Becoming a new parent is a hugely exciting experience, but there is no denying that it can also be very stressful. You might experience lots of sleepless nights if you have a baby, and if you are adopting or fostering a child you will have to get used to each other and work through any trauma that the child might have gone through prior to being placed with you. Here are some tips for you to stay sane as a new parent.
Make sure to sleep when baby sleeps
An oldie but a goodie, the adage “sleep when baby sleeps” needs to be at the forefront of your brain as a new parent. Do not feel guilty for taking naps during the day, even if it means that the laundry, the washing up or the vacuuming get delayed, and especially do not feel guilty if it means saying no to visitors—you are entitled to your sleep, after all! Resist the temptation to get into sleep training your baby or toddler, which goes against their natural sleep rhythm and can leave you both exhausted and distressed.
Be sure to seek support if you need it
Becoming a parent is one of the most drastically life-changing events you will ever go through. There is a good reason why they say that it takes a village to raise a child—you are not meant to go through it alone or just as a couple. Private fostering agency thefca.co.uk offers their foster parents 24/7 support through social workers and counselors—and why should the same support not be available to all parents, regardless of how they became parents? If you are feeling stressed, depressed or out of control, seek professional help—there is no shame in it, and it will make your life and your experience of parenting so much better.
Ensure that you cherry-pick the advice you’re choosing to follow
From the moment you tell all your relatives and your friends that you are going to become a new parent, you will most likely be showered with parenting advice, whether you have asked for it or not. Some of this advice will be useful to you, some will have you recoiling in horror, and a lot of it will probably leave you feeling very confused. As parents, you should practice ‘intuitive parenting’, which is, essentially, when you practice tuning out all the marketing messages which try to scare you into thinking that your child’s development will be impaired if you do not follow a certain technique or use a particular app with them, and trusting instead that the way you automatically interact with your child is what they need for their own development. This always goes for parenting advice, too (this article included!): be sure to keep what sounds useful to you and feel free to ignore the rest, and be safe in the knowledge that the best thing for your child is you.