To You New Parent
First, let me begin by saying congratulations on your new little miracle! The world of parenting, especially for new parents, is filled with books, articles, essays, and yes even blogs imploring you to parent this way or that. Co-sleep, no don’t co-sleep, breastfeed, bottle feed, use time-outs, etc. The list goes on and on. It can be both overwhelming and intimidating. Take a deep breath. Chances are you are doing a great job! I thought though that I would jot down what I wish I had known. What I wish those around me would have told me imparted.
First, though let me back up a bit.
As many of you know I am a Mother to four wonderfully spirited kids. They range in age from nearly 13 to nearly 4 years old. You can imagine that by the fourth child I have learned a thing or two about them, myself, and what I should have done the first time around. Here is what I would have loved for someone to tell me.
1} Talk and read to that belly!
I am not sure if there is scientific proof that your baby will recognize your voice (nor do I understand how they would really know), but I can tell you that it is a wonderful bonding experience for you.
Your sanity depends on it! Babies sleep a lot in the beginning, but you will not. You will most likely wake a lot afraid of this or that. I used to wake up no joke twenty times a night to check on my oldest daughter.
3} Talk about how you want to raise your kids with your spouse.
Make sure that you are on the same page. Don’t wait until events arise to discuss them. Just rest assured that things will come up. Try to talk about hypotheticals before they arise.
4} Do not let others make you feel bad about how you are raising your child/children!
Trust your gut and do not let others, especially family, make you feel bad about anything! You are the parent. Make sure that they know it up front. It can and will destroy relationships otherwise, trust me!
5} Read, read, read!
There is absolutely nothing better that you can do for your child’s future than to read to them! The benefits are countless!
6} Take a million pictures and videos!
I cannot even begin to express just how fast children grow. It is seriously ridiculous how one moment they are nestled in your arms cooing and running off with friends the next.
Document every single aspect of their lives. I cannot stress this enough as the first five years are such a blur.
I could really go on and on with what I think are important things to do and remember, but really I am sure that you are doing a wonderful job parenting without my input. Keep it up and remember you are the parent. Don’t let others second guess your instincts and choices. Just fill your heart with love and your arms with your littles.