Giving birth does not instantly gives you the knowledge and skills to survive your first few months with your new-borns. In the phase of parenthood, we will make mistakes! In fact, countless mistakes that eventually we will lose track of. To make that first few months as tireless as possible, avoid these mistakes that first-time parents tend to make.
1. Filter What You Hear
Before the birth of your child to the first few weeks, after your child is born, we tend to go around and seek advice from our relatives, friends, forum and websites. One will tell you to use the baby walker to hasten the child’s ability to walk while the other will ask you to let nature takes its course. So now what?
Instead of feeling frustrated figuring out what is good, take this advice with a pinch of salt and follow your intuition. Your child is different from others and so are both of you. Trust yourself and enjoy this stage of parenthood through trial and error.
2. Stop Buying!
One of the top problems that parents always faced, is over-buying. We want to be prepared but never over-prepared. Do not buy a whole truckload of baby clothes, diapers and shoes, only to discover that your child has outgrown them in a couple of months.
The Key Is To Buy In Moderation.
Being a parent is a costly investment. It seems like we have to purchase SO MANY things for the new-born – milk powder, milk bottles, diapers, baby clothes, toys, books, baby cot, pram and the list goes on. Babies outgrew these items pretty fast. The smartest way is to always ask first then buy! Ask from your friends and relatives who had a baby before yours came along, they will be more than willing to give it to you or sell it to you at half the price off.
➡️ Related Read: Must Buy Items for Your Newborn Baby
3. Not Capturing These Precious Moments
Sometimes, we are so caught up with the role that we forgot to capture these precious moments of our child’s growing stages especially their FIRST! Their first hour of life, first roll-over, first crawl, first birthday and the list goes on. In the wink of an eye, your child will be in preschool, primary school, college and when the time comes when he or she has one of their own his or her own, you know you probably too late. Start now!
4. Not Making Full Use Of Your Entitlement
Working mothers are entitled to maternity leave where you can be away from work for a total of 16 weeks. There is some flexibility to it as it can start as soon as 4 weeks before and 12 weeks after delivery, and also, it can also be reserved and use over a span of a year after the birth of your child. Thus, it is wise to keep some of your leaves in case of unforeseen circumstances like an unexpected visit to the doctor.
5. Not Sharing The Responsibilities
These will probably turn out to be your conversation between you and your spouse at one point in time. Both of you are probably new parents and equally unskilled in this job so STOP the accusation. No point losing your cool with one another. Being a parent is never easy, and nobody says it is. Remember you are both life-long partners. Talk it out, learn together and share the responsibilities.
6. No More Me-Time
Does having a child means that he or she is your priority and there will be lesser time for your needs? This is definitely untrue! Your child is your priority but without a healthy mind and body, your journey as a parent will be long, dull and challenging. Take some time off to refresh yourself, take naps, go for a massage, read a good book, call your friends out for tea and go for dates with your spouse. “The happier you are, the better parent you will be”, mentioned by Karen Benfield from parents.com.
7. Ignoring Your Child’s Cries
You may hear your relatives or friends mentioned that you should not spoil the child or carry and pacify them immediately when they cry. Loving and caring for your child is not spoiling. Spoiling happens when parents are improper role models to their child and does not correct their wrong-doings. Spoiling can also happen when there is over-indulgence of material gifts.
Babies’ way of communicating their needs is through their cries. It is unhealthy for your baby to cry for a prolonged period of time as it will affect her sense of security as a child to adulthood. Be there to watch out for her and satisfy the baby’s needs.
8. Comparing Your Child To Everything
Parents being parents cannot stop worrying about their children as they compare the little one to everything possible. Stop comparing your child with other children, unless you are waiting for adversity to happen. Each child has their own biological clock that will start ticking when they are ready. So long they meet their development milestone, you really do not have to worry at all.
9. Neglecting Your Spouse
After caring for your baby, you are simply too tired to care for anything else. You wish you can just shut off everything. You will probably snap at anything that comes your way. We have been through that. What you probably do not know is that, with the children around, life will get more complex and demanding, no matter what their ages are.
Make your marriage a priority and your children will be the ones benefiting from it the most.
➡️ Related Read: Your Husband: The Other ‘Baby’ in Your Life
Take some time off together and go for a date again. If possible make it a weekly affair – dinner, café-hopping, movies or even a walk in the park. Make plans together and talk about big plans and the future.
10. Getting Overly Stressed And Frustrated
Everyone experiences stress and frustration in their life, much less a new parent who has to deal with so many changes. Be prepared to give up some control over the life-style that you previously had and enjoy this new and exciting process of parenthood. Children do and say the funniest stuff ever. It’s pretty amazing. Be involved, enjoy the moment and lastly, you will realize that it is all worth it.
We always celebrate our children’s growth but often neglected our own little achievements as we grow and gain precious knowledge to be an effective parent. As a parent, we do make mistakes. But who don’t? These mistakes happened due to lack of information and in other cases just poor judgement. Judgement is something that you can learn through experience and with time. It will only get better if you make the effort to observe and learn more.
By Crystal Tan.
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This article was first published in New Age Pregnancy.
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