Hanging on to You:
The you, who you were before the baby was born begins slowly eroding from the moment baby comes home from the hospital. In 6 months time, you are barely recognizable as the person you were before the baby came. Your personality is about as exciting as the family cat. But that is okay, right? As mummies, don’t we want to put all of our time, attention, and personalities into our new little angel? Of course, we do. We love them so! But what if we could combine time spent with baby and time improving mum together in one sitting? We will use a little phrase I call, “blending time with baby”.
When blending time with baby, you want to be improving yourself and working on baby’s developmental skills at the same time. The first several months is a free for all. Your baby does quite a bit of napping and mum definitely needs napping too after all that hard labor. Lets start about the 6 month mark. It’s time for mum to get back in shape and we can start with baby yoga. Here we go….
Put baby in a onesie, put on your leotard, get a yoga mat, and get on the floor with baby. You might want to play some children’s music or soft classical in the background, depending on your mood. Incorporate music into the fun. Stretch baby’s arms and legs while talking to them or singing. Improvise. Follow your baby’s lead. If she is watching to see what you are going to do, begin your own stretching exercises, and see if baby will try to mimic you or giggle.
This does 4 things:
- Helps you get back in shape.
- Improves baby’s dexterity.
- Introduces music and communication skills.
- Makes exercise a part of daily life.
Have fun with it and experiment to see what interests your baby the most. Does she watch you and make attempts to follow your lead? Does the music get her attention? Do this exercise at least three times a week. When baby sees mummy put on her leotard she will know, it’s time to exercise.
If it is summer and you want to work on your tan, buy a paddling pool and enjoy the sun together. Use plenty of sunscreen and a floppy hat for baby and hit the kiddie pool together, until nap time.
As soon as your child is old enough, take them to the library and introduce them to reading and enjoying books. It’s never too early. Get them accustomed to the place. The library has programs for kids, and later while they are enjoying kiddie time, mum can be reading her book club book or enjoying her favorite magazine.
Do What You Love:
If you like to paint, get a small easel for your child and teach them to paint. Do fun things together. If you have a hobby get your child involved. If you enjoy golf, get some equipment and get started. Tiger Woods began golfing before the age of 2. If basketball or tennis is your thing, you can start your child young. If they do nothing but roll the ball, you have introduced them to the game. Take them to the park to see you play. Put them in a walker and have them watch you shoot a few hoops.
As your child grows you can begin to increase their level of participation. If you keep at it, they will be shooting their own hoops or swinging their own club in no time. The idea of “blending time” with your child, is about making sure you are enjoying quality bonding time first and foremost. Secondly, choose activities that improve your child’s physical and social development. And finally, incorporate mum’s favorite hobbies and activities.