Nothing can really prepare you for that big change of becoming a parent. Of course, you anticipate that your life will change and you will be busier but you are most likely underestimating the extent. The majority of parents find themselves completely occupied with their newborns. The whole life changes. There is nothing else but the baby for you.
Experts say it is a dangerous way of looking at reality that can hamper your personal relationships with friends, family and your partner. As you become a 24/7 wellness guardian of your new baby, you may forget about yourself and your own happiness. The overwhelming sense of responsibility leads to postpartum depression in not only women, but also new fathers as they transition into a new parenting role.
That is why it is important to find time to spend away from your children, even if it is only 30 minutes to get coffee from outside or go on a short window shopping session. You can use your free time to catch up with your girlfriends over the phone or watch the latest episode of your favorite show. Without the baby in the room. No peeking at the baby monitor either.
Often times, the relationship with your partner is the first to suffer. You need a reminder what made you fall in love with the person before the baby appeared. You should continue having common interests and activities to enjoy – without kids in the picture. Commit to at least one date per week with your partner. It does not have to be a candlelit dinner in a restaurant in the evening. Pick a time when you are least tired and go on a hike, watch a movie, play some pool or go swimming.
Bottom line is that if you do not have some ‘me-time’ as you used to have before the baby, you will not be able to stay your happiest. And when you are not happy, you won’t be able to your best to your family – your partner and your baby. You should not feel guilty about taking some time off from your parenting duties because you will come back to your kids as a happier mom and your kids will be happier in return.