Parenthood is tough, and new parenting is even tougher.
The following tips should help you along your journey into parenthood, help you grow into the parent you aspire to be, or at least help you keep your sanity while raising your little bundle-of-joy.
1. Accept Help when You Need It
This is the number one rule of parenthood and is especially important for those moms and dads who are new to parenthood. If you’re struggling to keep up with your newborn—they won’t go down for their daily nap, they’re crying incessantly and you can’t figure out why, they’re fussy for no apparent reason—and someone offers to help you, accept the help.
Having a baby is a life-changer. It gives you a whole other perspective on why you wake up every day
Plain and simple.
Some new moms and dads might feel that accepting help from others means they are somehow failing at being a parent, but there’s nothing wrong with accepting a bit of help now and then whether it be from a family member, friend, or perhaps even your partner.
If help is not being offered to you, don’t be scared to just ask for it, either. You’ll likely find that your family members and friends would be delighted to offer their free hand to help with a diaper change or their ear if you simply need someone to talk to.
2. Make Time for Yourself
This may sound nearly impossible with a newborn in the house, but it is so very important for you as a new parent to make time for yourself—every day, if possible—and spend that time doing something you enjoy or that relaxes you. This might mean taking a long bubble-bath, going for a solo walk in the sun, or resting on the couch and watching Netflix.
You’re probably wondering how on earth you’ll have time to take a bubble-bath or go for a walk when you have a newborn who needs constant care. Well, it’s quite possible that the same family member or friend who offered help when you needed it might also enjoy watching your newborn for you while you have some well-deserved alone time.
Or you might even work out an arrangement with your partner where you swap newborn duties each night so you each have some alone time every other night.
3. Read, Read, Read! (Or Listen, Listen Listen!)
When you have some time alone, the last thing you probably want to do is read a book on the very thing you’re taking a break from Parenting. However, reading during your spare time—in particular, reading about parenthood and parenting methods—will be beneficial in the long run.
Not only is reading an easy way to relax and drift off into another world for a period of time during a busy day but reading about parenthood might actually make your job as a parent much less overwhelming when you inevitably return to it from your time alone.
And if reading isn’t your thing—maybe it hurts your eyes or gives you migraines—it might be worth investing in some audiobooks or podcasts that you can listen to while taking your nice long bubble-bath or during your solo walk in the sun.
4. Network with Other Parents
Parenting is scary, especially with your first newborn.
There will likely be times when you feel overwhelmed, overstimulated, confused, and just plain clueless about what you’re supposed to be doing.
It’s not difficult to take care of a child; it’s difficult to do anything else while taking care of a child. Trying to clean up the kitchen after you’ve had a baby is a nightmare because you have to wait for the baby to be asleep, you’re exhausted, and you really don’t want to clean up the kitchen now.
This is where creating a network of parent-friends comes into play. You might create your network through social media—maybe you join a Facebook group for new moms and dads or follow a few parents who share tips and tricks on Twitter—or you might even reach out to a few of your parent-friends and hold a discussion group with them every week or month to talk about your achievements and struggles as new parents.
The networking possibilities are endless.
5. Take Other Parents’ Advice with a Grain of Salt
Once you’ve created your network of parent-friends, you’ll notice that you all have different tactics for handling your newborns. For instance, maybe you’re discussing your newborn’s midnight crying sessions with one of your parent-friends and they recommend that you try a tactic they use on their own newborn: The old “just let them cry it out” trick.
You try this tactic on your newborn, but it only seems to worsen their crying episodes.
If you feel that the tactic is not right for your newborn, you don’t have to continue with it.
Just because the tactic works for another couple and their newborn does not necessarily mean it will work for your newborn, and that’s totally okay and normal.
Just as there are infinite ways to parent newborns, there are also infinite types of newborns with unique personalities. So, do what is best for your own newborn regardless of what other parents might think is best.
Click to read more about “Parenting From An Emotionally Immature Background“
Reference and citation:
- Helping Parents, Helping Children: Two-Generation Mechanisms
- Handbook of Parenting Volume 5 Practical Issues in Parenting
- Dad’s Guide to Fatherhood