Bringing your newborn home for the first time is a memorable feeling. Almost like everything at home remains the same, but life as you know it has changed completely. Perhaps you are pregnant about to become a new mum or you are considering having children, then here are some things you need to know about parenthood.
As a parent, you do what you have to just to keep the baby happy, fed, and sleeping. I never pictured me bouncing bub on a yoga ball in one hand, while trying to eat breakfast to the soothing tune of the vacuum. Even while writing this article I have my hungry little munchkin attached to the breast typing with one hand.
It’s bloody hard work caring for a newborn. You joke with other parents about multi-tasking comparing yourself to a mud crab with one super strong arm. Using your feet to do things isn’t ruled out of the question either. Those first few months are a blur and it’s probably the reason why many go back for more. You are sleep-deprived and overwhelmed with the well-being of your child. While you try to adapt to this new life you are healing and learning your new role, so be nice to yourself.
The Truth About Raising Children
For those of you wondering what it is like to have children, well let’s just say be prepared for the unexpected. Life is a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. Recall that screaming child in the toy aisle at the supermarket? Don’t ever judge other parents for their kids crying tantrums, instead smile sympathetically, cause one day that could be you and your child.
Sleeping, showering, eating, going to the toilet, all become events that seem like an impossible task with a baby clung to your breast every two hours. If you are not fortunate enough to have someone helping you out then make sure you have people with who you can chat for support. In Australia, there are various groups, such as the ABA, your local baby health clinic, hospital, and GP. Other private services can include support with lactation, sleeping, and soothing baby.
It really is a whole new ball game parenting a newborn, especially in the first 12 weeks. However as babies grow new things arise, so it becomes a never-ending cycle of ever-changing obstacles. Teething, sleep changes, and growth spurts are all on the list.
With a newborn you’ll find yourself needing advice on things like is the baby eating enough, babies pooy wet nappies and why is my baby crying all the time.
It doesn’t matter how much you read there will always be things you just need to work out along the way. And hey, that is just part of the experience.
Advice for New Parents
Parental worries begin at the moment of conception and last a lifetime. You will hear a million different responses to the questions you have from various people. Mid-wives, family members, other parents, etc. Your job is to process this information and make the right decision for your newborn. People will tell you to trust your own instincts but this can be hard especially if it is your first child. Your emotions will be high, you’ll be sleep-deprived and a little overwhelmed. This can sometimes test your relationship with your partner. That is why remember you are working together to support one another through parenthood. Accept that you will make mistakes and all you can do is your best, as you are learning this skill. After all, we are all human. Nothing is normal your baby is unique, which means they won’t necessarily fit in a category. They grow and go through life at their pace so try not to compare your baby to charts or other babies. As long as they are healthy, growing well, loved, and happy then you are doing a great job.
A Reality Check
While most people go goo-ga at a beautiful picture of a child smiling, remember behind that is a 24-hour role. That is the part people don’t see. Tantrums, crying, sicknesses, looking after a tiny human takes patience and resilience. You need to be able to look at the bigger picture rather than act on your emotions. There is loads of information for parents on how to talk to children. The focus becomes on the reality of your child’s perspective. Parents need to lead children who are learning to understand their strong feelings. A small thing can trigger a child into hysterics, and this is something parents learn quickly.
As children grow their needs change, new issues arise, and the never-ending story of being a full-time carer becomes a little easier as they grow and start school. You watch as those challenging years fall to the background and you realise what an amazing individual you helped raise. The reward for parents perhaps knowing that they did the best job they could. Raising children not only allows you to assess your behavior as an adult but also makes you reflect on your childhood.
Life definitely will never be the same again after having children, but can you now imagine what it would be like without those beautiful hugs, and gazing eyes. Sure we would all love to have part of our freedom and old lives back sometimes. The reason why we were led to have kids in the first place came from a feeling of desire for more.