Leisure in the Postpartum Period: Things to Remember When You Make the Most out of "Me Time"

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Hey there, new parents! So, you've embarked on the wild ride of parenthood, where sleep becomes a distant memory, and free time feels like some mythical lore.

I get it—I've been there, done that, and got the spit-up-stained t-shirt to prove it. But amidst the chaos of diaper changes and midnight feedings, it's CRUCIAL to carve out some "me time" to keep your sanity intact.

 So, let's dive into some real talk about finding balance and fulfilment when the time suits.

1. Roll with the Baby Punches - Flexibility and Resilience:

First things first, let's embrace the unpredictability of parenthood. A teething meltdown or a surprise diaper blowout might derail your grand plans for an evening of Netflix and chill. And you know what?

 It is what it is. 

Instead of stressing about the things you can't control, roll with the punches and make the most of whatever scraps of free time come your way. 

Practicing flexibility and adapting to unexpected changes is a key component of resilience. By embracing the unpredictable nature of parenthood, you're building mental strength and learning to go with the flow—a valuable skill that will serve you well in the long run.

2. Hygiene vs. Hobbies - Defining Self-Care and Leisure:

Ah, the age-old dilemma of whether to use your precious free time for a quick shower or indulge in what makes you happy. It's like choosing between fresh breath and fresh sanity, am I right? 

Here's the deal: both are important, but sometimes you've got to prioritize.

Prioritizing can mean basking in your au naturel scent to scratch that creative fix 


skipping the hot mess express to feel so fresh and so clean. 

As long as you care for the basics of SELF (sleep, exercise [movement], levity, food), then what you decide as important afterwards depends on what your soul is searching for. 

Taking care of these basic needs lays the foundation for emotional resilience and helps you be the best version of yourself for your baby and your family. 

3. Guilt? Ain't Nobody Got Time for That - Reframing the Emotion of Guilt:

Let's address the elephant in the room: mom and dad guilt are real, folks. 

But here's the truth bomb—I'm permitting you to kick that guilt to the curb. You're doing your best, and that's all anyone can ask for. 

So, the next time you feel guilty about taking some time for yourself, tell that nagging voice to take a hike. You deserve a break, dang it!

Guilt is a common emotion among new parents, but it's important to recognize that self-care isn't selfish—it's necessary. When you prioritize your well-being, you're better equipped to care for your baby and meet the demands of parenthood with patience and compassion.

4. Keep It Realistic - Acceptance of the Demands of Parenthood:

Listen up, my fellow sleep-deprived warriors: setting unrealistic expectations for your "me time" is a recipe for disappointment. You're not gonna suddenly become a Zen master or a productivity guru overnight (or anytime soon, let's be real).

Instead, aim for small victories and celebrate the heck out of 'em. Whether it's five minutes of meditation or finally finishing that crossword puzzle, every little win counts.

Setting realistic expectations for your free time isn't just about managing disappointment—it's about practicing self-compassion

Acknowledging your limitations and celebrating small achievements fosters a positive mindset and nurtures your mental health.

5. Lean on Your Squad - Interpersonal Relationships:

Lastly, don't forget to lean on your support squad. Whether it's your partner, your chosen family, or your trusty therapist (hey, that's me!), don't be afraid to reach out for help when needed. 

Parenthood is a team sport, and there's strength in numbers. So, grab your crew and tackle that shit.

Building a support network is essential for maintaining emotional well-being postpartum. Research shows that strong social connections reduce stress and promote mental health, so don't hesitate to lean on your loved ones for support when you need it most.

Alright, my fellow sleep-deprived comrades, it's time to wrap this up. 

Remember, finding balance and fulfilment in parenthood ain't easy, but it's oh-so-worth it

So, embrace the chaos, ditch the guilt, and prioritize your well-being like your sanity depends on it (spoiler alert: it does).

Keep it real,

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), 
Certified Perinatal Mental Health Specialist
Instagram: @carecultivator