New Parents Tips

Bringing a child into this world is a life changing experience. You will never be the same again. Before your child is born, you can never really know the immense shift in every aspect of your life, and while each child and each family is unique, there are some general things that I think soon-to-be parents ought to know before that seismic shift comes. Here is a brief survival guide to help you land more softly.

  1. Caring for a child is exhausting. Yes, they are beautiful and melt your heart away, but caring for a child—especially the newborns can be incredibly challenging. So just accept and expect that and your transition will be ten times easier.
  1. Reprioritize your life. Before your child is born, you may have a running list of things you want to do, once the child comes, shrink that list . Keep it to bare minimum. Higher expectations create more anxiety, frustration, and struggle, which in turn ripple through your baby and all of your relationships. whole. Focus on the absolutely necessary and anything else you get to do beyond that will feel like a blessing.
  1. Keep your perspective. Seriously absorb these words: “It goes by so fast. Enjoy it.”. You may hear this from nostalgic parents in super dreamy tones and in the middle of the night, this refrain will sometimes make you want to curse them all. But do your best to breathe, to open beyond your self-concern, and remember that your little ones will be wiggling out of your arms and running away from you before you know it.
  1. Use humor and playfulness to break the spell. Keep yourself sane by creating humor out of the frustration. Make-up funny little endearing names for your little one. Do your best to amuse each other through the exhaustion. Recount to them in the morning your sleepless night and all the nasty and vicious thoughts, feelings, and schemes that were running through your head at the time. Accepting these “dark” thoughts and feelings as natural and normal, and adding a bit of humor and playful drama to them can save you from unnerving frustrations
  1. Create a support system and accept help. Before your new baby is born, make a list of a few people you know you can count on to help you when the going gets rough. Giving up on doing everything yourself and trying to be a superstar or rugged individualist is one of the healthiest (and sometimes most difficult) things you can do during this transition. The feeling of having support all around you is incredibly nourishing, but you have to be pro-active about asking. And don’t worry; people love to help out when a new baby comes into this world.
  1. Keep your eye out for post-partum depression. Most women—and many men—have some degree of the “post-partum blues,” so just be ready to feel down, exhausted, and know that you will probably shed some tears. Let the tears come—they are incredibly healthy! Partners need to watch out for the more severe symptoms and get your doctor’s help if you think that the symptoms are becoming a real threat to any member of the family. Getting over this early hump is crucial for establishing a healthy family dynamic going forward.
  1. You may not fall in love with your baby right away. We often hear, “As soon as I looked into those eyes, my heart just melted and I fell in love like never before.” But rarely do you hear the truth that many other people experience: sometimes it takes a weeks or months to really fall in love with your child. If this is the way it happens for you, don’t worry. There is nothing wrong with you and things will work out just fine. Just continue to care for your baby the best you can, be patient, kind, and non-judgmental with yourself, and eventually that “love-glue” will start to take hold.
  1. Be flexible and pragmatic. Most of us go into parenthood with big ideas of how we are going to raise our kids, and almost all of us come out the other side with radically re-organized views about children and how to raise them. It is great to set intentions for healthy living and loving relationships, but be flexible and pragmatic. Holding on too tightly to any belief can cause enormous pain and frustration for you and your loved ones
  1. Don’t make parenting into another goal-oriented project. The parents that get the most stressed and worn out are the ones that are going for the gold in the Olympic sport of parenting. To enjoy your family, it is better to put your achievement motivation into endeavors other than your children and your parenting. No one enjoys being made into a project.
  1. Be ready to get triggered in unforeseeable ways. We all have traumas—stored in our bodies and our nervous systems. Most of us are unaware of these until they become flushed out of the dark by triggering events. Having a child is one of the most intimate and profound experiences you may ever have, and mark my words—it will unearth some traumatic feelings. Simply know that you will get triggered, that this is entirely normal, and seek help in understanding the “anatomy” of your traumatic landmines so that you can make them conscious. Not only will this protect your child and your partner from harm, but it will also grow you up and change you in ways you could never imagine

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New Parents Tips

Bringing a child into this world is a life changing experience. You will never be the same again. Before your child is born, you can

Read More »
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