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Balancing Baby, Family, Work, and Self

New moms have a lot going on. Caring for an infant is a full-time job, but not the only job most of us have. Between breastfeeding, sports events, homework, chores, work, marriage, and, oh yeah, ourselves, parenting a newborn can feel like a juggling act – with most of the balls on the floor. But how to balance, when everything feels important? Check out these six, simple tips for bringing balance to your life, then take a deep breath, and remember that you can do this!
  1. Before you get out of bed in the morning, take a minute to think through your day and determine what’s most important to you. Make your list realistic, then focus on those things and forget the rest. Take a twist on the old holiday gift list idea of “one thing you need, one thing you want, one thing to read…” and try coming up with the single most important thing you need to get done at work, for your family, for your home, and for yourself and sticking to that short list.
  1. Bring in Reinforcements. Whether you need some time to finish that PowerPoint presentation, to fold the laundry, or to take a walk outside, beefing up your babysitting list is a must for new moms. Take the time to meet with a few experienced babysitters and talk to your local family and friends to gauge their interest and availability. Then, and this is key, ASK FOR HELP when you need it! Sometimes an hour alone is all you need to get things in order and feel a bit more balanced.
  1. Get Organized. The more routine you can bring to your life, the more in control it will feel. Bring in one of those babysitters you’ve lined up to watch your kids while you cook and freeze dinners for the week. Lay out clothes and pack backpacks, bags, and lunches before bedtime. Do anything you can do ahead of time to take the pressure off and ensure smooth sailing.
  1. Yes, we all need downtime, but the more you can cut down on distractions during the day, the less frantic you’ll feel about things piling up. Turning off the TV, putting down the phone, and minimizing chats with co-workers will give you more time to focus on what you’ve determined is important and more time to yourself later for more intentional self-care.
  1. Commit to Time Together. Committing to family dinners every night or an afternoon at the park every Saturday provides an anchor to the craziness – something everyone can look forward to even if things don’t go according to plan in between. Whatever you choose, make it a priority and keep it in your sites when things go a little sideways.
  1. You Time – Make sure You Time makes your priority list every day. Wake up a few minutes early to stretch, leave 20 minutes before bed to read, commit to a weekly yoga class – whatever it is that keeps you grounded, reminds you to breathe, and brings balance to your life, put it on the calendar and keep your commitment to taking care of yourself.

More from blogger AshleyxAndrea…

Famed fitness, fashion, and style blogger and mother of two-under-two Ashley Andreaknows that balancing a busy life begins with preparation. In her Tips for a Better Morningpost, Ashley shares that being intentional about what she does first thing in the morning sets the mood for her whole day. She suggests prepping for the next day the night before and then waking up before your kids do so that you can sneak in some exercise, allowing you to be present for them when you’re together. Read on for more from Ashley:

Q: Why did you want to breastfeed?

A: I wanted all the health benefits it will provide my babies (now and later in life) and to get that bonding time with them!

Q: How long have you been breastfeeding?

A: For my daughter I breastfed only for 11 months. For my son I breastfeed first, for the most part, but I will give formula every other day so he is used to it and the transition is smooth!

Q: What was your biggest breastfeeding challenge?

A: I feared I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. I have many close friends – and even my mom! – who weren’t able to produce milk.

Q: How did you overcome that fear?

A: I just have to remember that whatever happens is meant to be, and it’s okay! Thankfully, I’m producing great. I always laugh when my kids pull off from feeding and milk is spraying out all over their little faces! Like how amazing are our bodies? It’s mind blowing!

Q: What’s your best advice for new moms?

A: Be easy on yourselves, rest when you can, take all the help you can get, and seriously enjoy every moment with that little human you grew because time really does go by so fast.

Find more from Ashley on her blog, at www.ashleyxandrea.comand follow #ashleyxandrea.