4 REAL Tips for Moms in 2020!
Welcome to 2020! With the dawn of a new year comes a revived hope for the future! I have plenty of resolutions for my kids, marriage, and business. But I’d forgotten something in the plans for this year. Me. Like most moms, I spend the majority of my time caring for others. In my case, it’s my boys (they’ll be 1 and 2 this year!) and the nannies and families that I work with here at Nanny Needs.
I aim to take better care of myself this year so I can keep “doing it all!” While I've done some of these tips myself, I've seen many implemented by amazing moms around me. And no. I won't have any "eat right and exercise" on here. We already know we're supposed to do that. These are consistent things you can do throughout the year that we all can neglect at times.
1. Show your kids that you value yourself!
From the moment of birth, our babies are the center of our world! You need to take care of yourself for them too. There are small things you do on a daily basis to show your children that your needs are important too. And they are! Drink your coffee while it’s hot. It's OK to tell your 2 year old that it's time for you to drink coffee while they color. Listen to and watch some things that you like with your child. Our kids will have friends who don't always do what they want. You can help your kids prepare for that by valuing your desires too!
For me, that means I will tell my toddler if I want the yellow play dough, a turn to swing, or to color my own page. This also means teaching your children to be kind to you . They'll not only learn to be a better friend, but they will respect you more as their parent. You doing small things to teach your children to value you as well will help you avoid burnout!
2. Take time to REALLY interact with your kids - on their level.
One of the greatest gifts about having children is being able to see the world through their eyes. No matter what age they are, take some time (daily if possible!) to get on their level to play or interact. As a nanny, I saw how that direct attention made a child blossom, and try to do that with my own children. It can be harder at times to make that fort in the living room with a sink full of dishes, but it will be worth it. For both of you.
Have tummy time with your baby. Build a fort and have picnics with your toddler. Let your 8 year old teach you about Minecraft. Quality time with your children make you feel great too.
3. Plan kid-free time with your spouse AND friends!
There are countless studies that show the benefits of this for mom and our children and many ways to do it! Our goal is to have a monthly date night this year, and we also have our first night away scheduled in February. My favorite options to help this happen are:
- Using family.But not too often to avoid burnout on their end. Grandparents especially should have the right to spoil their grandkids. They aren't meant to be the caretakers weekly! - Hiring a nanny. It’s great to have someone follow our schedule and interact with our kids while we’re gone! For our overnight trip without the kids, this is our go-to. We would prefer the kids weren't full of sugar and sleep deprived when we get back! - Swapping free childcare with a friend! You can alternate months to keep things fair. This is one of my go-tos! - Finding a grandma or high schooler to babysit. Many people are willing to help for an evening every few months! Because it's my job, do be careful with who you're choosing. You wouldn't believe some of the people who think they can care for children. - Using a nanny share! A nanny cares for kiddos from 2 families (double-date anyone?!?) for 75% of the normal rate. You can save some money, enjoy time with friends, and your children also have a fun playdate with friends! - Having Dad Days! Getting the dads together in one house can be helpful too. The kids still get to play together and the moms are free for girl time!
Would a self-care list for moms be complete without it? You really do need it, and it’s very possible to have. I am not sure how parents survive without sleeping, but I hear that many do! Your sleep habits are essential to your health. Your child's sleep is necessary for their development, even as a baby! They aren't supposed to wake up every night for the first year. I'm not sure when they became a normal thing, but it needs to stop. Here are the guidelines for the amount of sleep we need.
If you aren’t getting the sleep you need, it’s likely because your baby or child isn’t either. You are not alone in this. It’s an ever-increasing problem, but there are some simple solutions. As a sleep trainer, I begin teaching babies FROM BIRTH how to fall asleep in a gentle and developmentally appropriate way. I’ve helped infants, twins, toddlers who always slept with their parents, and children as old as 8. Many regressions happen as a result of poor sleep habits. When I sleep train, I am only with the family in person for 1 full day and 2 days at the times that are most problematic. After that, I text and call to talk about how great those parents feel with sleep! Learning how to fall asleep is very possible and actually quite simple.
When I talk about sleep training, I’m always asked about my own boys too. We currently have a 7 month old and 23 month old and easily get at least 8-9 hours of sleep each night. If this isn’t what your situation looks like right now, I would love to help. My first slept through the night (6 hours) from 6 weeks on. He is nearly 2 now and sleeps 12-13 hours a night on average. He never had horrible regressions. If he woke up, he was happily and pretty consistently able to put himself back to sleep by 2-3 months. Our second son had a severe tongue and lip tie that meant we were feeding him, sometimes with a dropper, 23-30 times a day. That’s every 30 min-1 hour. For 22 days. It was horrible y’all. That set us back a bit, but he was still sleeping through the night by 10 weeks. Shortly after he hit 6 months, he woke up 1-4 times a night for 4 days. He was hungry and eats SO much for his age, but he’s healthy and growing. Once we correctly fed him the amount he needed in the day, it’s been back to 11-13 peaceful hours of sleep for him too!
Those 4 nights really showed me how important sleep is. If you (and likely your children!) are sleep-deprived, make it a priority to fix that. And ask for help if you need it. Contact me to find out more about what I offer. Taking care of yourself and everyone else is much easier when you slept the night before!
Whatever your goals are for the year, make sure you focus on yourself. Here’s to 2020, a year when moms matter too!