Photo by Polina Tankilevitch
New parenthood is a daunting journey. Those who claim everything is instinctive have created unrealistic expectations for parents about to embark on this journey for the first time. Sometimes, nothing is instinctive, and new parents find themselves questioning whether they are capable of doing this. Take comfort in knowing that it’s normal to have these worries. Here are five truths about kids that will take the pressure off new parents:
- A Full Belly Often Solves The Issue
Babies are just as capable of getting hangry as adults. If the little one is unreasonably niggly and difficult, it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. Just know that your new little human hasn’t received the memo on appropriate public behavior and the general public understands this. Newborns, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers become more manageable when they have a full tummy. Whether you chose breastmilk or the best baby formula on the market, a full belly trumps most bad moods.
- Children Accept The World As It Is Presented To Them
If you’re worried about bringing a child into an unusual family dynamic, it’s important to remember that children have no concept of social norms. Single parents, parents still living with their own parents, same-sex couples, and all of the other interesting and diverse family dynamics will seem normal to a child if it is presented to them with love and in a way that meets their emotional needs. Children accept everything without question, so it’s up to the family to make their home environment safe, appropriate, and nurturing.
- Being New Parents Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
As parents, we want a beautiful nursery, a college fund (or at least the start of one), a nice house, and all of the best baby accessories. However, these luxuries aren’t a necessity. What your baby needs most are parents that are attentive and engaged. It needs regular feeding, love, cleanliness, and an environment that’s safe and warm. There’s plenty of time to create the rest. If you’ve had a surprise arrival and you find yourself unprepared, it relieves some of the pressure to remember that loving arms and a safe space are the only important factors you need to have in place during these early months.
- Strive For Improvement Not Perfection
Your child’s birthday also marks your birthday as parents. Mothers and fathers need to grow into their ability to parent. It’s a learning process that is riddled with mistakes. New parents don’t have to be perfect – it’s okay to have a shaky start. What you need to do is commit yourself to the learning process and improve your parenting skills as you learn.
- It Really Does Take A Village To Raise A Child
Bringing a baby into the world is a big responsibility, and it can be near-impossible if you try to do everything on your own. You’re already adapting in ways you never knew existed. Needing a break doesn’t mean you’re incapable or uncommitted. Lean on your community to babysit so that you can get some sleep. Or accept the mother-in-law’s offer to clean your house or purchase the latest greatest baby bottle sterilizer. This is that one time in life where your community can truly step up and help.
Savour This Time
The days are long but the years are short, and kids grow up faster than you’d like to believe. Savor it. Hold them a little longer, focus on those smiles, and look forward to a refrigerator covered in macaroni art.