Children are a gift and a blessing, but that doesn’t mean the first two years aren’t hard. It can be exhausting to be the parent of a newborn, and seemingly mundane tasks can get the better of us.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Instead of succumbing to the shock of abrupt newness that is parenthood, bear in mind that you are still in control of your life. Here are some ways to balance the reality of being a new parent with the responsibilities and freedoms of your life as an individual.
1. Prepare for Inevitable Tasks Ahead of Time
It can be challenging just to get through the day, let alone prepare for future events.
However, you can knock out big occasions that you know to expect, like holidays and annual events, with some quick thinking.
Plan now and save yourself the headache that comes with waiting until the last minute.
Fortunately, when you’re the parent of a newborn, people expect you to shower them with cards, printed custom mugs, framed photos, all with smiling pictures of your little one.
Personalized items with pics of grandchild work excellent even as creative anniversary gift ideas for your parents.
Combine documenting memories of your invaluable time of life with a newborn and the inevitable holiday shopping to knock out two birds with one stone.
2. Alter Your Usual Standards
Getting up at sunrise to go to the gym six days a week may need to take a backseat with a new baby. Any sense of consistent schedule with a newborn is out the window immediately and for months on end, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing—it’s just a new lifestyle.
Children demand a lot of time, attention, and energy, and there is no need to hold yourself to the same standard of when you were without this little one. After you’ve fed, burped, bathed, and put the baby to bed, sometimes just doing the dishes is a superhuman feat.
3. Sleep When Your Child Sleeps
We already have to be awake every moment our child is awake—take advantage of the nap times and the early bedtime every chance you can. Your newborn is likely to have a skewed circadian rhythm (or lack thereof) for months to come, and that means that you should concede to it rather than work around it.
As much as your baby has their needs, you have yours, and finding a happy medium where both of you can be safe and healthy is always the optimum solution.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Lean on Others!
Sometimes, it feels like we have to achieve the impossible all alone, but that’s never the case. Whether you’re co-parenting, living with one of your own parents, or have some close friends you can count on, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Parenting is an enormous responsibility, and most of us already have things to be responsible for, even before we have a baby. Looking to and relying on the support system you have around you is integral to keeping you and your newborn healthy and not overexerting yourself.
Having a newborn is not about sacrificing normalcy, but adapting to a new normal altogether. Parenthood is a blessing to experience, but we have to be honest that there are some struggles along the way. Even aside from the process of understanding what our children need, we have to keep our other, pre-parent, daily world functioning, too.
Consider these methods if you find yourself overwhelmed by having a newborn, and above all, remember that it is understandable and encouraged to ask for help.