Last post, I shared some of the challenges of parents of babies and a little about what they said helped them. I also asked them to share what they have learned that they wished they had known sooner. Here are some of their responses.
It’s important to be compassionate and patient with yourself!
One mom shared: I think you have to understand that you’re going to make mistakes. You have to forgive yourself and understand that it’s okay that you make mistakes. The best thing is just to be flexible and learn from each experience.
You don’t have to do it all! So many parents talked about how the whole world changes when you have a baby.
As one Mom put it: I never knew how much everything changes you have a child. I had this idea that I would keep doing the things that were important to me, like dancing. I kept trying to do everything for a while and to fulfill prior commitments, but I didn’t understand how your priorities change 100%. I didn’t want to let anyone down, but it turned out I just drained myself completely. I finally had to realize my family came first. I had to realize that you don’t have to do it all. In fact, you can’t. If you try to do parenting a baby AND keep doing everything you were doing before, you’ll get overwhelmed and your kids will feed off your stress. My advice to new parents would be this– understand how much is going to change and start planning during pregnancy to scale back your other activities.
You have to seek out supportive friends and family and ignore the rest!
One mom said: I don’t want to give my daughter a list of rules. I want her to be independent and to think for herself. I go to my mom a lot because I really liked how my parents parented me. We thought for ourselves and were independent. We knew when we had done wrong– we even used to put ourselves into time out! As opposed to my cousins — their parents babied them and they were kind of bratty.
I don’t like the advice about just letting her cry. She’s not crying for no reason and I don’t think it’s caring and nurturing to just ignore her (6 month old baby).
New Parents– please share one insight you have had that has helped you enjoy parenting more.
Ginny Trierweiler, Ph.D., www.bornforbrilliance.com, firstname.lastname@example.org