5 Things Every New Parent Should Know
There is a lot of advice out there for new parents. Babies draw a lot of attention (not always welcome), and when they cough in a supermarket suddenly everyone has an opinion.
But the right advice at the right time (delivered in the right way) is invaluable. Here are five things we think every new parent should know.
1. It Gets Easier
Don’t believe those old hat parents with struggling teenagers who say things like “you just wait”. They have forgotten what it feels like to get no sleep, day in day out for months on end, and clingy toddlers who won’t let you use the bathroom for longer than 10 seconds.
As children grow, their confidence grows too. They begin to play by themselves or with others for longer periods of time. One day you’ll get a whole ten minutes of adult time, while your little one entertains herself happily. Eventually you’ll take it for granted that you can wash the dishes and go to the bathroom.
The first few months are the hardest, and after that… It Gets Easier!
2. Be Kind to Yourself
This is good advice, but very hard to follow. Most people have an idea of how they want to parent, but then they have kids, and kids have their own plans.
Children are unpredictable and decidedly unique. So are parents when they haven’t slept properly for months.
It won’t always be happy families, and it might never be what you were hoping for. Accepting this can take time, and it is a lot harder if you beat yourself up along the way.
If you strive to be a good parent, then you are a good person. Nobody is perfect. Be kind to yourself.
3. Join a Mums/Dads Group
Never before have I needed to vent as much frustration, shock, and wonder as when I was a new parent.
The transition from no kids to kids is sudden, overwhelming, and unpredictable. You may have known exactly when and how baby would be delivered, and it may have even worked out as planned. But, nobody can adequately prepare for the constant demands, lack of sleep, and newness of being a parent.
For most people, hanging out with other new Mums and Dads facing similar challenges helps a lot, and the bonds formed in those groups are often lasting and significant.
If you are a new parent or new to a community, try searching here for parent groups near me.
4. They Grow Up So Fast
I used to hate it when people said this, but it’s one of those things you look back on and think… that was good advice. The old saying, “the days last forever but the years fly by”, is so true when you’re a New Parent.
When you are hanging out with a baby (or two) in the early hours of the morning… every morning… for months on end, it can feel a bit like groundhog day. The clock slows down.
But then one day you will see another new born baby, and you look back at your cute little darling and realize they are a giant... and capable of so much.
If your needing a bit of inspiration to get you through the long days, try reading this beautiful poem, which shows you why its all worth it.
5. Trust Your Instincts
It wasn’t scientific knowledge and public health measures that enabled every one of your ancestors to successfully raise their children for millions of years. For the most part, it was community, and instinct.
You already know how to help your children feel safe and loved.
Listen to the advice of experts, friends and family, but listen to your instincts as well.
Author: Parent Village aims to provide useful and relevant information to parents and caregivers.