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5 Things to Know About Adjusting to Parenthood

#4

Parenthood Takes a Physical Toll

A woman who's just given birth is carrying around extra weight and sore breasts. A new father may have zombielike rings under his eyes. And undoubtedly, one day you will walk around all day long before noticing that you have baby spit-up all down the back of your shirt or a rainbow sticker on the seat of your pants.

When you become a parent, you don't have as much time for the stuff you used to do -- workouts at the gym, haircuts, shopping. There's a moment for every parent when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and wonder where the old you went.

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It's important not to forget about taking care of yourself. If you're so stressed out and run-down that you get sick, you're not doing anyone any good. Take advantage of a relative, friend or babysitter and make sure to do the things that make you feel spoiled -- an hour reading in the park, a pedicure, a good racquetball game. Even if it's just a 15-minute walk, you need to do something that reminds you that in addition to being a parent, you're a person with your own needs.

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