One of the most challenging jobs in the world is being a mom. Factor in being a working mom and that job just got a little harder. It’s easy to lose yourself when you are spread thin between motherhood and your career. Relationships with your partner can take a backseat to these two roles.
Relationships should be a priority, as they provide mental and emotional support that can help you successfully manage your other important roles. Nurturing oneself oftentimes is as important as nurturing your relationship, so that you can optimally balance being a mom and a wife, and having a career.
Address Health Concerns with your Doctor
When you don’t feel well, it is very difficult to do any job—especially parenting. It is not uncommon to feel tired, sad, anxious, and/ or stressed, and to not sleep well. Most of the time, the causes can be identified (hormone imbalance, thyroid, adrenal fatigue, nutritional deficiencies, GI flora imbalance, poor diet, etc.) and are treated appropriately.
“Me Time” becomes a thing of the past upon the birth of your first child. It is a natural instinct to put our children first, and as healthy as that is, we also have to remember that we need to be emotionally healthy in order to be able to give 100%. A good place to start thinking about “Me Time” is to go back to the time before the baby was born, and recall things you used to do that made you feel good. Was it spending a couple of hours snowboarding? Jogging down a trail? Hiking? Meditating? Taking a dance or yoga class? Taking a bath with essential oils? “Me Time” can help nurture both your emotional and spiritual inner self.
Connect and Maintain Friendships outside of your Relationship
Friendships from high-school, college, and work tend to fall by the wayside after marriage and kids. Reconnecting with friends can be a very uplifting and purposeful endeavor. Friendships can help increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost your happiness and reduce your stress, and improve your self-confidence and self-worth.
Show Affection for One Another
Think back to when you and your partner first started dating. Do you remember holding hands in the car? Do you remember kissing at that party? Do you remember hugging every time you saw each other? Showing affection for one another is just as important now as when it was when you started dating. Your partner needs to know that they are loved and desired. It is also important that you show affection for one another in front of your children so that they grow up seeing signs of love between their parents. Rekindle those date nights you once had before the marriage and baby came along.
Love, Romance, and Intimacy
At the end of a long day you probably want nothing more than to curl up on the couch under the fleece blanket and watch some Home and Garden or Food Network TV. While this may be true on most days, try and schedule a time to become intimate with your partner where you both might not be so tired; perhaps a Saturday night while the children are asleep, or a weekday while they are at school/ daycare.
A good sense of humor in a relationship can go a long way. Laughter can benefit your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Where an opportunity exists to make your partner laugh, take it! You don’t need to be a comedian to elicit a laugh in someone; you can easily get your partner to laugh just by tickling them!
Dr. Robin Russell is a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in Pediatrics and Women’s Health. She is Owner and a Physician at Natural Pediatric Medicine, LLC in Canaan, CT. Dr. Russell is also an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Bridgeport in their Masters of Nutrition program. She is a Board Member of the Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association as well as a Member of the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Russell graduated from Bastyr University in 2005 and opened her practice in the Seattle area later that same year. After practicing Primary Care in WA for almost eight years, Dr. Russell and her husband decided to return to CT to raise their children near family.