There is no instruction for the perfect parental leave. There are no golden rules for parental leave. Because: every child is different, every mother and father have different needs. But there are survival tips for a happy parental leave.
A good backpack and humor, for example, can make things a lot easier. Pick what you can use from these tips.
You are still you
Just because you have had a child, you don’t become another person. The mother role is simply a new facet of your self – no reason to upset your entire way of life.
The time during and after pregnancy brings with it enough deprivation and it is good to be just yourself afterward, without questioning whether you look “like a good mother”.
It’s ok to buy impractical shoes, listen to death metal, dress sexy, or drink white wine spritzers with a friend during the day (as long as it can no longer harm your child, of course).
What is good is good. And no mother is better than someone who is at peace with herself.
Survival Tips for a Happy Parental Leave
1. Buy a backpack
Babies have a lot of luggage and you are the porter.
You’ll be hauling unimaginable amounts of stuff around, and most diaper bags are – well – ugly. So it’s worth investing in a large piece of luggage that you like.
To prevent unnecessary herniated discs and shoulder infections, I recommend a backpack. They are also available in nice.
2. Surround yourself with other parents – or not
You have 1001 questions and uncertainties. Topics that initially seem banal can quickly become an obsession, especially for first-time parents.
It can help to have other parents around you, with whom you can talk uninhibitedly for longer than five minutes about the introduction of complementary foods, stool consistency, or milk jams results.
However, other parents can just as easily get on your nerves, because at a certain point the child is not enough as a common denominator, and you also want to talk about something else.
Perfect companions are people with whom you were friends even before the baby and who take you and your child as you are.
If you have children, that’s great. If not, just put yours on their lap.
3. Be patient with your body
Everyone knows a mother who fits into her old jeans two weeks after birth and looks dazzling.
If you are not one of them, stay relaxed, you will feel like 90 percent of all fresh mothers.
Your body does incredible things during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Be thankful for it, feed him with enough nutrients, support him with a training course and give him time.
He’ll thank you, I promise. If you want too much too soon, you will only become frustrated or incontinent.
4. Avoid mother forums
Caroline82 with Joshua-Jeremy (2) and Ella-Sophie (6 weeks) definitely has great tips, because her darling could crawl very early and eat from the spoon without any problems.
What she does not say is that she simply cannot control the cradle cap from the little mouse princess and Jeremy constantly bites other children.
Maternal forums can be useful to determine that you are not alone with some questions.
But they can also make you paranoid. So in an emergency, speak to people you know, ask your midwife or healthcare provider.
5. A good midwife is worth its weight in gold
Having a midwife who will look after you even after birth is a great luxury that we are rightly envied in other countries.
It can still help you months after the birth if you have any questions or concerns. They are not only there for your baby, but also for you.
6. Accept help
Contrary to the impression of many childless people, parental leave is not free time.
As nice as it can be to see every little step the baby takes, time can be nerve-wracking and tiring.
It’s okay and normal to be exhausted or frustrated in between.
And it is important to be able to accept help in such moments and instead of the stoic “No thanks, I can do it” Saying “Yes” when someone offers you help.
7. Eliminate unnecessary stress
Parental leave is also the time to learn to say no. Many unnecessary sources of stress can be avoided from the outset.
When things are not going as they should ask yourself: is it important that everything works as planned right now?
Does the bathroom need to be cleaned perfectly today? Does the visit of distant acquaintances have to be today of all times if you walk on the gums?
Do you have to go to a porridge cooking course? Do you have to compete with mothers who live a completely different life than you?
Whoever can say no saves his energy for the stress that is really inevitable.
The more relaxed you stay when your child wakes up for the umpteenth time at night is agitated or screams, the more relaxed the baby can cope with such situations.
8. Keep in touch
After a few months of parental leave, many parents come to the point where they long for adult input.
Regardless of whether you plan to return to work early, later or never – it is worth keeping in touch with your professional network.
This can make it easier to get back in, but above all it is important for your self-esteem.
You are now a mother but no less competent or interesting than before. Let your network know that too.
If you have a zest for action, work a little “just for fun”, help people you like, do without things that you don’t enjoy and stay away from day-to-day business.
9. Find a project
Some parents are so intensely used by their babies that they are happy with ten minutes of peace in the bathroom.
For some others, parental leave can be a perfect starting point for something new.
Priorities in your life sort out automatically, including your attitude to the job and the knowledge of what you are willing to compromise for – and whatnot.
If your baby allows it and you feel the need to act, find a topic that inspires you and put your toe in the water.
For some, it’s a sport, their own blog, but maybe also a business idea. Many start-ups have started with parental leave.
10. Speak openly with your surroundings
Talking openly about worries, needs or frustration with your life partner is always a good tip.
During parental leave, your partner’s everyday life is very different from yours.
Be considerate of the double burden he or she is exposed to, but also assert your own needs.
The same applies to childless friends who may be unsettled by your new circumstances.
Or do not understand why you have less time and are reluctant to move out of your neighborhood.
The more openly you deal with your environment, the less conflict potential can develop.
11. Take breaks
Being a mother is a blatant job. Treat yourself to breaks and enjoy them consciously.
Whether it’s five minutes of rest on the balcony, a short walk or lunch with friends. Create moments in your day when you are only there for yourself and celebrate them.
It works wonders. It is perfect if you can also take breaks with your partner – and then deliberately NOT talk about your child.
12. Laughter is allowed
Babies can get on your nerves. But they are also often unintentionally funny.
Laughing at them from time to time is allowed and liberating. You won’t remember it later, I promise.
PS: Families are busier than ever. Feeling overwhelmed doesn’t have to be your new normal. This Family Routines Course will help you simplify the many daily tasks confronting you — creating a happier family and a much happier you.