Parents have all been there and can relate to the most life-changing experience of being a parent.
Recently, we asked parents-to-be to share their parenting expertise by asking our social media parent readers and some of our parenting experts at Parents Place. Here are their top tips.
1. Follow Your Gut
- Do not compare. Trust your gut. -Erin, The Activity director
There will always be contradicting information…on every topic! We can only learn from both sides and decide what is best for our family. Motherhood is about not feeling guilty or making excuses for your actions.
There were so many contradictory recommendations about how long and what kind of baby cry it out at bedtime. Although we felt guilty for letting our daughter cry, she soon became calm and able to go to bed. We had to trust our instincts and follow the right path given our circumstances.
While some decisions are not easy, others should be made based on the parents’ values and priorities.
2. 2.Be kind to yourself
Accept the chaos and mess. No one will ever remember a clean home or a laundry load done. But they will remember the memories you made. – Erin, The Activity Director
- Be kind to yourself. – PJ Library Bay Area
Take your baby on stroller walks. They’re great for both parents and babies. Baby’s sleep is better when they are outside. -Kari, Active Kids Club
At first, I resisted the suggestion to “sleep while the baby sleeps” as I believed it would allow me to do more. It was the best gift I could have given myself, and I quickly realized how important it was to get (semi-)rested.
3. Your Expectations should be adjusted
Accept that things may take 10 times longer after having children. Be open to uncertainty and flexible in your expectations. Accept that you may not always be okay. –Tati, MomWifeLadyLife
Make peace with your new role as a parent or co-parent. Someone said that it was like a switch being flipped from “romantic couples” to “tactical teams”. In those first few weeks, my husband and I had nicknames for one another: “Feed Bag” & “Chore Boy”. Through our exhaustion over our new roles, we tried to laugh.
Keep in mind that dads and moms have different ways of doing things and that everyone wants to succeed. Let the small things go.
4. Find ways to bond with your baby and make memories
You should love them all the time. Smile a lot. Look into their eyes. Take the time to cherish every moment. -Daddy and the Baby
- Make memories with your children.
Make sure you take all of the photos and that someone else takes pictures of you. Write down what you want to keep in mind. -Erin, Activity Director
Every moment, no matter how difficult, is worth it. Children grow up so quickly. If you become too focused on the things that don’t matter, you will miss out on the chance to enjoy the moments that do.
Parents can get too excited about the next stage of their child’s development. Each milestone in your growth should be enjoyed. Parents Place, Heidi
5. Find your Tribe
It was something I knew from a young age that it was crucial to have a group of new parents to share stories and help with chores, babysitting, and meals. Many of these people are still close friends years later.
- Support your village – PJ Library Bay Area
- Every week, barter with another family for a date night.
You can delegate tasks to friends and family members who are willing. You can outsource tasks to friends and family members who are willing to help you with laundry, grocery shopping and cooking.