Redefining Self-Care for New Parents

August 3, 2023
Preschool kids play with building bricks in while sitting on floor in daycare

Self-care is a popular buzz word, but what does it mean for new parents? Amidst diaper changes, sleepless nights, and endless feedings, finding time for yourself can feel like another impossible task to add to your to-do list.

We see self-care ideas all over the internet, but a lot of these ideas can range from unattainable to almost insulting. Showering and eating should never be considered “self-care”, they’re basic rights. And the assumption that you have people around to babysit your child while you take a break, might leave you feeling isolated and out of options.

Taking care of your mental and physical health shouldn’t cause you more stress. Let’s redefine self-care for new parents and break down some realistic strategies for prioritizing yourself during this busy time.

Let Go of the Unrealistic Expectations (as best as you can)

We know there’s a never-ending list of “shoulds” out there; I should go for a walk, I should clean up the kitchen, I should do some laundry. But the reality is, you can’t do it all. No one can. So, try to let go of the pressure and cut yourself some slack. Leaving that pile of dishes for an extra day doesn’t make you a bad parent! Give yourself permission to say, “I’ll get to it when I can”.

Set Boundaries and Say “No”

Remember that you have the power to set boundaries for yourself, your home, and your child. Don’t feel pressured to hand over your baby if you’re not comfortable. Let yourself to say “no” to outings or visitors when needed. It’s not selfish; it’s about creating a safe and comfortable space for you and your family.

Give Yourself Permission to Rest

You might see friends or people on the internet talk about how productive they were during their baby’s nap, but there are no rules for how you need to spend your time. Parenting is hard, give yourself permission to rest.

Prioritize Your Health

You’ve got a lot on your plate, but don’t forget about your health. Go to your scheduled appointments and have regular check-ins with your healthcare provider. Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally will allow you to be the best version of yourself for your baby.

Find Support with Other New Parents

It may look like everyone else has their life together, and that you’re the only one having trouble adjusting, but the reality is that you are not alone. At BridgeWay we have programs dedicated to new parents connecting with each other and finding support.

Practice Makes Progress

Putting yourself first will take some practice, and that’s okay. Parenting is a journey of growth, and we’re all learning as we go. There will be some days where prioritizing yourself seems impossible. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself. You are doing a great job.

Recent News

What’s On This Week – July 14-20

When children have a healthy diet, it positively impacts their overall physical and mental well-being. Many children go through phases of only wanting to eat one type of food all day, choosing to play instead of...

What’s On This Week – July 7-13

Celebrate Peel Pride On Saturday July 13, Peel will be celebrating Pride! Many community organizations are coming together to throw this fun Pride event. Enjoy free food, a magician, storytime, drag shows and more! Be sure to stop by our tent to say hi! Burnhamthorpe...

What’s On This Week – June 30-July 6

Outdoor Programs Did you know BridgeWay has outdoor programs too? We bring circle time and activities outside for you and your child to enjoy. Click here to find an outdoor program near you! Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support If you’re a mom who has experienced a loss...

Celebrating 40 Years of BridgeWay

This year (2024) marks BridgeWay Family Centre's 40th Anniversary! As an agency, we are celebrating 40 years of supporting families, 40 years of playing and learning, and 40 years of helping to build a stronger community. Our theme for the year has been The 80s; a nod...

What’s On This Week – June 23-29

Upcoming Closures Centres will be closed Saturday, June 29 and Monday, July 1. Heart Lake, Turtle Creek and Streetsville (Healthy Start) will remain open on Saturday, June 29. Celebrate Indigenous Cultures with Songs and Stories Songs and stories are a great way to...

Play Ideas

LGBTQ2S+ Books for Children Birth to 6 Years

We’ve put together a list of books celebrating LGBTQ2S+ children and families! These books are perfect for children with queer parents/caregivers to see families like theirs, for children to see themselves and their peers, and for everyone to learn about and celebrate...

Creative Ways to Build Ramps

Ramps are a fun and interactive tool for children to explore math and science concepts. When they roll a toy down a ramp, they're learning to make predictions and problem solve while also learning about concepts like motion, speed, and cause and effect. There are fun...