Priorities change when you have a baby, no matter if it's your first or fourth child. It's important for new parents to redefine what it means to be productive. Before your baby arrives, you may have ample time to complete work, household tasks, shop, and many other things on any given day. Once the baby arrives, depending on how much sleep you're getting, you may be able to accomplish just a small percent of your heretofore normal daily productivity level. Don't be dismayed, you are not alone in this, and most people with a little experience or understanding will not hold it against you if your big accomplishment of the day was simply taking a shower. Here are a few tips for staying productive while you face, and hopefully enjoy, life with your newborn baby.
Give Yourself A Break
The link between stress and lower levels of productivity has been studied, and the results point to a more relaxed person being more productive than one pushed to the max. So, do not push yourself so hard. Stop making endless to-do lists when your baby arrives. Give yourself plenty of time to relax and enjoy your life and the precious first moments with your child. Once you allow yourself to relax and rest as needed, you will gradually find that you have the energy, almost magically, to accomplish tasks. However, do not bite off more than you can chew. Keep reasonable and realistic expectations about what you can and cannot do, and don't commit to doing what you aren't sure you can do. The arrival of a new baby is one of the few times in a person's life when you can ask for a little extra time or space and most sane people will gladly give that to you.
Get Some Help
If childcare is an option for you, you can give your baby a little social time away from you while you get a little work accomplished. Try to keep such sessions away from you on the shorter side though, as it can be distressing for a newborn to be separated from you for longer periods. Keep in mind that sensory overload can be very real and distressing for some children. Being in overly-stimulating environments or around new people or noise can trigger symptoms of overload. A sensory processing disorder test can help you determine if this may factor in for your little one. If it does, consider finding an in-home helper who can keep the environment quieter and more controlled for your baby.
Taking good care of yourself with regular daily exercise, eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep are essential for any productive person, whether you have a newborn or not. Make sure you're getting plenty of necessary vitamins and minerals in your diet and make time for connecting with friends and family who enhance your mental and emotional wellbeing. Avoid people and situations that create stress for you. If there is a stressful situation that cannot be avoided, seek help from family, friends, or a professional who can help you find a way to reduce, eliminate, or reframe the source of the stress. If self-care was lacking before your baby arrived, chances are it's not going to get any easier for you to fit it into your schedule post-baby. However, there is perhaps no other time in your life like when you have a newborn where you will truly realize how necessary self-care is to your ability to function and be a productive member of society and your family.
The effect of removing or significantly reducing stress on your productivity level cannot be overstated. As a new parent, eliminating stress should be a top priority as you productively ease into a new rhythm with your baby.
Publish Date: March 16, 2022 5:27 PM