Becoming a parent is one of life’s biggest joys. The level of love that one feels when you first lay eyes on your child is exhilarating. However, after enduring several weeks with no sleep, you may be wondering if babies come with receipts. Nothing can prepare you for the level of exhaustion that you are inevitably going to feel as a new parent.
However, there are quite a few things that you can do that can help you adjust to life with your new baby.
Ask for help
Having a new baby is great. It also wreaks havoc on other areas in your life until you are able to establish a rhythm that works for you. It’s going to be hectic trying to take care of a baby, run your home and feed yourself. It’s impossible to pull this off without driving yourself mad. It’s here where you have to know your limits and be open to asking for the help of people that you can trust. Perhaps you can have someone help you make meals or help with the laundry. It could even be something as simple as having someone watch the baby for 10 minutes while you take a shower. All of these things can help you not feel as overwhelmed.
Set expectations for family members
When your baby is born, everyone is going to have an opinion on everything about your baby. Most notably, how much time they get with the baby. When you get home with your new baby, it is important that family members respect your space and your time so that you can get acquainted with the newest member of your family. That means that it is probably not in your best interest to have family members coming in and out of the house to see the baby right away. Give it some time before you get to this point. If they get upset at the fact that you are setting boundaries, avoid the temptation to give in. If they care about you, they will respect the fact that you are doing what is best for you and your child.
Have arrangements for work in place
If you’re able to do so, it would be a wise idea to have an agreement in place with your job that allows you to spend as much time with your baby as you can. This way, you can reduce the guilt that new parents feel of not being there with the baby while they are at work. Maybe you can ask if you can work remotely for a few days a week or perhaps you can sit down with your boss and explain the nature of your situation. However, if this is not possible, you have to determine what is going to work best for your lifestyle in terms of your job.
Work with your partner
As long as your relationship is in good standing, it is vital to have the help and support of your partner. If one of you is up with the baby all night, maybe the other can take the lead with the baby during the day. Or if the other person is with the baby, perhaps the other can take care of the housework. Also, this is not the time to have the “who’s more tired” argument. This is an adjustment for everyone. The last thing that anyone needs to be quarreling over futile matters that can drive you apart. This is the time to work together as you will be depending on each other more than ever.
Take time for you
It’s perfectly understandable that you will want to spend every single moment with your baby. This choice, however, will run you into the ground. The demands of a new baby are constant. If you don’t take time for yourself, you will begin to tread into the waters of resentment. It can be something as simple as taking a walk around the block or reading your favorite book. Having time for yourself is essential in order for you to be the best parent that you can be.
With all that being said, amidst all the chaos, exhaustion and life-altering changes that come with a new baby, the most important adjustment that you must make above all is to enjoy every step. There will be new milestones almost every day as you watch the baby grow before your eyes. Before you know it, the baby will be reaching their first birthday and you will be wondering where the time went. Take each moment in stride as you get comfortable in your new life as a parent.