When daycares and schools close, the mental load of parenthood increases. If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, like millions of other parents out there, this one’s for you. Here are 5 tips for managing parenthood during this stressful time.
Stay home, and stay connected
Social distancing and “shelter in place” mandates may require us to stay in our homes, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely isolate. It’s important to stay in communication with family, friends and neighbors, as well as find ways to keep calm. Use the phone, text, video chat and email – all means possible – to stay connected to people who matter to you. Especially those who can help provide a sense of calm.
Ask for help
Now is the time to turn toward each other. We are here to help each other out, so avoid being a do-it-yourselfer when you’re not qualified. Reach out to a clear-thinking person to ask what she thinks or what he would do about stockpiling food, taking that road trip, talking to little Suzi about what’s going on with grandpa in the hospital. You may choose not to follow their advice, but it’s always helpful to have another perspective.
Don’t procrastinate about preparing
Anxiety can mount if we postpone or ignore expert counsel. Inaction will make fear grow. If you haven’t done your best to get a couple of extra weeks’ supply of food or medication, do it today. If you feel frozen, ask a buddy to push you to act and help you make wise decisions about how much you need of what.
Remember to self-care
Now, more than ever, self-care is essential. Slow down, engage in healthy practices and try to continue regular routines that bring comfort and stability. Conversation, exercise and spiritual practices are good starting points. And don’t forget about the healing impacts of making art, singing, journaling and being useful to others. Make a point to find a little peace of mind, even if you start with just one thing.
Place your baby (safely) to sleep, so you can recharge
While your little one sleeps, you will have a little time to refuel your mothering self. Take a hot shower, watch the latest episode of her favorite TV show, or even take an online yoga class.
Colgate Mattress offers the following advice for baby’s safe sleep:
- Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
- Use a wearable blanket or other type sleeper, instead of blankets, to keep your baby warm and safe during sleep.
- Crib bumpers, wedges and positioners should never be used in your baby’s sleep area.
- Do not place any other items in the crib.
- Always place your baby on his or her back for sleep.
A note from your friends at Colgate Mattress. Do not let fear stop you from acting with clarity, compassion and courage. Unfortunate things happen, but it is still possible to move forward with love and hope.