1. Get off the guilt trip
According to clinical psychologist Vyda S. Chai from Think Psychological Services, guilt is a normal emotion for working mums wrestling with work and family life. If you’ve made it a part of your life, stop now. Think of the positives (“I’m providing for my family”) rather than the negatives (“I’m not spending enough time with Baby”), suggests Vyda. You may also want to stay away from negative people who make you feel bad or guilty.
2. Set aside some me-time
This may mean waking up slightly earlier, so you can have coffee and read the papers before everyone wakes up, or a 30-minute walk around the neighbourhood after dinner.
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Unplug from your iPad and laptop, especially at mealtimes, says Vyda. Keep meals distraction-free, so you can truly give your family your undivided attention. By being glued to your gadgets, you’re also setting up a negative eating behaviour for your child. According to a study by Newcastle University researchers in the UK, eating habits are ingrained by the age of 10, and parents’ own eating and fitness quirks have a huge influence on their children’s. The study was published in the journal Obesity in Dec 2011.
4. Revive your sex life
Having young children can really put a damper on this. A dry spell in a couple’s physical intimacy department will only weaken their emotional connection with each other in the long run. That’s why clinical sexologist Dr Martha Lee of Eros Coaching suggests scheduling weekly sex or romantic dates – and make sure you stick to them. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Not setting time for sex means it’s less likely to happen, she says.
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5. Your health matters
Too often, mums tend to neglect their health. Start by getting your checks like breast self-examinations (you can do this monthly while in the shower) and Pap smears, advises Dr Christopher Ng, a obstetrician and gynaecologist at GynaeMD Women’s and Rejuvenation Clinic. Dr Ng also advises mothers planning for another pregnancy this year to keep their bodies in top form – with a healthy diet, exercise, preconception multivitamins and folate – before trying for a baby.
6. Active parents, active kids
Concerned that the iPad and TV are turning your child into a couch potato? First, get yourself off the couch. In a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health last year, researchers from the National Jewish Health found that when parents increase their daily physical activity, measured by a pedometer, their children do the same, too. The 83 families enrolled in the study were encouraged to increase physical activity by walking an additional 2,000 steps per day. On days that the parents reached or exceeded the 2,000-step goal, their children showed a similar pattern.
Should you be a stay at home mom?
New Year resolutions that Singapore parent experts are making