This post is about connection and the connection to different things and people that can create a beautiful balance for the newness of becoming a parent. There are several things to look for as you make the transition into parenthood: connection with self, connection with others, and connection to your very own interests.
It seems easy to lose connection to self when becoming a parent, throwing out self care practices, ignoring body signals all for the noble cause of parenting. Remember that if you are going to do this job well, you can’t neglect taking care of your body. Unless its a regular pre-parenting practice to go days without showering, don’t do that. Make sure you eat food, (especially if you’re nursing) and get sleep. Ask for help when you need it so you can do all these things to take care of yourself. Nobody is handing out medals for you doing it all on your own.
Being able to connect with another adult human is really important as a parent. Kids are wonderful and amazing, and sometimes, you need to speak to somebody who understands all the words you use, or who will respond without drooling. Reach out and ask for company, a phone call, or a coffee date when you need it. Connection also refers to the connection between you and your partner. Even if you aren’t ready for the most intimate of connections right away or all the time, talk to each other, hold hands, and get and give lots of hugs. Sometimes the physical strain of being a parent (especially if you’re breastfeeding) can be overwhelming, and you need to be restored through another kind of connection.
Continue to connect to the things that you find interesting. Yes, there may be a period of time before you can resume some of those activities, (i.e. physical exercise). Staying connected to these things will give you different insights as a parent, as well as teaching your child from a young age to that self care and self interests as a parent are important, thus teaching them a healthy level of boundary in the relationship. Don’t completely give up things you find interesting simply because you’ve had a baby. You may have a shift in the things that interest you, and that’s ok too. Make sure you are filling your own cup so that you can continue to give and feel fulfilled.
Where have you lost some connection that you could simply reconnect with? Where could you reach out to ask for help to build even more connection?