Your life changes when you become a parent for the first time. You suddenly have a little bundle of joy, that you love more than you ever thought possible. But the new family member needs your attention ALL the time and suddenly you have no time for yourself.
Even though encouraging parents to continue living their life as they did before having a baby, and doing the things they love, the priorities will automatically change. Additionally, new parents often feel a lot of parent peer pressure. Pressure to do things the right way. Being the perfect parent, having the perfect home, cooking the perfect food. And, at the same time juggling with career, fitness, and social life.
Take the easy way
With the right mindset you can continue your active lifestyle after becoming a parent. To handle all the stress, pressure and hard choices you will have to be flexible and try to keep things simple. In other words, sometimes it’s okay to take the easy way out. Here’s a few tips of how to keep your identity as a parent.
How to keep your identity as a parent
1. Write down what’s important to you
To actually think about and make a list of what is meaningful to you is important. What do you value? How do you want to be as a parent? What can you live without, and what do you need in your life to feel good? Try also to map out the areas that you feel strongly about and the one’s that are negotiable. Maybe you can go for fast food on Sundays, if you enjoy a home cooked family meal together the day before.
2. Discuss with your family members
Communication is always key. Sit down for a discussion about your time together, your interests, hobbies and activities, and what’s important for you. Respect and value each other’s time is key to strengthen family bonds. Make a schedule together so you can make room for both me-time, family time, and social time. Whether or not you’re going to the gym, meeting a friend, or having a fika.
3. Say no thank you to negative pressure
When entering parenthood, you will soon realize that some people want to have a say about almost everything. They are usually trying to be helpful, but sometimes it just gives you a bad gut feeling and a feeling of being a little off. Mom-shaming is a common discussion topic and a feeling that many have felt. If you get advice or if someone is questioning your parenting, just tell them that you appreciate their interest but that you’re going to do it your own way.
4. Trust your parenting gut
Hey, we know that you sometimes doubt your own gut feeling. But remember, you got this. What might be right for one family might not be right for another, and as a parent, you get to choose. You are the expert on your own, your child, and your family’s needs.
5. It doesn’t always have to be all in, or all out
The thought of just spending your days at home can be tempting. Hoping your friends will take the time to visit. Skipping the workout session. Watching another movie instead of going for a Swedish fika as planned. The work of going out is just too much.
Exercising, going out of the house and meeting people is usually very good for both your mental and physical health. It’s better to try to make it easy for yourself, instead of backing out completely. Take a short powerwalk instead of a longer class at the gym, ask a friend to make your company for the next movie marathon and just eat cookies at home. It’s also totally okay.
Use a baby carrier
Carrying your baby will automatically make you more active and gives you more time to do what you love. You are on the go, whether it’s doing things around the house or going for a walk together. Living an active lifestyle helps you stay healthy, makes you happier and you will probably live longer. With more energy and time to share with your little one.