It is probably one of the hardest jobs in the world, to stay at home to take care of your young children. Whether you have one child or more, being a parent can be a full-time job with no time for yourself. It is especially harder if you are taking care of a newborn or a toddler, as they require constant care and mind, with no time left for the parent for their own physical and mental well-being. 

Even a few years back, a stay-at-home parent meant the mother of the child, as the primary responsibility of children fell on the women of the household. It was always the mother who left their job or their education to take care of their children, but now, the situation has changed. Stay-at-home parents can both mean the father or the mother of the child who has chosen to become the primary caregiver, as per their own preferences and financial arrangements. 

However, one thing remains the same. It becomes extremely difficult for these stay-at-home parents to take care of themselves when they are solely responsible for their children. This is exactly the time when both men and women let themselves go, start to gain weight, stop exercising and eat unhealthily. 

While it is harder, a stay-at-home mom and dad can still stay healthy and fit while taking care of their children, if they just follow some simple rules and tips. 

  • Don’t Skip Breakfast 

It is very common for parents to skip their own breakfast when they are too busy feeding the little ones, but that shouldn’t be the case. No matter how busy you are with your kids’ breakfast routine or school, it is important that the parents eat something, as well. Since it cannot be something elaborate that you enjoy at leisure while reading the newspaper or watching TV, your breakfast has to be simple, easy but filling. 

Get up ten minutes earlier if you have to, but always make sure you have something to eat. It could be a boiled egg with a slice of whole-wheat bread, a fruit smoothie kept in the fridge overnight or a bowl of fruits that you share with your child, but breakfast should never be missed. If you have older children to take care of, just have what they are having for breakfast; this is another way to make sure your family is eating healthy, as well. 

  • Get Enough Sleep  

Another very important privilege that parents miss is a proper amount of sleep. When you are dealing with a newborn or a lactating baby, it seems almost impossible for anyone in the house to get a few hours of sleep all through the day. However, as your child grows, their sleep patterns will grow regular and they will learn to sleep through the night, leaving you to do the same. 

Still, it is not possible for parents to get as much sleep as the children, because they’ll have a lot to do when your kids are asleep. There would always be a million chores that need your attention, the TV show you’ve been meaning to watch, the book you haven’t been able to finish for months, or simply some time to spend with your spouse. However, it is still very important that you realize the necessity of sleep in your life. As a parent, you shouldn’t stay up late every night to catch up on your own life, but try to go to bed as early as possible so that you can catch up on your sleep. 

  • Don’t Give up Exercising 

Exercising can be very difficult to incorporate in your busy life, but this is definitely not something you should give up completely because you have to take care of your children. You can try to sneak in an hour’s worth of exercising while they are sleeping or busy with their games, but the best way would be to include them in your workout regime. 

You can go on talking and making faces at your baby while you are running on the treadmill and they are strapped to their swing, or try out different yoga poses with your toddler. As they grow older, you can always find new ways to include and entertain them in your workouts and exercises, and use this time to bond with each other. Besides, you can even take them out for a walk or a run while strapped to a baby carrier. 

  • Get Some Fresh Air 

If you are taking care of a baby, it doesn’t mean that you would have to stay cooped up at home all day long. Your baby needs some fresh air and sunshine just as much as you do, so it is always a good idea to spend some time outside the house. 

You can take your child – newborn or toddler – out with you several times a day, for everything from getting your groceries to taking a walk. Some stay-at-home parents even get their daily jogging or running done with their babies sleeping comfortably inside a jogging stroller, a special kind of stroller made for speed. Even when you have the responsibility of a child, you can leave the home and exercise outside if you want to, or go for a walk with your baby in a stroller. 

  • Spend an Active Day 

Even if you can’t find the extra time to incorporate exercise in your busy life, you can still stay fit by living an active life. Almost everything that you need to do at home can keep you on your toes if you want to. You won’t have to spend your hours sitting on the couch with your child to keep them company; your children would prefer if you play with them instead. 

You can do anything to stay active and entertain your children at the same time. Instead of keeping them cooped up in the house, arrange for games in your backyard. Play tag with them, or run around with a ball, or simply race each other – as long as you are always on the move, you’ll live an active life at home. 

You might have chosen life to stay at home and take care of your children, but it doesn’t mean you’ll have to let go of yourself or stop thinking about your own health. It is possible to be a good, attentive parent and stay fit at the same time, but only if you know the tricks and the shortcuts.