Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding jobs, but it can also be one of the most difficult. It is easy to lose yourself, literally, in your new role. Your children and partner are important, but so are you. Losing yourself can lead to depression and a sense of dissatisfaction. This can be especially true if you go from working to being a stay at home parent. The transition can be difficult, even if you chose to do it. There are many ways to be a good partner and parent and still maintain your individuality and personal identity.

Schedule time with your partner. The relationship with a partner also changes when children come along, and nurturing the adult relationship is equally important. Quantity is not as important as quality. Date night is a popular choice for parents. Get a babysitter for a couple hours and go out to dinner, or even a walk in the park, just the two of you.

Spending time with friends or on a favorite hobby can help you maintain a sense of self. This can be done without a babysitter. Join a playgroup. This will help your child build social skills and make friends, but it also benefits the parents, who can have adult conversations with other people who have things in common.

When the baby is napping, instead of doing the dishes and laundry, take time for yourself. Take a long bath, read a book, work on your scrapbook, knitting, or anything that you enjoy. The dishes and laundry will still be there in an hour, but you will feel refreshed and more able to tackle all the work and cuddle or play with your child with more energy and enthusiasm if you have recharged and had some personal time.

The main point is that you are still an individual, with your own needs, and finding a balance between all your roles is important.



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