Many parents describe their first year with a new baby as a roller coaster ride. For us moms, one minute we can be laughing and the next in tears as we learn to deal with the hormones, lack of sleep, and basically the adjustment of taking care of a helpless little creature. The “me” time is gone as you must attend to their every need. Don’t get me wrong, having a new born is wonderful and glorious, but it is an adjustment!
Here are just a few tips to help you along:
- Relish the time: this is a really special time in your life. Realize the joy this child has brought into your life. Those newborn days go by quickly so step back and appreciate the moment.
- Trust your instincts: Have confidence in yourself. You may not know everything there is to know about parenting or have all of the answers and it is totally fine to ask questions. Not to worry, you will probably get more advice than you would like! Just take what fits into your parenting style.
- Check your expectations: many new parents start out with unrealistic expectations – that life will go on as before, it will be fun every minute, new babies just eat and sleep. That gap between expectations and reality can be stressful and disappointing. Know that having a new baby will put increased demands on your routine.
- Be patient: Those first few weeks may seem like round the clock feeding, bathing, diapering and soothing; all on a short amount of sleep. You may fear that this routine will last forever! Over time you will adjust to the new schedule and as your baby get older you’ll feel like there is time to get more done.
- Take Care of yourself: Taking good care of your baby means taking good care of yourself. The better you feel, the better you’ll be able to care for and enjoy your newborn. Sneak in as much sleep as possible, eat well and get up and move. Most important, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- Take care of your relationship: Babies, while wonderful, can be hard on a relationship. You and your partner may miss your life as a couple. You may also find that you have differences of opinion on issues related to caring for your child. Be patient with yourself and your partner. Take time to admire his or her relationship with your baby, and you will likely find great inspiration, not only as a parent, but also as a couple.
Remember that parenting, like life, is an adventure; enjoy the journey!!