Being a parent is no easy task. It’s hard work, and it’s easy to feel like you’re not cut out for the job. From taking care of the family, to trying to make time for yourself among all the stress, it can be hard to stay happy and healthy as a parent.
It wasn’t long before I realized that making my health and happiness a priority made my life better in numerous aspects. I felt more present, I was kinder and more patient to those around me, and I had a surge of energy, all of which amounted to me being a more attentive mom.
Here are my top five tips to become a happier and healthier parent:
Welcome to the world, Roemee Kae Poulin!
#1. Affirm Yourself as a Parent
As parents, we put a lot of expectations on ourselves. With advice coming at you from every direction, it gets hard to feel like you’re good enough. I’m here to tell you that you have every right to love and accept yourself and to ask for help.
As the mom of a newborn, I know that most days I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. It can become really overwhelming really quickly when you’re responsible for another human’s life. Seeds of doubt start to get sown into our minds that sabotage the joy of parenting. That’s why it’s crucially important to affirm yourself daily and speak positively over yourself instead of letting yourself get caught up in thoughts of failure, discouragement, and “I can’t do this”.
Make an I AM… Affirmation List, post it on your bathroom mirror and read it to yourself daily to fight off discouragement and negative self talk!
Here’s my personal “I AM…” Affirmation List:
I Am an Amazing Mom.
I Am Patient.
I Am Kind.
I Am Loving.
I Am Powerful.
I Am Confident.
I Work Hard.
I Make No Excuses.
I Get It Done.
I Love Myself.
I Am a LadyBoss.
#2. TRY to get enough sleep
I understand that this is way easier said than done. As a mom to a newborn, I am definitely not sleeping for a full eight hours straight.
It probably won’t surprise you that over 60-percent of parents with babies get less than four hours of sleep each night. Sure, any parent knows that sleep deprivation comes with having a baby, but what can you do about it?
I learned pretty fast that I absolutely had to reschedule my day to make room for a nap. Even taking a short, 30-minute ‘power nap’ can improve the way you function and help you feel energized. In fact, shorter naps will give you more energy and won’t leave you feeling groggy. So, I made it a priority to get these power naps in while the baby slept in between feedings.
It’s still so important to sleep a healthy eight hours, though. This will give you energy throughout the day, improve your mood, and help your body function better. Let family members volunteer to stay the night on the weekends to get up with baby so you can get a full nights rest!
Are cravings holding you back from losing the weight in a healthy way? Do you struggle with saying "no" even when you know you should?
#3. Eat good food
Besides getting enough sleep, a great way to feel happy and be healthy is to eat food that is good for your body - again, much easier said than done!
I’m not saying to never eat pizza or ice cream ever again, but cutting out a couple of sugary foods, or adding more veggies to your diet, can make a difference. The fuel that you put into your body will dictate how you feel and how much energy you will have; so make sure you are fueling your body for purpose, not pleasure.
I’m a mom and a business owner, so I know how hard it is to find time for things like eating healthy. My best advice is to dedicate time during one of your slower days to preparing meals ahead of time. Life will get crazy, and being able to grab premade meals on your way out the door will make parenthood that much easier.
Overall, nutritious food will give you energy and focus, and it’s essential if you’re trying to lose the baby weight. Plus, your little ones are likely to copy your healthy habits. If you eat healthy, they will be more likely to want nutritious foods, too.
This is the first time I worked out postpartum. Convincing myself to go for a light walk, rather than nap with the newborn, was a hard decision, but I knew it was something I had to make time for in my daily routine.
#4. Get moving
It’s not surprise that exercise is good for your health, so if you’re able to get up and get moving, what’s stopping you?
Do you need two free hours a day and a gym membership? Of course not.
Start by going for walks, maybe strapping your kids into the stroller and walking them to the park, for example. Or walk alone to benefit your physical and mental health.
Similar to nutrition, exercise can be a sustainable part of your daily life if you start with small, baby steps. Research suggests that you can turn smaller actions into recurring daily habits in just 21 days. Try one new thing at a time, and you’ll soon realize that your healthy habits are gaining momentum.
#5. Throw away your scale
I just threw out my own scale, and you should too. This may be a shocker, but I promise that you will be happier and healthier because of it. If you’re trying to slim down by working out and eating clean, you are going to gain muscle, and most scales don’t know the difference between muscle and fat. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, I encourage you to focus on feeling good and being healthy and strong.
Another thing: the scale has no idea how amazing your body is. Your body has grown a human being, and no number on the scale can reflect how incredible that is.
I am personally trying to lose my baby weight, and throwing out my scale allowed me to focus on living a lifestyle that makes me feel great mentally and physically. Always remember, mental health is just as important as physical health.
From parent to parent, I hope these steps help you find the health and happiness you deserve. I know that as a parent, it may seem like the odds are against you at times. But once you make your health and happiness a priority, you’ll be surprised by the joy you experience in return.
If you’re looking for a community to support your wellness journey, join me at LadyBoss.com to learn more about how to become healthier and happier.