Becoming parents is one of the most stressful things people can do in their life. The stress normally starts piling up as soon as a couple knows that they’re expecting, and the pile just keeps on getting bigger and bigger. The number of things to take care of can seem never-ending, especially in the first few years of parenthood. In fact, a study found that parents get approximately 60% less sleep in their child’s first year of life. While dealing with a child’s teenage years is also tough, there is no denying the fact that the first few years are definitely the toughest.
Here are some tips that may help you in surviving the first years of parenting.
Ask for help
When a child is born, there are so many things to take care of. On top of that, parents are already stressed out and worn out due to the stress of giving birth. At a time like this, it’s important to reach out and ask others for help. Anyone from grandmothers, to aunts, to friends, and for those who can afford it- hiring a nanny.
Many parents want to be able to experience the joys of parenthood all on their own, without any extra help. What they don’t realize is that by not taking help, they’re just pushing themselves towards a burn-out. Ask the people close to you for help, even if it is just for the smaller things. Getting some help can go a long way.
You don’t need to believe everything you have read
Parents these days mostly prepare for their newborns by reading books and watching videos. Many parents keep using these books and videos during the initial years of parenthood, especially first-time parents. But, this doesn’t mean that you need to follow everything you read or hear. Truthfully, parenthood is itself a learning experience and dealing with your children is something which cannot completely be covered by books and guides.
It’s important to remember to follow your instincts and do what you think is right when raising your children. Don’t push yourself too hard to meet the ideals which have been laid down in books.
Don’t compare yourself to other parents
Parenthood can sometimes feel more difficult than anything you’ve ever done before. These feelings could just get worse and demotivate you if you see other parents around you not struggling as much.
However, it’s important to remember that every parent has a different method of coping, and your parenting skills are just as good as any that of other parent’s. Remember to trust yourself and don’t try to meet someone else’s expectation of how to parent.
Take a parenting class
Parenting classes have become all the rage these days and rightfully so because they are quite helpful. These classes cater to parents with children of different ages. So, a parent with a new-born or one with a 3-year-old can both find a parenting class to suit their needs.
These classes are designed to offer clarity and guidance in the process of parenthood – something which many of us need, especially during the first few years.
Look over your finances
When you have children, you start realizing just how much money it costs to raise them. From the smaller things, such as clothes, to the bigger things, such as education – everything costs money.
It’s always a good idea to go over your finances when you’re planning to have a baby. However, most people forget to keep a check on their finances during the first few years of parenthood as well. Since the child hasn’t started going to school or started making their own demands, most parents don’t realize how much they’re spending. Once they find out, finding the means to support them can be a struggle. So, it’s a good idea always to revisit your finances at the end of the month and plan a budget for the next month
Prepare for your relationship to be affected
This is something that many couples are unprepared for. A change in your relationship with your significant other can be stressful. However, this change is quite normal when a couple welcomes a new addition to the family.
When you feel that your relationship is being affected negatively, it’s important to communicate, divide duties, and make some compromises. Over time, your relationship will adapt and you and your partner with settle into a new routine with your child.
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help
Research has repeatedly shown that women tend to suffer from emotional distress after giving birth. Pregnancies can also be stressful for men. It’s important to realise when you’re facing a severe emotional or mental problem and seek appropriate help. Fortunately, it’s easy to find a licensed therapist. Don’t hesitate to speak up and confide in those close to you. With their help and support, going to therapy is a less daunting task and one that is bound to be helpful.
Give time to yourself
Parents usually devote all their time to their children and often forget themselves in the process. However, it’s very important to leave some time out for yourself. This may seem impossible in the first few years of parenthood, but it’s not.
You and your partner can take turns looking after the children, giving each of you some alone time. You can also hire a babysitter once in a while to give you both some peace and quiet. Whatever way you choose to do things, just make sure that you take out the time needed to do something you want.
Parenting, especially in the first few years is definitely no piece of cake. With these tips, make some changes in your daily routine to make the path easier for yourself.