In today's society there's always an available source to assist you in accomplishing any task dealing with raising your child. As a mom, the sensation of being less than perfect is devastating. You've read the books, asked the questions, and bought every item on the “things you must have" list. Still you’re struggling internally and external. Why?
First, because no one is perfect. Mistakes will be made; your child will fall off the couch or the bed, and a time out might result in a screaming child. Your newborn will get their first cold and you will blame yourself for not catching it early. As a new mom you will always worry about not being enough or knowing enough. We get it, everyone else always has opinions on childbearing and the development of mental capabilities in children.
Everyone suggests the physical and materialistic items for easy parenting, because that’s what you were wired to do. Look at all the articles, inform yourself on new practices and excellence. There's more to parenting a healthy developing child than having the latest stroller or following advice from the most recent best-selling Parenting Self-help book. A parent has to have core strength with qualities to overcome the hard days and enjoy the great ones.
Everyday something new comes up, as parents we have to deal with it. No matter what our tired body is telling us. Zombie brain and all, you gotta figure it out, but here are 7 ways to make parenting easier:
Literally this is a must have quality to obtain ASAP. Easier said than done is probably exactly what you’re thinking. Have a private conversation with yourself about your reaction to uncontrolled events. Are you easily overwhelmed? Do you often feel rushed and stressed all the time because things aren’t running smoothly? Those moments are the times when a calming exercise may be needed to re-center the knotted emotions for logical thinking.
Since children can often sense when their love ones are upset, having control over oneself will help to ease a tense situation quicker. When you’re having a bad moment, one trick is to talk out loud in a calm voice. Even if you’re swearing, speak softly to yourself and take a deep breath. Breathing through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth is a calming technique that helps to reduce anxiety fairly quickly.
Learning to be patient will save your mind and your relationships
Sometimes the act of clearing your thoughts is all you need to just release the stress. Babies love the sound of mommy's voice so it might get you a nap if you do it right. If it's the fussy baby that's giving you an anxious feeling because you can't figure out why he or she is crying. Go through the checklist out loud, is the baby hungry or wet, or a nap is usually one of the three to quiet a fussy baby.
If it not, maybe your baby just wants to be close, sit in a low lighted area and sing softly while rocking.
6 Designated Play Area
Whether it's a newborn or a toddler, having a area where your child can play safely is awesome. This can be a pack-and-go play pen which is a great multiple use item to own. Usually a child can use it until about 2 years-old, unless they start trying to climb out. Safety is the key element for this plan to work.
Know your child capabilities before deciding on a plan of action. With the use of a pack and play for babies, they can be in a secure area alone for some time playing or napping. Your hands are free and you can wash dishes or cook. Read a book and relax for a moment.
Giving your baby some alone time is healthy for them and you
For older children, possibly a baby proofed playroom or the old fashioned baby pen where they can wander around and play, unless you have a Tommy Pickles, then maybe a baby gated room is best. Using your best judgement figure out what works for your child. The area is meant to be fun for them and a break for you. Don't get your hopes up for long periods of play time, think in terms of five minutes.
That way if you need to stop for any reason, you don't feel like it didn't work. The best thing about this option is that you’re giving your baby time to learn and play alone or to get used to not being held by you every minute of the day. Children’s reference for time is different from adults, so ten minutes might feel like a long time for them. Be considerate of this when executing alone time.
5 Sense of Humour
Laughing at the unexpected situations will make or break you. The first months of deprived sleep aren't so bad, compared to the learning to crawl, walk and run years. Maybe you were peed on or got spit up all over your shirt after a big bottle. That's expected. It's normal to be tired and annoyed because you can’t get your brain to wake up completely.
You need to be able to laugh on those days when your son takes off his diaper and poops on the floor or when your daughter decides to smear peanut butter on the wall and lick it off. Swearing in public, embarrassing questions while grocery shopping are all facts of life. People will laugh, some might get upset but it’s how you personally address it that matters. It's okay. They're still learning and you want to encourage the process.
Learning to laugh at life's surprises will make you happier than allowing yourself to get angry
If you get upset when they ask an embarrassing question, they might stop asking you questions. They may be learning to self-feed and the mess is huge, but if you’re upset at flinging mash potatoes. Their enjoyment and wonder at learning to do it will be stressful and fearful.
Just have a camera ready to catch some of the funny events to keep for keepsakes. Or write them in a baby book for mementos for when they are older. Everyone loves a funny story at dinner time. It will embarrass them, but it’s great blackmail for when they have kids.
4 Follow Your Instincts
There's no one who knows your child like you do. Doctors tell you what’s medically important for your baby and children. Nutritionists will advise on proper diet and exercise. It will all be great advice that you should research and inform yourself about.
What's important is for you to listen to yourself, to trust your own judgement when it comes to your children. You know what your child will or won't eat. In your heart you understand the needs necessary for your baby. Listen to yourself.
Only you know what's best for you and your family
If something doesn't seem right, question it without hesitation. Ask doctors about shots and alternative actions. Speak to educators on learning plans or problems they have. Your voice is the protection for your baby, so nothing is off limits.
This is for you. Something you can do that solely allows you to think about nothing but the present. Were you artsy before having your baby? Were you the type who loved to paint or draw to pass the time? Did you spend your time under the shade of a tree reading to pass the afternoon? Most hobbies can be done in the comfort of your own home, while others may need a group.
However, if the hobby is to be enjoyed, make if absolutely about you. This is your down time, a pause on worrying about bills or cleaning. Have a family member, daycare, babysitter...whoever sorted out to give you a chance to just chill out and live in the moment.
This time is supposed to be about you
Try new things to expand your fun time activities. If you were interested in something, test it out to see if it’s something you want to do on a regular basis. Photography is a great option with dual purpose by learning new ways to capture your baby’s growing personality and creates bonding time with your infant.
2 Support System
A system of support doesn't have to just be family. Friends are a great support when you need someone extra for good times and bad. Family is usually the trusted preference for either your needs or your child’s needs. Fortunately there's also support groups for specific needs. If your baby has a disability, having other parents who know what you’re going through to offer advice and ask questions is beneficial.
There’s mommy and me groups to have play dates for you as well as your baby. As this is a group of women who are going through or went then the trials and tribulation of parenting. They can offer you advice without you feeling like you have to take it.
Having a shoulder to lean on will make parenting easier
Plus most of the attendees are in the city you live in and can suggest events to get out of the house. No matter how it's done, having people standing behind you makes life easier.
I know you can’t have a park in your backyard, it’s unrealistic, but you should have somewhere you can walk with your baby, walking is a good outdoor activity for the both of you. It can be done with the baby in a stroller or in the carrier strapped to you. I love going on walks with my babies, it soothes them while giving them different scenery to look at. It provides you with some exercise and fresh air, and maybe music to pass the time.
You can use a trail near to your house or just a stroll through the neighbourhood. Plan for diaper changes, bugs and a bottle or snack depending on how old your child is. A fully charged phone just in case of emergency and let someone know where you are and what time you will be back. Always have a plan in place for anything!
Getting outdoors leads to a healthier lifestyle for you and your baby
Everything is trial and error when you’re a new mom. It’s like getting your feet wet in the pool when you first get into it, dip a toe or jump right in. Learning isn’t going to be easy at first, but once you’re in the water, it’s warms and enjoyable. Setting up a plan of action to help you through the different types of days will make having a newborn at home so much easier.
Learn what works for you and your baby and run with it. Develop new strategies to make your life easier and remember to have fun with each passing day. Smile at the hard stuff and laugh away the stress.