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Old 12-01-04, 10:10 AM
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Exclamation Feeling Good about yourself

Itís not just okay to be a little selfish as a new momĖitís a must. Be good to yourself. You may be surprised how everything else falls into place.

Nurture yourself
In order to be the best mom you can be, you need to feel good about yourself, and the way to make sure you do is to take time to be well rounded and develop the non-mom side of yourself. So itís important to rest, exercise, get out of the house, and take part in some of the activities you enjoyed before baby arrived. Here are some ways to accomplish just that.
Seven ways to take care of yourself
1. Take frequent rests
Throughout the day, stop and take some time-outs. Have a cup of tea, read the newspaper, or just put up your feet. If you can, grab a midday nap with your little one. Draw the curtains, unplug the phone, and wake up recharged.
2. Avoid playing hostess
Itís great to have company and share your new baby with others, but donít let yourself get overwhelmed with too many well-wishers. Pace yourself. When friends ask to visit, have them avoid nap time so you can stick to your routine. Be assertive and "just say no" when it is not convenient.
3. Ask for helpóand be specific
Take your friends up on offers to help. Ask a neighbor to pick up a gallon of milk, see if a friend will take your toddler to the park, or tell your sister youíd appreciate a pan of lasagna for dinner some night. People usually are more than willing to lend a hand, but they need to know what you need.
4. Donít expect too much of yourself
This is not the time to make mega to-do lists. Allow yourself to ease into motherhood. Adopt your own style of mothering. What works for one mom may not be for you. Keep your ears open for good tips, but filter out unwarranted advice and set your own standards.
5. Schedule time for just you
Whether itís taking an evening walk or soaking in the bathtub, make sure you set aside time to pamper yourself. Make a conscious effort to schedule in a slot just for you or it may not happen. Do whatever it is that nurtures your soul.
6. Get out on your own
After the baby is a week or so old, get in the habit of getting out of the houseĖwithout babyĖat least once a week. Browse at the mall, lunch with a friend, or pursue some of the interests you had before you had a baby. Try to chat about anything except the baby. Give yourself a mental break from mothering.
7. Volunteer
Get outside of yourself by reaching out to others. Think about an issue or cause that you feel passionate about and explore volunteer opportunities. You can help teach someone to read, make telephone calls for a blood bank, or offer your professional skills to a non-profit agency. Rather than being a time zapper, volunteering often will leave you feeling energized and fulfilled.
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