October 29, 2012

Tips for New Parents

Parenthood is something many couples look forward to from the day they find out they’re expecting…some even from the day they get married! Having children is honestly one of the greatest blessings we will ever receive during this lifetime, however, it’s also the hardest job out there. I know when I was pregnant with my first child, I had all these wonderful thoughts about what it was going to be like having a baby and raising a child. Now, my first born is five and when I think about my initial thoughts about how parenthood would be, I just laugh.

I’ve learned a lot in the last five years and I can tell you, a lot of the things I swore I’d never do as a parent, I’ve done. If you or someone you know is expecting, then the following tips may be helpful. After all, there’s a lot more to raising kids than picking out the perfect holiday dress or tuxedo. It takes a lot of patience, determination and follow-through to be a good parent!

1. Say good-bye to a spotless house. Once you start acquiring baby clothes, accessories and furniture (before the baby arrives) your house will never be the same. A lot of new parents, myself included, have a hard time letting go of the idea that their home isn’t going to ever be spotless again. At least not for ten years or so. If you can accept that before the baby arrives, the better off you’ll be. That doesn’t mean you can’t get your house picked up and looking presentable before guests arrive. It just means that on a day-to-day basis, there will be something out of place whether it’s toys in the living room, a pile of clean laundry on the bed, dirty dishes in the sink or carpet that hasn’t been swept in a couple weeks…there will always be something, and that’s okay!

2. All babies and toddlers cry and throw fits. One of the most common things I hear my new-mom friends say is that they feel like bad moms when their babies cry and they can’t calm them down. Please, don’t feel this way! Most babies have a “cry” time and some develop colic, and there’s nothing you can do. Toddlers are the same way when they begin gaining independence. Throwing fits is just part of it. Just remember to stay calm and reassure yourself that every parent goes through these stages.

3. Hire a babysitter and go out! Finally, the best piece of advice I can give to new parents is to hire a babysitter and go out together as a couple…and don’t feel bad about it! You and your partner need time together without the baby so you don’t forget who you are as a couple. After all, in 18 years the child will be grown and moving out and it will just be you and your spouse again. So, whatever you do when raising kids, don’t ever feel bad about hiring a babysitter to spend some quality time together!