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Motherhood is one of the greatest gifts in the world, but everybody knows that it’s also one of the hardest. When you have children, it can be easy to lose yourself in parenting – here are some tips to help you pursue your own passions as well as being a mom.
Get Planning Pre-Baby
Make sure that you plan before you have your baby. We all know that when kids are around, plans rarely go as you expect them to, so make sure that there’s a little wiggle room in there. But having some things prepared is a great idea – from lists of baby names that you both like and a perfectly painted nursery to more core ideas: do you want your child to go to public or private school or would you like to homeschool? How involved do you want your kids’ grandparents to be in their upbringing? Cover all the bases before you have kids so you know there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.
Remind Your Partner That They Aren’t Just ‘Babysitting’
Not everybody is lucky enough to have a supportive partner. If you have a baby and you find that your partner isn’t supporting you as much as you thought they would, it’s time to sit down and talk to them and outline your expectations. Some men think that taking care of their child for a couple of hours is a great favor to you – some even use the word ‘babysitting’. That word needs to be replaced with ‘parenting’, and your child deserves to have two fully involved parents in his or her life. That means that you will be freer to pursue your own activities and hobbies outside your home.
Stay In Contact With Your Friends
It can be hard to maintain friendships with people who don’t have kids when you’re a parent, but it’s still important. Not only will it be great to think about something other than the contents of your kid’s diaper, but baby and toddlerhood doesn’t last forever – one day your kids will be more independent and you’ll be able to go out for brunch with your girlfriends again without a baby next to you. Even though parenthood can be all-consuming, remember to check in with your friends, make sure they’re okay and doing well, and make sure those friendships stay as beautiful as they’ve always been.
Accept Help Even If You Don’t Think You Need It
As parents, we would like to think that we can do it all. But if help is offered to you, why not take it? It’s okay to accept pain relief when you’re giving birth. It’s okay to have a date night with your husband and hire a babysitter. It’s okay to leave your kids with your partner for an evening so you can go to yoga or a painting class or a book group. This is the best way to maintain your sanity and to retain your sense of self. It would be great to believe that you’re Superwoman, but the truth is that you don’t have to be. Lean in to your loving community of support and let them bear some of the weight of your busy life.
Parenthood fundamentally changes everyone – but make sure that you hang onto your sense of self alongside your family life!