Becoming a parent comes with many challenges. As you adapt to them, new ones arrive. This is the nature of personal growth, you adapt to challenge and find yourself greeted by a new one. The beauty of this journey is that your personal growth is tangible and the child reflects your efforts. Here four of the most common challenges faced by new parents, and how to overcome them:
- Dealing With Unsolicited Advice
Unsolicited advice comes as part of the parcel with new parenthood. Advice about breastfeeding, best baby formula, medicating your children, getting them to sleep, and whether or not they should be cuddled constantly – those are the most common points people like to give you advice on. One of the ultimate cliches? Sleep when the baby sleeps. People forget that when the babies sleep, it’s often mom or dad’s only opportunity to have a shower, have a hot meal, or do the laundry. When you’re dealing with unsolicited advice, pick your battles. Let the comments go as much as possible. If they become overbearing, thank the advice-giver politely and set a boundary. Remain kind and polite but make it clear that you will ask for help, should you need it.
- Problems With Sleeping
Navigating parenthood and finding your own parenting style happens minus the sleep. It’s like a double whammy in terms of challenges. Becoming a parent is a major adjustment. If you were well-rested, it would be easier to make logical and level-headed decisions. Many infants need to feed every two hours, alongside that, midnight nappy changes and cuddles can leave new parents exhausted.
Establish a routine before bedtime to help signify to the infant that it’s time to sleep after a certain set of activities. Do not resort to bottle feeding babies water. It might make them sleep, but you are depriving a growing brain of necessary calories which gives it the energy to signal when something is amiss.
- Juggling Your Previous Social Life With Your New Parenting Role
You might expect that after parenthood, life will be a little different. What few parents anticipate is that many of your previous social activities have to fall by the wayside completely. It’s a tight juggling act between what you need as a human being and what you need to provide your child as a parent.
You can’t squeeze very much of your old life into your new one. Parents who take turns to leave the house for leisure activities are often the most successful in maintaining a balance between parenting responsibilities and maintaining a social life.
- Developing Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence and parenting. The difference between dutiful parents who battle to connect with their children, and parents who can read their children and adapt to their needs. Develop emotional intelligence by meeting with a leadership coach and evaluating your current emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence enables you to feel empathy, which will help you form a better bond with your children in the trying times. It also helps you to stay motivated and focused when your energy is burnt out and you want to give up.
A child that is thriving within the parameters of its health is the real testament of parent’s efforts. A child with autism that feels joy and love for the world might better reflect effective parenting than a healthy child who is missing out on necessary guidance and affection. Parents need to be kind to themselves, especially through their failures and mishaps. It’s all part of this journey.