This is a partnered post.
Who said parenting was easy? Nobody, that’s who, and even if somebody tells you that it is, you might want to pay attention to the first point on our list below. You see, parenting isn’t easy; in fact, it can be a real challenge at times, but thankfully, the joy of having your baby in your arms more than makes up for the issues you will have to face.
So, whether you are a parent-in-waiting, the proud parent of a new little boy or girl, or simply somebody interested in what we have to say, here are the challenges that are common to most (if not all) new parents.
Challenge #1: The advice and opinion of others
People are only too happy to help, but sometimes, the advice given can be conflicting with what you have heard from others, and this can make life difficult for you. Should you listen to what you mother-in-law has told you? Or should you do what great Auntie Whatsit has told you instead? If you are in any way unsure, especially around baby health matters, rather than take the advice of somebody who hasn’t been to medical or midwife school, speak to the professionals for expert advice. A qualified answer will give you peace of mind, even if it turns out what mother-in-law said was right all this time.
Challenge #2: A lack of sleep
Say goodbye to your usual sleep routine! Having a baby is time-consuming, and there will be times when you have to fit your sleeping schedule around theirs. However, you can make life easier for yourself. Take a look at how we make bedtime easier, and try to get into the routine we mention. Ensure you share responsibilities with your partner. Get all the help you can during the day, perhaps from another family member, and take any free time they afford you to get some sleep. And when your baby is safely napping during the day, take the opportunity to get a few z’s yourself.
Challenge #3: A less active social life
Baby makes three! This means you probably won’t be able to have the social life you used to. You might not get the opportunity to party or go for drinks with friends. There will be days when your conversation will be reduced to baby talk instead of adult conversation. And there will be times when you go a little stir crazy with only your little one for company, as adorable as they are! Your social life won’t be the same, although you should still look for social opportunities. There will be mother and baby groups near you, so make the effort to go along. Take baby for a walk to the park or somewhere public, so you can spend time near (and hopefully talking to) other people. Spend time with your extended family members. And if you know any other new parents, get together with them during the day to socialise and share stories about the joys (and otherwise) of parenthood.
Becoming a parent for the first time is life-changing, both in the joys that are experienced and in the challenges that are faced. And of those challenges, we have only mentioned a few (there will be others), but none are unsurpassable. We hope our simple suggestions have been helpful, but let us know what you think, and despite the point we made in #1, if you have any worthwhile advice for new parents to be, then please let us know.