Motherhood + Parenting Tips

Kickstart Good Habits as Soon as You Become a Parent

Kids don’t come with manuals. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. The baby pops out at the hospital— not the way the mother delivering them might describe it, but there you have it— and all it takes to bring them home is a properly installed car seat. From there, you’re on your own.

As you stare into your child’s little face and realize that you and your partner are effectively all they have, you may quickly realize that certain things need to change. You’re responsible for more than just yourself now, and that’s heavy stuff.

In this article, we talk about how you can bear that burden gracefully by making sensible changes that will help you as both a parent and just a functional human.


In this article, we talk about how you can bear that burden gracefully by making sensible changes that will help you as both a parent and just a functional human.


Sleep is at the crux of so many comments people make to and about new parents. And it is a rough one. From the moment they are born your concept of what it means to get a good rest will change forever. People will talk about sleep schedules, resting when they rest, and all the usual cliches.

There is some good advice in there, but here’s the rub— all babies are different. There is no guarantee that you will be able to get yours on an advantageous sleep schedule during the first year of their life.

You need to find a way to keep everyone in your household well-rested even despite this rather discouraging truth.

You can try and coax your kid into sleeping when you sleep by delaying naps, practicing self— soothing (basically letting them cry until they calm down on their own), and so on.

But if all that fails, you still need to find a way to make it work. Kids need between 10-12 hours of sleep basically until they go off to college.

Getting adequate rest is how their bodies and minds develop. Try to optimize your family’s sleep cycle so that the child is always getting the recommended amount of rest.

You should also think about your own sleep. Adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep each night to function at the highest level.

Prioritizing good sleep for yourself accomplished several things:

  • Keeps you in good health: Raising a child is hard enough when you are firing on all cylinders. Why make it harder than you need to by getting poor sleep?
  • Builds good habits: You also just establish a culture of self-care and good health for your family right from the get-go when you make sleep part of your schedule. That’s an important decision that will continue to benefit your child as they grow up.

It’s easy to feel like you don’t have time for sleep, but think long and hard about it. Are you fiddling around on your phone a lot at night? Watching a chunk of that three-and-a-half hour of television that the average American watches every day? If so, you can probably find a way to boost your numbers a little bit.

Physical Health

Your little bundle of joy may fit comfortably in one arm right now (don’t get us wrong, you should still use two) but according to most statistics, that won’t last long. American children struggle with obesity more than kids in almost any other nation on the planet.

Not only does this impact their long-term health, but it can result in weight-related health problems while they are still in adolescence. The disease formerly known as “adult-onset diabetes,” has been renamed to “Type 2 diabetes,” based on the staggeringly high number of children getting diagnosed with it each year.

Take a look at the kid’s menu at your average restaurant, and it’s not so hard to figure out why. More often than not, their choices are chicken nuggets or…chicken nuggets.

Spinach and broccoli have gotten a bad rap over the years, but there are actually lots of ways to cook a delicious plate of green food. Create a positive food culture in your home by prioritizing fresh fruit and vegetables, while avoiding processed foods.

Screen Time

My newborn doesn’t know what a screen is. Oh, but they will! They will. Take a look through that big pile of baby gifts friends and family members dropped off. If there isn’t a play phone or tablet in that lot, we will eat our collective hats.

Screens haven’t been around for all that long. Television wasn’t even a common feature of most American households until the 1950s. Now, there is a screen in every pocket— or more accurately, glued to every hand.

Researchers agree almost unanimously that this development has not been for the better. It inhibits children’s capacity to focus while training their brains to skim through information.

Now is the perfect time to improve the screen culture in your family. Look for activities that are stimulating and healthy. Boardgames. Family walks. Hikes, and so on.

Financial Therapy

Children are expensive in a sneaky sort of way. You hear so much about the cost of children that you almost expect them to start hitting you up with Venmo requests the moment they exit the womb. In real life, the expenses are more subtle and gradual.

Diapers. Formula. Slightly increased grocery bills. Clothing bills. Doctor bills. Then one day, you realize you need a bigger car, a bigger house, and so on.

Plus you need to save for college, possibly weddings, and you do intend to retire one day, don’t you? Your retirement account won’t pay for itself.


It all adds up, and if you aren’t financially savvy, the costs can become overwhelming. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources that make adult financial planning easier. Financial planners work with you to set up a budget and monitor your spending in a way that will help you meet your goals.

Financial therapists do similar work but through a psychological lens. They examine the mental and emotional elements of financial life, helping people to work through finance-induced anxiety while also coaching them on how to make better money choices.

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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the Owner of TWL and Co-Owner of a Influencer Facebook Group Influential Mamas.  Along with blogging + freelance writing and selling Zyia Activewear, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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