For this post I thought I’d share a few things to do with the mindset of an expectant or new parent that, during an understandably stressful time, might help to make things a bit easier.
You’ll probably be able to tell I haven’t quite mastered a couple of them yet.
Be prepared for everyone to tell you their story
Everyone is going to tell you about their pregnancy. I would probably do it if I met you. You’ll hear stories of people who have had it worse than you, and from people who have had it better than you. The important thing is to remember that every pregnancy is individual. You can’t be lumped in with someone else or expect what helped for them will help you.
One trick to managing this is learning to take on board what people say but taking absolutely none of it as gospel. This may be harder to do if you have enthusiastic (read: overbearing and unable to listen to a word you say before they are too busy telling how they did it 30 years because their memory is perfect, and nothing has changed and that’s how you should do it) family members.
But people will probably have points that fit in with your parenting style and others will have points that don’t. Listen, learn and apply what fits for you and your situation.
Accept you will get less sleep
You will be looking after a baby. Babies don’t sleep like adults. I like to have a moan every now and then about being tired but I do see parents who go on about it constantly and part of me thinks, what did you expect?
If you do find that you’re a parent who gets a lot of sleep, then consider yourself lucky and DO NOT mention it too much to others who don’t get as much sleep. That’s just mean.
Accept that you are going to get less sleep and it’ll be easier. Also, remember that at some point your child will end up sleeping through the night and it will feel amazing.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
It’s natural to be too hard on yourself as both an expectant parent and a parent. This is one I’ve struggled with and I’ve made myself worried, unnecessarily, about irrational stuff like will my child remember me when I go back to work after paternity leave. Like WTF, of course he bloody will.
You’ll see other families and compare yourself against them, you’ll read stuff online that doesn’t match with what you’re doing but the important thing is you’re happy with what you’re doing, you know who can support you if you need it and being able to go with the flow a little.
Have fun and enjoy it
Being a parent will be super fun – it’s not often you can go around a super market making farting noises and get away with it. I mean, people will look at you but all you need to do is be all “the baby loves it”, shrug your shoulders and then go back to doing it.
More seriously, the cliché stuff like them grabbing your hand and smiling really are amazing. You’ll also start to do things like compare your baby’s poos, enjoy watching the faces of your friends while they panic because your child is scream and you’re not taking it off them.
Not all of it is fun but enjoy it as much as you can.
Anyway, there are a few things I wish I’d been (and still could be) better at that I think would make being an expectant parent/parent a bit easier.
I understand that there are a lot of things to do with pregnancy, babies and being a new parent which go a lot deeper than what I’ve spoken about. Please don’t think I’m dismissing them or ignoring them, I’m just not in a position to speak about them.
Agree? Disagree? Got something to add to the list? Comment below.
Thanks for reading.