A new year brings the feeling of a new beginning. For birth parents and adoptive parents alike, the best new year’s resolutions for parents are to be the best you.
For birth parents, being the best you means healing and processing your adoption experience — whether you’ve just decided to place your baby for adoption or you did so several years ago. It also means taking care of your well-being emotionally, mentally and physically
For adoptive parents, being the best you means investing in yourself so that you may invest in your child. Taking care of your emotional, mental and physical well-being allows you to best adjust to your new role as a parent and adjust to the ongoing changes each stage of childhood brings.
Where to begin? YOU.
Make time for it. What things do you do for yourself that make you feel the happiest and the most at peace? Is it making time to get a haircut or even simply call a friend for 15 minutes?
Taking time for yourself may seem like a time-consuming luxury. But after dedicating 15 minutes to yourself, you’ll realize that self-care can come in the simplest but most meaningful forms.
Without proper rest each night, seemingly easy tasks can feel like a major struggle and take a toll on your mental wellbeing.
It is recommended for adults to get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. This helps to improve concentration, mental health and energy levels throughout the day. As a parent, you need all the rest you can get.
Got 30 minutes? Studies show that even a 30-minute walk five times a week makes a positive impact on your health and longevity.
Exercise has been proven to not only improve your physical health but your mental health as well. Taking time out to go for a walk can help to reset your mind in the moment as well as reduce fatigue, improve concentration and better your health for the long term.
4. Nourish & Hydrate
You are what you eat.
Regulating what you eat and drink throughout the day may seem like a challenge. But once you put good habits into practice, it becomes easier to naturally give your body what it needs to function. Lack of water or quality, nutritional food can leave you feeling fatigued, irritable and unable to concentrate. Proper nutrition and hydration helps you be and feel your best.
5. Support Network
Who you surround yourself with influences who you are. Having supportive, positive relationships is vital for parents and children.
Who you surround yourself with directly impacts your whole family. As an individual, healthy relationships are important and often help you thrive. In turn, this supports other aspects of your life. It also helps set standards for your child and who they will be willing to accept in their lives.
Open Adoption and New Year’s Resolutions for Parents
In open adoptions, when birth and adoptive parents commit to being at their best, it supports your open adoption arrangement. It sets everyone up for greater success.
Being at your best also sets your child up for success — they watch everything you do and learn by your example. Your health and longevity are their stability. While your child is your top priority, you must also be a top priority for the sake of your child.
Birth parents often struggle with feelings of guilt, self-doubt and depression. Focusing on tools and habits to help you heal and strengthen yourself can help you adjust, transition and better accept the new (or not so new) normal of placing your child for adoption.
Parents, be kind and patient with yourselves. Studies show it can take 60 days or more to adopt a new habit. And remember, you chose adoption out of love for your child. Give yourself that same love.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.