Adjusting to Life After Baby
Adjusting to Life After Baby
We hear it all the time; New parenthood is hard work. Making the adjustment takes time. You can never fully prepare.
“What’s the big deal?” You think before you get there yourself. “Doesn’t everyone do it?” “How much time can it really take?”
True, building a family is one of those typical life stages that most everyone goes through. And so certainly, adjusting to life after baby is a surmountable challenge. But that doesn’t mean it comes naturally to everyone. Like at all. And even when it does come naturally, they still call it an adjustment period for a reason.
Because it takes time to adjust to this whole new way of life. It takes time to figure out how to keep juggling all the other aspects of your life that mattered before your baby arrived.
Making Time For Your Relationship
One of the biggest struggles that people seem to universally go through after having a baby, is maintaining a focus on their relationship. It’s normal. You aren’t getting a ton of sleep, hormones can be wacky, you are trading off on who is caring for this tiny little person 24/7, and in the midst of all that – you probably aren’t showering as much as you should. In that new baby haze, it can be difficult to form coherent thoughts, let alone engage in an actual conversation with your spouse or partner. So it makes sense that relationships tend to struggle in the early years of new parenthood. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of who you are as a couple, just because you now have a baby. Making your relationship a priority is actually good for your little one – kids kind of like growing up in homes where mom and dad like each other. So as you work your way through that new baby haze, make sure to take time for each other as well. That may involve simply cuddling up in front of a movie together during those early months. But as your baby gets older, prioritizing date nights and kid-free vacations should also be part of the deal. If you have never scheduled dates & sex before, start considering it. I’m serious.
Making Time For Your Career
Hopefully you were able to take a bit of time off when the new baby arrived. But for a lot of us, that extended vacation at home eventually has to end. So how do you return to work and give it your all, when there is part of you still yearning to be home with your little one? Well, if possible, you do it slowly – phasing in with half days at first and working back up to your normal schedule. Finding childcare you trust is also a necessity if you want to be able to focus on your work. Whether that means relying on family, or touring all the daycare facilities in town (perhaps while still pregnant?), lining up your options long before you return to work is going to be key in helping you to make that transition.
Making Time For Yourself
We all still need a little “me time” on occasion, even when there is a new baby to worry about. At first, that can seem near impossible – when the baby is waking up every 1-2 hours, and what little “me time” you have, you want to use for sleep. But as your little one gets older, start carving out time for the things you used to love to do – whether that means going for a jog a few times a week, or reading in the tub with a big glass of wine after your little one goes to bed. If all you can do is call a friend, do that so you don’t lose all ties to the outside world when you come out of the baby fog.
Making it All Work
Most people are juggling a lot of responsibilities long before they ever become parents. Adding children to that mix just means one more ball you have to keep up in the air. There will be times when you can’t keep it all going, and when something will have to give – at least for a little while. It’s OK to have a little less on your daily to-do list! Knowing that up front, and remembering you aren’t a failure if you can’t do it all, is important. But so is finding ways to continue prioritizing everything you really care about maintaining. So ask for help when you need it, and go easy on yourself when life gets overwhelming. Adjusting to life after baby takes time, but you will get there… eventually!