Tips for Parenting Simply

Organizing your time and space for everyone’s benefit.

Define the essentials and make choices to do what’s best for your family.

With a new baby at home, I’m certain you are seeing life change in drastic ways. Perhaps you are realizing that a simpler approach to life—and thereby, parenting—is necessary. But you are unsure about how to begin.

Becoming a parent brings many demands and it can be easy to worry about losing ourselves and our time. The reality that someone else now takes priority forces us to optimize time and space so the family functions at its best.

Time: Schedules and Routines

Sleep Schedules

The parent-directed structure of Babywise offers you the perfect framework for understanding both the needs of your child and the needs of the family. If you are looking for insights into setting a sleep routine for your infant, start with these articles:
o Starting a Sleep Routine for Your Baby 
o 4 Baby Sleep Facts Every New Mom Needs to Know
o Encouraging Night-Time Sleep: Newborn Edition 
o Sample Sleep Schedules 

Routines and Rhythms

Those first few months slowed down to a crawl for us. We simply enjoyed being together as a family and figured out our new roles.

Of course this will look differently for you, but think about focusing on your new responsibilities as a mom for a while.
o As you figure out your new routine, what do you need to say no to for now?
o How can you be sure you are rested and your head is clear from distractions?
o What types of routines (exercise, naps, etc.) help you to be at your best?
o Where do you need additional support?

Learn to let go of certain things so you can more fully attend to the demands that are essential, necessary and good.

Need more perspective in identifying the essentials? Try these tips:
o 3 Tips to Stay Sane as a Mom 
o Inside Secrets of Happy Moms 
o Quiet Times for Parents 

New Perspective on Workouts

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Finding creative ways to fit in a workout now is key to giving you a much needed break and endorphin boost. It may look a little different for a while, so don’t put unrealistic expectations on your schedule or your body. And be sure to give yourself time to adjust to new demands. 

Check out these articles to help simplify your fitness goals:
o Be Resolute but Reasonable with Your Workouts
o My New Gym: My Living Room 
o Why I Became a Gym Rat Mom 

Organizing your Space

I believe we are created to order and manage our lives and spaces. The trick is determining what that looks like (and not letting someone else define it for us). Look to others for advice, but then assimilate those ideas into your family structure in a way that meets everyone’s needs.

I read a fantastic article recently about embracing the mess. The author is a mom of two small boys and she battles with her need to keep her house clean. But when she started to view the messes as signs of the abundant blessings she has been given with her children, she became less frustrated.

Organizing our space is important, but don’t lose sight of the gift those little mess makers are.

Here are a few ideas to consider and adapt to your current season:
o Organization Resolutions? How to Lose the Crazy, Hectic Lifestyle
o 5 Steps to an Organized Playroom 
o Corral the Christmas Clutter 

Parenting simply means defining the essentials and making choices to do what’s best for your family. Avoid the temptation for perfection—it’s impossible. But when we think through the needs of our family, we can schedule our time (making room for ourselves) and organize our space to work well for everyone.

Annie Wiesman

Annie Wiesman

Annie Wiesman is the co-author of “Education Begins at Birth: A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers for Kindergarten.” She is a former kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom who enjoys traveling, hiking in the mountains, and creating memories together with her husband and little girl.

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