Parent Madness: Apparent Solutions to Ensure Successful Parenting:
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By Mia Bolaris-Forget
It’s become almost tradition for most couples to celebrate their love, by leaving the “stress” of “marriage” and “real life” behind, right after the “I Dos”. But, parents rarely, if ever get the same luxury or treatment. In fact, after all the excitement of conceiving and delivering they are faced immediately with the reality and responsibility of parenthood.
But, according to experts, this new role requires moms and dads to remain cool, calm, and collected, a task that’s often easier said than done, especially when “stressing” over all the added stresses of being a successful parent. And, experts add that proper parenting means firstly being able to properly care for and “pamper” yourself.
The key they say, is doing what’s best for baby by doing what’s best for you, including:
1. Give Yourself A Break: Being a parent (for most) is a 24/7/365 job/career leaving little time or room for you and your mate. Yet, baby needs to learn about healthy relationships by experiencing one, and not just between you and him (or her). Experts suggest “easing” into parenthood by initially “taking it slow” and maybe taking some time “off” or away as a family. Besides scheduling something “fun” (for you and the family), experts suggest asking friends and family to join you on your babymoon. Not only will adult company be much appreciated, but they may also be willing to help out with or take over some of the parenting responsibilities, giving you some extra downtime, or time for just the two of you.
2. >b>Party Before Popping: No, not “a la Britney Spear’s/ K Fed Style”, but more along the lines of taking extra time to do and enjoy special times between both of you. From traveling to places you may have always wanted to go, to weekly massages or romantic dinners and gatherings with friends and families, take advantage of your “freedom” before welcoming junior/juniorette into your life, plans, and schedule.
3. Suppress Your Super-Mom (or Dad) Tendencies: Looking at Hollywood couples it’s easy to get trapped into the notion that we can do it ALL on our own. With the latest batch of “trendy” parents who seem to be able to fulfill their work, family, and social obligations with ease and grace. But, keep in mind, that while they look great (for the cameras) it’s highly unlikely the look that way at home, and chances are that they don’t have to worry about scrubbing their toilets or cooking meals. Even they can’t do it all on their own, and need a little help from their “friends”. But, if friends and family are not available (for assistance), consider hiring a postpartum doula. These skilled assistants are trained in offering support in rearing your youngin’ including offering advice on breast-feeding. And, many are even prepared to pitch in around the house.
4. Get Yourself Some Backup And Support: If you’re fortunate enough to have family and friends with kids close in age to your own, then kudos to you, but if not, you’ll have to start searching for and building new friendships. And, you’ll also want to make sure that moms and dads are in a similar situation and age category to you. Tap into the parenting “underground” and find out about local parenting resources, groups, and organizations, and where, when, and how often they meet…and get proactive about “co-parenting”. By the way you’ll want to look into services that provide round the clock help including a hotline you can tap into for questions and concerns. And, you’ll probably want to get started BEFORE baby is born, in fact, once you’re past your 3 –month mark, experts say, “the sooner, the better” (especially since getting correctly connected can take both time and effort, the kind you may not have once your infant is here).
5. Clean Up Your Act: Being able to spend quality time with your new arrival and with your family may mean not having to (initially) worry about all those daily duties that take up so much of our time. From laundry to cleaning and paying bills, being a stay-at-home parent is often more work than work. And, taking the tension off, according to experts means realizing this and planning ahead. They suggest preparing meals (that can be stored in the freezer then simply thawed and heated), cleaning, dusting, etc. ahead of time, and, oh yeah, don’t forget to pay (in advance) any bills expected to arrive shortly before or after baby is due. It’s also important to have plenty of food in the fridge, as well as baby food and baby clothes ready to go. And, you may want to have most of YOUR laundry out of the way. Basically, the bottom line is getting organized
6. Feeding Frenzy: Teach baby about good habits by developing them first. Besides giving up drinking and smoking, and taking up exercise, you’ll also want to think about altering your eating (and cooking) habits, especially if you plan on breast feeding. Stock up on lots of nutritious munchies that are easy (and quick) to eat while tending to baby.
7. S.Y. S: Saving your sanity may mean learning how to ask for or at least accept advice and help from others. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance of for tips from those have already been in your position and successfully survived. According to experts, babies are irresistible and almost everyone wants to offer a helping hand, so try not to resist the offers, because, remember, they won’t last forever.
8. Not So Great Expectations: One of the biggest “mistakes” new parents make is either expecting too little or expecting too much. Experts suggest maintaining a healthy balance. While having a baby is NOT an excuse for putting yourself, your home and your obligations on the backburner forever, it’s important to expect and understand that life WILL chance and not everything will remain the same. In fact, it’s likely you won’t (always) be able to keep up the pace or the routine you had before junior/juniorette arrived. Do the best you can, but don’t neglect yourself, your little one or your “lover” so that you can be a Stepford-parent or Suzie homemaker.
9. Give Yourself A Little Extra Time: Time is of the essence with parents often finding they need (or would like) more hours in a day. Make this possible for yourself by cutting back on work hours or by at least clearing up your calendar of some appointments and rescheduling them…at least for the first few weeks or for the first month or two; keeping in mind that your time (at least initially) is no longer your own.
10. Accept Your “Imperfections”: Parenthood is challenging and despite how much you read and/or prepare you will still experience “anxiety’, “stress”, and “confusion”. No one is perfect and nothing can really prepare you for parenthood, except for the actual experience and joyful journey itself. Take it for granted that you won’t always know everything or be prepared for all the parenthood presents. Lighten up (on yourself and your spouse), keep and open heart and mind, and be prepared to “fall” and learn and grow as you go.
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