Parenthood is challenging, here is the 10 best advice for new parents to make the journey a little more manageable.
During my studies, I remember being amazed when I learned that the arrival of a child can be the source of a family crisis. I had imagined, from my days of babysitting, that it was hard work. However, I couldn’t believe that it could be so challenging to be classified as a ‘CRISIS.’ However, when I was new parent myself, my outlook completely changed. I really saw the valuable of advice, preparation and guidance for new parents.
It’s undeniable that parenting has many magical moments. In fact, most of us won’t trade the experience for anything in the world. But it’s still perfectly healthy to admit that becoming a parent is extremely stressful and the journey for each of us is quite unique.
Often, just when we think that we’ve got it under control, another dilemma -or child- comes into the picture and we’re right back where we began. You see, parenthood, especially in the initial stages, is a time of significant imbalance and it’s very easy to become impulsive, confused, numb or anxious. However, to comprehensively address this issue, we must first discuss the cause.
Why is parenting so challenging?
The challenges associated with becoming a parent is multidimensional. For many persons, the stressors that come to mind are the changing hormones, adapting to our post-partum bodies and the numerous sleepless nights.
However, there are many other elements that should not be ignored.
With a new child in the picture, the amount of time, energy and attention we previously invested in other relationships are greatly reduced, especially in the early stages.
For instance, one or more partners may feel neglected and siblings may become jealous. In fact, it’s very common for the husband or even the wife to feel as if they have been completely replaced.
All in all, there will be many changes that you and your other half must navigate. This could lead to a feeling of being ‘low on love’ and disenchanted with each other as well as the relationship itself.
Relationship challenges are often more than just inconvenient. If this is your case, it is important not to ignore the problem. Honestly communicate with your partner about how you are feeling and try not to take things personally.
Additionally, it’s important that we consider our own childhood and the impact of what we experienced during that time.
All of us are products of our own upbringing and therefore must be sensitive to this dynamic and the influence that it has on our current relationships.
Read more about the valuable lessons that I learnt during childhood.
“For every effect, there is a root cause. Find and address the root cause rather than try to fix the effect, as there is no end to the latter.” - Celestine Chua
However, these emotions are often hidden due to being associated with a sense of guilt or shame. However, you need to actively recognize, address and replace these hidden negative emotions. For families with financial challenges, limited resources and health issues this period is often additionally difficult.
The best advice for new parents:
Raising a child is one of the most rewarding experiences, but also one of the most challenging. Here are 10 top advice for new parents to help with some of the difficulties that usually arise:
(1) Get prepared before the parenting journey begins
(2) Know that your feelings are validated
(3) Maximize all your resources
(4) Join support groups
(5) Remember that you are not perfect
(6) Prioritize self-care
(7) Encourage active communication
(8) Adapt new coping strategies
(9) Plan for that future
(10) Seek help from your healthcare provider
As a new parent, it’s important that you don’t become insecure or lose sight of who you are. Here’s an excellent self-discovery journal for first-time moms that has real therapy techniques.
1. Parenting Advice: Get prepared before the new journey begins
The first piece of advice for new parents is to plan as much as possible before the arrival of your bundle of joy. I’ll be the first to admit that you cannot fully understand all the emotions and responsibilities beforehand.
However, having an idea of what to expect as a new parent will help you to prepare yourself mentally and financially for the challenge.
Estimating and adjusting your budget, researching important topics such as breastfeeding, returning to work after your maternity leave, strategies to soothe your newborn, etc. will make the adjustment much easier.
Outsource extra help just in case you may need it due to unexpected health challenges related to labor and delivery. Remember if you don’t ask the answer is always no. Some family and friends may feel privileged to help.
Make self-care a part of that preparation too. Becoming a parent is a huge transition for anyone, even for those who have been parents before. This is why it’s important that you learn how to relax and unwind before the baby’s arrival as it will be much more difficult afterwards.
It’s also important to maintain strong ties with your friends and family so that they can support you during your journey.
"Remember, anxiety is contagious - and so it calm." - Debbie Pincus
What to do before becoming parents
As mentioned, becoming parents is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, which means we must learn new ways to communicate with each other.
This includes the ability to compromise, forgive and finding some time for each other.
Further, think about ‘preparatory’ conversations that you need to have with your partner.
For example, how will you share responsibilities? Will one of you stay at home while the other is working? What happens if both parents want to work outside the home and there isn’t enough money for child care? What are the rules for bringing up your child? (i.e., do they watch TV, drink soda, etc.)
Your parenting styles should complement each other so that you don’t confuse your child. While consistent parenting styles can be great, your child should know that they are loved and supported unconditionally by both parents rather than feeling like their needs are constantly being fought over.
Talking about your expectations before becoming a parent is also key. Find out what it will take for you and your partner to reach agreement on major issues such as breastfeeding, child care, vaccination schedules etc.
However, realize that no matter how much you prepare…things will still be different
Use this link to check out the guidelines relating to screen time for kids.
2.Parenting Advice: Know that your feelings are validated
As a new parent, it’s vital to take time to process your emotions. Given the psychological toll of becoming a parent, it’s easy for your thoughts to become confusing.
You may have trouble fully processing and addressing any feeling of incompetence and inadequacy. The worst part is that you may end up believing that these feelings are unwarranted.
