As I’ve been on maternity leave with our third child, I’ve been thinking a lot about the saying that “the days are long, but the years are short.” This is exactly how I would describe parenthood.  We are still not getting near the amount of sleep that we’d like, but I wanted to share a few things I’ve been doing to try and stay sane, and to keep my body and mind as healthy as it can be.  This advice is especially for those postpartum mamas or those who are struggling to take care of kids and run the world during this crazy time…

  1. Eat greens for 2 out of 3 meals – keeping vegetables on your plate when you are sleep deprived can be really challenging.  Since Allie came in the summer, I have been able to eat greens for 3/3 meals for the most part since I make a morning smoothie.  If I can add in the greens, it typically forces me to look at the rest of my plate and think about how I can add in extra veggies.  And if nothing else can be added, at least I am getting nutrients even if it’s just one handful of spinach.
  2. Get lots of fiber – fiber can come in the form of plant carbohydrates, but in addition to that, I eat lots of avocado and add in tons of seeds whenever I can.  I will add flax, chia, and hemp seeds to my smoothies, and I top my salads with pumpkin seeds.  Fiber will help with regular bowel movements as well as strengthen the gut microbiome.  If the gut is healthy, the rest will follow.
  3. Stay hydrated – this is especially critical for breast-feeding mamas!  Motherhood is draining in all sorts of ways both mentally and physically.  Staying hydrated will help with breast milk production as well as help to flush out toxins.
  4. Get in some movement – this one can be especially challenging.  There are days where you may feel like all you are doing is feeding, putting the baby down, and walking back and forth to the kitchen or the laundry room.  If you can find some time to go for a walk or get in some yoga and stretch, it will be so beneficial.  My go to has been taking the dog for a walk and pushing the baby in the stroller.  Babies also tend to sleep better at night when they have been out getting fresh air during the day.
  5. Carve out some “me” time – even if it’s just 30 minutes a day, try and do something that separates you from your baby or other children to decompress and only think about yourself.  It doesn’t have to be fancy – things like going for a walk by yourself, taking a bath, or catching an episode of your favorite show.
  6. Make time for friends – having a newborn and caring for kids can often be isolating.  Even on the days where I am so exhausted, I have not regretted going for a walk with a girlfriend or catching up with a friend over the phone.  It’s important to separate yourself from being a mom and getting back in touch with who you are as a person.
  7. Be present – sometimes being present and soaking in the moment can be the hardest of all.  Oftentimes you just want to get through the day and move on to the next, but I am really trying to soak in every snuggle and be in the moment.
  8. Give yourself grace – life can be hard and we’re living in an especially crazy world right now.  Strive for progress instead of perfection.