Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Taking Care of You

When you have a baby in the NICU, it can be difficult to focus on anything but him/her and how things are going. If you have other kids at home than you end up balancing time and energy between them as well. The person who ends up getting lost in the shuffle is well, you. A baby in the NICU can bring feelings of guilt, stress, anger, confusion, and sadness (just to name a few). It's important that you find time for yourself - it will make it easier for you to handle what is going on as well as make you a better parent.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1) Go out to dinner
2) Grab coffee with a friend. Or ten friends.
3) Take a bath
4) Go for a walk or some other form of exercise
5) Rent or go see a movie
6) Run errands - grab a coffee and bring your iPod for a chance to chill out and get things done - that's what I call multitasking.
7) Make something - food, scrapbooking, knitting, sewing, whatever you have fun doing
8) Read blogs - people blog about anything, find one you like and read up
9) Play a game
10) Read a book
11) Get a massage. Or a manicure/pedicure. Or all three.
12) Go shopping. To buy or to window shop. Either way can be fun.
13) Go to a concert or sporting event

Basically find something that you can lose yourself in, even for a little while. Something that relaxes you and will help you focus on something other than the little miracle waiting for you at the NICU.

For those of you feeling guilty about not staying as long as your normally do one day or night because you are doing something for you - don't. Not only will it make you a better parent, your baby won't remember and you can make up for any lost time when he/she comes home.

So take a deep breath and start planning!

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