When our babies grow up, many parents find themselves wondering what it was that they were so occupied doing during the baby’s first year.
Endless things are happening during the first year for us.
Here are a few examples.
- Reorientation to the shifted anchor of life
- Reorientation to the new role of a parent
- Understanding the baby’s cues and communicating with the baby effectively
- Taking care of the baby’s needs
- Establishing attachment and attunement
- Helping the baby build rhythms
This list could be endless.
It is a challenging task to endlessly identify and meet our baby’s needs and adapt to their ever-changing needs, at the same time realigning our own life, going back to work, dealing with physical challenges such as sleep deprivation. In addition to that, as parents we are determined to ‘not be a bad parent’ in the least and even ‘good parents’.
It is absolutely crucial for your baby and yourself that you take time out, when you are not doing anything for the baby or anyone else, where you get to be by yourself, relax or have fun or sleep or go out or exercise or whatever it is that you FEEL like doing, as long as this feeling arises from within.
In addition to many invisible benefits of this, it helps with following:
- Frustration tolerance
- Efficiency in tasks at hand
- Creative solutions to baby related or otherwise problems
- More meaningful interactions with the baby/ being present to the baby
Like we charge our devices on a daily basis, we need to take time out and charge ourselves, unapologetically.
Identify your needs: what does my body need? What do I need to feel? What activity calls out to me as a means of unplugging and rejuvenation?
Discuss and identify these needs for your partner as well.
Along with your partner, come up with a plan which gives at least half an hour of me-time to both of you and to any caregiver who intensely cares for your baby.
Observe how your interactions with your baby change in quality as a result of this.