Even though some of those negative thoughts may not be completely accurate, if you have them chances are someone else has felt them too. You are not also. Often, these feelings even originate for the unspoken expectations of new parents.
Fully processing those feelings is crucial for your wellbeing since they can lead to self-doubt and anxiety about how you are parenting. Additionally, getting appropriate help may likely significantly boost your physical and emotional wellbeing.
3. Parenting Advice: Maximize all your resources as a new parent
I get it, as a new parent you feel as if you are the only one who can really take good care of your child. However, having everyone in your household or even trusted friends participate in one way or another will help you get some much-needed relaxation.
This initiative will also help them to create their own special bond with the baby and improve their feeling of value in the relationship.
It’s also crucial to learn as much about your child’s developmental milestones as possible. This means talking to people who have kids, reading parenting books and articles, or doing independent research.
The more information you gather around your child’s development, the more equipped you will be to address their needs in a timely manner.
Even with your hectic schedule, it’s important to take time to acknowledge your feelings and understand that the full extent of your emotions is validated.
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." - James Baldwin
4. Parenting Advice: Join support groups for new parents
Another piece of advice of new parents is that it is useful to learn or just share with other persons who are on the same path. This strategy will provide a great opportunity to share tips and truly understand that you are not in this alone. Thanks to technology and social network, connecting with other parents can be done from anywhere and on your own schedule.
This will help you refocus and develop a new level of understanding about your role as a parent.
5. Parenting Advice: Remember that you are not perfect
Once you realize that you are not perfect, you will understand that you will make mistakes. Some things will be left undone, the house will be messy sometimes and you may not know how to get your baby to stop crying. Things will get better, you will improve and the majority of these ‘little mistakes’ will be a distant memory one day. You must forgive yourself.
6. Parenting Advice: Even as a new parent, take care of yourself
I truly believe that one of the best ways to take care of your children is by taking care of your own physical and emotional well-being. Often, a new parent is so consumed with other responsibilities that it’s easy to forget their own wants and needs.
Thus, a great piece of advice for new parents is that resting when your baby does and eating a balanced diet goes a long way.
Remember that you cannot give what you don’t have. You need to take time for yourself and treat yourself with love and respect. Take some me-time and look after your own physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social well being while honoring the fact that parenthood is a privilege.
Read more about the dimensions and importance of personal wellness.
Remember that you deserve to be pampered and treated well, especially by yourself.
"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." - Angela Schwindt
7. Parenting Advice: Encourage active communication
Communication is key to truly understanding how those around you feel. Encourage free, open talk, without judgment and pay attention to non-verbal cues. If you want to achieve an effective communication between you and the persons around you, try to avoid having expectations of others because no one thinks, feels, wants or acts in the same way you do.
The first step to finding a resolution is to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Even if you don’t find a solution, there’s a certain release a person gets from explaining their feelings and being heard. Remember that feelings are often irrational
You’ll have a lot of different emotions and feelings as a new parent. Some might even be irrational but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t honor them or speak to the people around you about it. Your feelings matter, your opinions are valid.
8. Parenting Advice: Adapt new coping strategies as a parent
Creating routines and making new traditions are important and will be something positive to look forward to. Date nights with your spouse and children don’t have to be expensive or extravagant to be appreciated. It’s good to think outside the box and come up with unique ideas.
Since your situation is unique, your coping strategies should be also. Additionally, developing your own methods will help you gain valuable skills and resources for your next battle.
Adapting new coping strategies will help you develop life skills which will make you a better parent in the long run.
People who learn new skills, such as how to cope with a challenging situation and come up with creative ways of doing things, tend to be more satisfied with their lives.”
9. Parenting Advice: Plan for the future
Being a parent is a lifelong job, so it’s time to develop short and long-term plans. These should include initiatives for preventing future unwanted pregnancy (they do happen very early after delivery as well- even if you are breastfeeding) and other personal and professional plans.
Be sure to check out the 10 steps you should take before returning to work after your maternity leave. Your goals may evolve so it’s important to keep an open mind.
Interested in employment opportunities that can be done while you’re at home taking care of your children? Click the link Start your own online business to sign up for our free live info session so that you can learn how we’ve created unlimited learning potential while working on our own schedule from the comfort of our home.
"Our most important responsibility as parents is regulating our own emotions, which is essential for our children to learn to manage themselves." - Dr. Laura Markham
10. Parenting Advice: Seek help from your healthcare provider
Letting your healthcare professional know everything that you’re feeling is essential. This will help you feel more relaxed if these feelings are normal or help you get the treatment you need if it is a symptom of an underlying disease.
Also, your healthcare provider will be able to connect you with other clinical and non-clinical resources that will be of benefit. Depending on your region of origin, they can even provide resources such as milk and clothing for your baby which can assist in situations of financial difficulties. Remember, they are there to help, not judge you.
With the right advice, resources and support for new parents, the journey should be an opportunity for positive change.
Final words on the best advice for new parents
When it relates to the best advice for new parents, there is no one-size-fits all answer. A lot of it depends on your situation, your family’s values and goals, and what you can realistically do to care for yourself as well as the baby.
However, if you implement the advice and strategies mentioned above, your journey as a new parent is bound to be a whole lot easier. Remember to cherish the moment -even the tough ones. Time really does go by too quickly.
Let me know what strategies you used or plan to use in your own journey and what you wish you would have done differently. Remember to click share if you found this post useful!
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