least the first 6 months after giving birth to Julian. I would get anxious about a car hitting the house when I was sitting in the living room, I would get anxious about taking Julian into public, and I can honestly say I did have some depression. It wasn’t very intense, just felt a little “off”. This mostly stems from Julian being a horrible sleeper and having reflux as a baby. I knew once 5:00pm hit that I was not going to get any sleep and I knew going into the day that I would basically be on the couch all day because of breast feeding. I also struggled a lot with my postpartum body. I was in great shape before getting pregnant and I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant and as I watched my body change it was so hard for me. Truthfully, I still have a hard time with my “mom bod” some days and Julian turns 3 this year. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Also, my mental health really suffered as I was in a very toxic work environment, so once I quit my job, I was a little more myself. Now, my mental health is great. I am open about my hard days which are not very often, and I make sure I prioritize myself and make sure my family is taken care of.
If you are feeling “off” or have more bad days than good days, then I highly suggest you seek help from a medical professional. I am not a doctor; I just like to speak about my experience because it takes a village to raise children.
So let’s get into these tips…
#1: I wake up before my family
I must wake up before my family and workout most days of the week to make sure my day starts off good. This is a personal preference for me because I need that alone time. Also, this is my routine and I love a good routine!
#2: Move my body at least 5 days a week
Moving your body looks different for everyone. I love to lift weights and it’s just such a good feeling after a good workout! If you are not one to workout, going for a walk for just 30 minutes a day and getting your heart rate up can do a lot for your mental health!
#3: Relate to my husband if I am having a hard day
Spouse support is everything. I want my husband to know that I am having a hard day, or my patience is thin and maybe I just need some time to myself. I am naturally an introvert and like my alone time so being a stay-at-home mom can be tough because I can easily get touched out and I am talking to a toddler most of the day. Sometimes I just need a listening ear about why I am having a hard day and he does great at that.
#4: Take some time to myself
I kind of said this in the first 3 points, but sometimes we just need some time to ourselves to just sit and do nothing outside of the house or go get our nails done. Take time to yourself other than going grocery shopping!
#5: Go on a date night
Let’s be honest, sometimes we just need a little time away from our children. Choose to go on a date night with your spouse to just take a breather and reconnect with your spouse. I always feel refreshed after this!
This is like my huge journal. Obviously, you don’t have to start a blog to journal, but grab a notebook and pencil and just write down your thoughts. It can feel good to write things out instead of just keep it in your mind.
These are just a few ideas to help with mental health in parenthood.
This is not necessarily a tip, but like I said before, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Make sure you are taking care of yourself so you can take care of your family to the best of your ability. Mental health is an everyday thing, and it is very normal to have off days. If you feel like every day is “off” then I recommend you seek care from a medical professional.
Sometimes it may feel selfish to prioritize yourself, but do not feel bad. Be open with your spouse and make sure they understand your intentions. Find some mom or dad friends to talk about parenting with.
I would love to know more ideas about what you do for your mental health!
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