The first year of parenting can be an incredibly challenging one, especially for new parents who are going through the process for the first time. An accumulation of lack of sleep, never-ending loads of laundry and a complete change in lifestyle can lead to parents feeling a little blue. Whilst this is a common phenomenon which often occurs during rapid changes in life, it is not one that cannot be overcome. In today’s article, we have a look at how parents can keep their spirits up during the first year. Read on to find out more.
- Make Social Connections
Amongst the chaos of raising a newborn, many parents often forget to care for themselves. One form of self-care that we always recommend is for parents to make social connections. If you find that the existing social group that does not have children lead a completely different life to yours now, it’s time to try and make new connections. You can do this by joining parenting classes, baby yoga sessions or even just walking around your local park with your baby in your brand new Cybex. Chances are you’ll run into people that are facing the same parenting hurdles as you, and you’ll be able to connect with similar people who truly get what you are going through. With that said, you don’t have to completely “ghost” your existing connections – always try to nurture friendships and take a little “me” time whenever possible.
- Ask For Help
There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Everyone could do with a helping hand, especially someone who is raising a child in its first year. Whether it be help preparing meals, cleaning, babysitting or running errands, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact close friends or family members who understand what you are going through and lighten the load on your shoulders by having them share some of the burdens. You could even get grandma or grandpa to babysit on a Friday night so that you and your partner have some time to go out to a nice restaurant and let your hair down.
- Make Time For Self-Care
Laundry, cooking, cleaning – they can all slowly start taking over your life and not give you a moment to spare. However, it is incredibly important that new parents prioritise self-care and personal time, especially in the first year of parenting. This could range from taking a quiet and relaxing bath at least once a week or even indulging in your favourite dessert every so often. As easy as it is to put yourself last, nothing is going to come of you being overburdened, overstressed and not well taken care of. Go for a facial to relax, get your nails done or hit up the golf club – do whatever you enjoy as your own version of self-care.
- Stop Overthinking
One of the many issues that new parents deal with is constant overthinking. Are you getting it right? Is the baby happy? Are you doing something wrong? This constant pattern of overthinking is a fantastic way to raise your stress levels and does nothing but catastrophise non-threatening situations. No parent is a perfect parent – everyone learns as they go. This is why it is so important that you stop overthinking or being too hard on yourself. Your baby thinks you’re doing a perfect job, and you should too!
- Enjoy The Process
Parenting isn’t something that you need to excel at – it isn’t a test or an exam, and you’re not competing with anyone. Parenting is a process that you should thoroughly cherish and enjoy – after all, your baby is going to grow up to be a bratty teenager in no time! It is important that parents learn to love the process instead of feeling like they are working against some arbitrary standards that society has set in place for parents. Enjoy hearing your baby laugh, enjoy the mess they create when they eat and most of all, enjoy the fact that you are doing a fantastic job, no matter how blue you may feel once in a while. It’s time to live in the moment.
We hope that this article has given you a few ideas on how you can boost your spirits during the first year of parenting. Parenting doesn’t have to be a stressful experience – by being kind to yourself and enjoying the journey rather than constantly stressing yourself out, you’ll find that the first year of your child’s life is one that is full of happy moments and marvelous milestones.