Having a baby is supposed to be one of the best things for a family, and it is. However, it would be irresponsible to tell you that once you’ve had a baby, there won’t be any new-mom challenges. The reality is that your little bundle of joy comes along with plenty of things to deal with on the regular. These can be personal and professional and impact how you live your life. Because it’s not just your life anymore, it’s yours and your child’s. To prepare you for when this happens, here are 9 of the main problems you’ll face as a first-time parent.
1. Sleepless days and nights
The first thing you need to prepare for is saying goodbye to your eight hours a night. Babies have a different sleep schedule from adults, which is basically whenever they feel like it.
These tired nights can get overwhelming, though. If you’re struggling, you can seek advice on newborn sleep training to help tackle the problems and hopefully get some much-needed shut-eye soon enough.
2. No more ‘you time’
With your sleep schedules no longer quite matching up, you and your partner will realize that you don’t get to spend much time together anymore, and that can be a blow to your relationship. You’ve both got to make adjustments when the baby comes, so you won’t be able to have your silly wine and board games nights, nor stay out well past midnight on a Tuesday, or at least not very often.
It’ll suck for a time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other ways to spend time with each other. Reach out to those people close to you who have volunteered to take your little cutie for a few hours and take them up on the offer; it can do you and your hubby a world of good to have some time just the two of you.
3. Outside influences as a first-time parent
From the moment that baby arrives, you will be inundated with advice from friends, relatives, and the internet, even if you didn’t ask for it. While it’s nice to know that people care enough to offer their help, you can’t follow everyone’s wisdom.
After all, not all advice will be the same, and sometimes it’ll even conflict! Furthermore, all babies are different, so while it’s nice to hear general advice every once in a while, you should remember that raising the child is up to you and your partner because out of everybody, you both know best.
4. Worrying you’re not good enough
All parents worry that they’re not doing it right, and you will likely be no different. Even if you’ve been naturally good at connecting with kids all your life, the actual reality of having a newborn can be completely different from your expectations.
With each day that comes, you might stumble with things like feeding, changing diapers, and managing to soothe them when they cry. When your usual techniques don’t work, it’s easy to believe that you’re a terrible parent, and this very thought can ruin your psyche.
However, this issue is common, so remind yourself that you’re doing your best. Surround yourself with a fantastic support system, too, who can help you get through this storm and get ready for the next.
5. First-time parent? So, so hungry
While the baby needs tending to all day, every day, it’s easy to forget about your basic needs. It sounds selfish, but even with a newborn baby, you can’t neglect your own self-care.
This hunger can come from being up for hours without a moment to yourself. It can come from the stark refrigerator because you’ve not had time to shop, or it can be because your food-prep routine has been thrown so out of whack that you don’t know if it will ever recover. Hopefully, your partner or someone else helpd out during times of near-starvation.
6. Looking like a mess
Every new parent gets to a point where they don’t care anymore. Wash your hair? Apply makeup? No, thank you. The only person you’re seeing today is your child, and they aren’t in any position to be judgemental.
The problem is that looking like a mess is a slippery slope, often through no fault of your own. Much like getting a filling meal, you don’t have the chance to get your hair done or wipe away every baby food stain from your t-shirt and neck. There’s not a lot you can do about it, so just owning it is the best way forward.
7. More new-mom challenges: Jealous pets
This part won’t apply to everyone, but if you’re already a parent to a fur baby, prepare to deal with jealousy. Unlike parents of other children (you know, human ones), it’s impossible to explain to your pet how this little bundle of blankets and puke is now an essential part of the family.
Animals don’t understand routine changes as quickly as we do, so gradually adjusting how things work is vital. With time, your pet will love its younger sibling like all good siblings should. This guide on introducing your dogs to your baby is here to help.
8. An always busy home
If you thought you could get some alone time once the baby was born, think again. After giving birth, your home will likely be flooded with well-wishers from all corners of the country, including some you haven’t seen in a long time.
Really, the best frame of mind here is to be thankful that so much of your and your partner’s extended family care enough to make the journey. Hopefully, they’ll give you a bit of warning before they arrive at the front door, though.
9. Letting the moments pass you by
With all the hectic goings-on after giving birth and all the serious stuff that needs organizing, it can be a challenge to take things slowly and enjoy the little moments you and your little one have together.
Not all mothers can give birth and return to work immediately – although more power to those who can! So, when it’s just you and baby relaxing on the sofa during those rare quiet times, take a moment to enjoy it and recognize that every second spent together is a blessing.
Don’t panic as a first-time parent. You’ve got this
Being a first-time parent can be (and frankly is) terrifying. There’s so much to do, a lot to deal with, and many hurdles to overcome continually.
Nobody said parenting was easy, but if you get ready to cope with all the problems you’ll face early on, you’ll smash parenthood and be prepared to bring another little darling into the world in no time now that you’re a pro, right?!