The joy of becoming a new mother also comes with the difficult task of balancing the baby's needs with your own. Many moms end up placing their own needs on the back burner as they deal with their new duties.
"Good Morning America Weekend Edition" found one such women and decided to give her a makeover. The mom-over included tips on how to better take care of yourself from clinical social workers and "Sleepeasy Solutions" DVD creators Jill Spivack and Jennifer Waldburger.
Check out Spivack's and Waldburger's suggestions below for moms trying to balance their busy lives.
Tips from Jill and Jennifer
Happy Mother's Day! While this is a day when we celebrate all that moms do for others; it's also a good time to remember how important it is to take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself puts money in your mom "bank account," so that when your time and energy is needed by others — your children, your partner, your job, your friends — you actually have something to give. Taking care of yourself starts with getting great sleep. So if you are exhausted because of your child's poor sleep, it's time to get help.
Here are a few of our favorite ideas for nurturing body, mind and spirit.
Stroll in a hilly area with your child for 20 to 60 minutes — exercise lifts your mood and gives you a real energy boost. (If you don't have access to hills, add a couple of handweights to the stroller for resistance.) Time your stroll around a nap.
Make plans with a friend to exercise together, so you'll motivate each other. Drop the kids off at the daycare at your gym, or join a group like Strollerstrides that includes the kids, too.
Do all of your market shopping on a Sunday, then prepare meals for the week that you can freeze. Pasta with sauce, stir-fry, and skillet dishes work well. Preparing healthy meals in advance will help you avoid less healthy choices (like fast food) when pinched for time.
Mind and Emotions
Don't sweat the small stuff. Does it really matter if there's an inch of dust on the dining room table or if you haven't perfectly organized your baby's scrapbook? Focus on what matters most — make a list and prioritize what needs to be done today, this week, this month.
Communicate, communicate, communicate with your partner, so resentments don't build up. Decide in advance who's doing what around the house to avoid daily bickering about who does the dishes, takes out the garbage, gives the baby a bath.
Don't be too proud to ask for help. For newer moms especially, enlist friends, family and neighbors to help with things like picking up dry cleaning, picking up a few items at the market, and bringing over ready-made meals.
Try belly breathing, which helps oxygen circulate throughout your body to relax your muscles and give you more energy.
1. Sit comfortably and relax your body.
2. Imagine that there is a balloon inside of your stomach; as you inhale, fill up the balloon first before allowing air to circulate up to your chest.
3. Try counting to five as you inhale, holding for a moment, then exhaling to a count of five.
4. Make a conscious effort to notice how you are breathing throughout the day. Practice belly breathing while driving, chopping vegetables, playing on the floor with your child.
Give yourself a mini vacation!
1. Create a sacred space somewhere in your home or outdoors. Set up a comfortable chair, a pretty pillow, some fresh flowers, a book or magazine you enjoy, a cool drink. (If it's hard to find space, use the bathtub with a few scented candles.)
2. While your child is napping, or while someone is watching her, escape to your vacation spot. (You'll need a minimum of 10 minutes, a maximum of however long you'd like!)
3. Close your eyes and envision a beautiful outdoor landscape, such as the mountains or the beach. Engage all of your senses: inhale the sea breeze, feel the mist on your cheeks, hear the sound of the crashing waves, feel your bare feet sinking into the sand.
4. Once transported to your vacation spot, feel free to leaf through a magazine, sip an iced tea, or even nap!