From Shopping to Stress Relief – Getting Used to the New Parent Lifestyle
Remember lazy Sunday mornings luxuriating in bed, the whole day stretching before you? Maybe you’d take a late stroll to get a coffee at the local cafe or a spot of lunch.
If you are a new parent, those carefree days may seem like a distant memory; replaced by nights of broken sleep, interspersed with nappy changes and quiet sobbing on the couch...
If you are feeling exhausted, take heart. Studies have shown that parenting is more tiring than working. Imagine having a job which involved working 24 hours a day with only short naps to keep you going! No wonder many parents find themselves at their wits end.
Whilst venturing out to shop with one child can sometimes seem like a mini vacation, where you can stop for a coffee while baby sleeps in the pram, shopping with twins or a newborn and a toddler, is fraught with consequences.
Just as the saying goes that there is no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing choices, the same may be said about prams. Flexible, adaptable and lightweight twin prams which can interchange with carrycots and travel systems, are the best investment you can make, when venturing outside with two little ones.
Look for prams which are:
- Easy to fold and manoeuvre.
- Can adapt through each age.
- Can accommodate disparate aged children.
- Are sturdy and well made and conforming to Australian safety standards.
- Have substantial canopies and sun protection.
- Have compatible travel systems such as interchangeable capsules which make car travel a breeze.
The Power Of Cat Naps
Speaking of adaptability, this may also apply to changing your routine to get some much needed sleep. It is often recommended that you sleep when your baby does but for many parents this is a time to catch up on washing, cleaning or spending time with older children.
Fortunately, you don’t need to make up for every hour of lost sleep. Studies have found that if you can manage a 20 minute cat nap, you can reset your system, boost energy levels and recharge your batteries.
Waking up exhausted in the mornings may say less about the amount of sleep you are getting and more about your diet. We are led to believe that we need three cooked meals a day but buying some healthy ‘grazing food’ is often far easier and more nutritious.
To maintain energy levels throughout the day, try a few simple, delicious and healthy snacks such as:
- Beans and carrots with hummus dip.
- Fresh fruit.
- Seeds and nuts.
- Yoghurt with passionfruit.
Monitor hydration levels to ensure you are getting enough water. This is of particular relevance if you are breastfeeding, as it is easy to become dehydrated.
Research has proven that exercise is a great way to relieve tension and stress. The body releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain designed to promote calm and even relieve pain.
Yoga has been found to be a potent therapy both for healing and mental health. Studies show it to be of profound benefit and it is one of the most powerful alternative medicines with beneficial effects in numerous ailments including cancer, anxiety, arthritis, diabetes and hypertension.
Try a few of the following exercise options which can be done with baby in tow:
- Take a walk with the pram in the fresh air.
- Look for Yoga DVD’s or try Youtube.
- Join a local walking group.
- Join a mothers exercise group.
Parenting can be one of the most rewarding experiences of one's life but it is rarely easy. By implementing some strategies in the early stages, you can set yourself up for a happier, healthier and more enjoyable time with your baby.