It comes as no surprise, when you become a parent, your world changes instantly. Everything you thought was important changes when you first hear the cry and/or sounds of you new bundle of joy.
When our baby was born, I took the role of primary parent. There’s no rules with gay parents, but I worked at Google so I was given leave of 3 months + some vacation time. My husband could not take that much time as he started a new job and was extremely busy and in the middle of so many projects.
Now that we had this new baby, I wanted to be the best parent I could, but also wanted to be mindful that I it wouldn’t define me 100%. I wanted to be a proud same sex parent but also someone who had a thriving career, creative hobbies and consistently striving for a healthy lifestyle.
For me, the easiest way to maintain this was to have a daily check list and check-in with myself. Yes, it’s true that my new baby girl took up 60-70% of my time, but I wanted to utilize the other 30% to really maintain who “Bryan” was before he became a dad.
Here are some ways I maintained my self-being:
Healthy Food Routine: I made a check-list for my morning routine food intake. I was mindful that my days could be long with a fussy baby so if I made every effort to start the day off right with the nutrients I needed, I would feel good.
- Warm Water with Lemon: To help with digestion, weight loss and hydration, I tried to start the day with warm water and lemon.
- Green Juice: I would get up and always have a green juice (in case I couldn’t find nutrients the rest of the day due a potential fussy baby). I would either blend together a green juice blend but also have some green juices from Whole Foods or the local grocer in case I lacked time or energy to blend my own.
- Vitamins: I would take all of my daily vitamins at this time. Pairing this with my green juice gave me the energy and ensured I got everything my body needed. I would take a multi-vitamin as well as some others like Apple Cider, Turmeric and Collagen.
Healthy Exercise Routine: While going to the gym for an hour every day was impossible as a gay parent, I wanted to ensure I had some level of movement and exercise daily.I would work to pair the below together whenever my baby napped in the morning. Together, the routine took about 30 minutes which was manageable when your baby sleeps about an hour or so in the morning.
- Daily Exercise: I made a promise to exercise for 20 minutes a day. I would either do a mini yoga routine, some weights or simply crunches and push ups. It was something to get my heart pumping and blood flowing.
- Daily Meditation: Following my workout, I would try and do 10-15 minutes of meditation. This was a way to center my self, calm my nerves and help my focus on what was important as a parent and myself.
Personal Development: While I was not working, I still had a few projects on the side (like this blog), so I made it a point to work on something each day that was for my own self growth. A few things I was doing included:
- This Blog: Writing a post or two every week
- My E-Commerce Website: Working to drive success on ArtzeeDesigns.com (Social, SEO, etc)
- Professional Teaching: I’m an online instructor, so my courses are pre0-taped, but I need to answer students questions and grade once or twice a week.
Many people might think I’m crazy for taking on so much with a new born in the house being a same sex parent, but I found that having a daily list made it easy. I don’t believe that you can nap every single time your little one naps, so this list allowed my to maintain who I was and wanted to be after my paternity leave was over.
What are ways you maintain who you are?! Comment below.