Having a baby is a wondrous event, and it is a time of sheer pleasure and pure bliss; caring for this little being that has grown and developed inside of you for the last nine months is a kind of magic that only mothers know and appreciate. However, this bliss can be short-lived if you have other large commitments to honor, such as caring for your elderly parents on a daily basis. Caring for your elderly parents can suck up your time and your energy if you are not careful, and this can ultimately leave you spending less quality time with your new baby. So, how can you juggle both the care of your parents and the care of your baby? How can you ensure that you are giving your new baby the time, love, and dedication they require while still looking after your parents in the same way that you did before your baby arrived?
Firstly Look After Your Body
Your body has just gone through a huge ordeal, and it takes time to heal. Whether you had a natural or assisted birth, recovery time isn’t hugely different. Your body still needs time to recuperate and heal, and if you do not give your body the time it needs to heal and get better, then you could potentially be damaging your health and your well-being, not just in the short term but in the long term too. To help your body heal, you need to focus on eating a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet, and you need to ensure that you get as much sleep and relaxation as possible. If you do not focus on yourself at this key time, then you may struggle further down the road.
Caring for Your Baby is the Priority
Yes, your parents need you, but so too does your baby. Your baby depends on you for their care and nurturing, and if you do not provide the nurturing that they need and you provide basic care only, you could risk delaying your baby’s development and potentially even restricting how they develop and grow. So, ensure that your baby gets both the care and attention they need at all times of the day, learn to listen to your baby, and learn to spot cues and signals. When you spot their cues, and you listen to the signals, you can ensure that unnecessary crying and wailing is avoided.
Take Time to Heal from the Inside Out
Mentally and physically, your body and your emotions have been through the grinder over the last few weeks, and emotionally you need to take that time out to heal and regroup. Physical healing and emotional healing are interdependent and are as important as one another, so ensure that you focus on the whole package of healing and not just certain elements, as you will find you will struggle to fully heal if you only follow on certain bits or areas. There is no time limit or deadline on when you have to heal, so do not rush the process; take your time, focus on yourself and your new baby.
Listen to Your Body and Your Intuition
You cannot do everything the same as you did before you had your baby; changes are natural. Trying to juggle your parent's care and the care and development of your new baby is a big ask, so remember to listen to your body and your intuition. If you need to get assistance from your parents, then get it organized. If you need to get an early night, no matter how unsociable, then make this happen. Denying yourself what you know to be right or going against your body’s needs and wants will affect you in the long run, so don’t do it.
Seek Support from Health and Medical Professionals
You realize just how much time your parents need, especially after having a baby, so where you can utilize support and help from health and medical professionals. Make sure that your parents get an AWV medicare check, and ensure that they keep up with their regular doctors’ appointments. Spotting problems sooner rather than later when looking after elderly parents will ensure that you can work on solutions in a timely manner. Health and medical professionals may help you arrange care and support for your parents, and they may even help organize regular home visits for your parents. So, do not be afraid to reach out to healthcare professionals.
Establishing a New Routine
Your routine before you had your new baby will look different from what it does now, and it is important to remember that change can be good and positive. As a parent to a baby, you need to ensure that you establish a routine as soon as possible. When you get both yourself and your baby into a routine, you can ensure that you get everything done in the day that needs doing. Take heart in knowing that the first few weeks after your baby is born may feel like an uphill struggle, but after these initial rocky periods, things will naturally settle and calm down, and you will find a routine that is well suited to you and your baby.
Create a Care Schedule
Now you have had your baby; you cannot look after your parents in the same way or manner as you did before, perhaps not even the same as when you were pregnant. Creating a care schedule, and sharing the workload between yourself, other family members, and even care professionals will ensure that your parents receive consistently high levels of care and support at all times.
Create a Support Network for Yourself and Your Elderly Parents
As a new parent and as a caregiver, you need to know that you have support readily available. Reaching out to care professionals, family members, and loved ones is what you need to do. Having people you can rely on and turn to, even at the last minute, will take the weight and burden off your shoulders. Even having someone to speak to can help you get through the most challenging times, so never underestimate the importance of building a strong support network.