Recently a mom posted on a mom-based support group I am a part of, “How do you find time to eat during the day with your baby?” She was struggling to balance the new-ness of being a mom, taking care of her baby, and taking care of herself. I read this and thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, been there.” In the early days of mothering I struggled to find time to take care of myself. With no family nearby, my “downtime” was when my husband would come home from work and I had the chance to take care of myself. This included making dinner, going to work out, and preparing meals for the next day. No naps for this exhausted first-time momma! Does it sound much like self-care? Probably not — but it really was.
I was able to prepare meals for the next day, because I, much like this woman I spoke about, knew what it was like to find myself ravishing midday and not having snacks or meals prepped. I would go workout, and even as tired as I was, going to work out meant taking care of myself and allowing myself to feel good in my new, post-pregnancy body. I learned that if I wanted to be able to take care of myself and my baby the next day, I needed to prepare while my husband was home, even though napping was much more appealing. It was a steep learning curve for sure.
- Plan your meals and grocery shop for the week.
- Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Have it all in your house. You will be able to refer back to your list and when you are super hungry and in the midst of the chaos you can grab something healthy that you have already prepared.
- Have simple, healthy, and easy-to-eat snacks available and ready to go. If you are running out the door, make sure to have granola bars, fruit, and vegetables (already cut up and in containers).
- Give yourself GRACE! You just had a baby, and you are learning and growing together.
Jenny Wegner, MS, MFT
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