Being a parent can be really hard – especially when it’s your first time! It’s okay to feel like you have a million concerns, and you are definitely not alone. Here are some of the Top 10 Parenting Struggles for New Parents:
1. Preparation & Preparedness (Adjusting to caring for a newborn… or even the diaper supply that you’ll need)
For many new parents this could mean a lot of different things. Whether it’s feeling financially ready and able or even pondering whether this is the right time in your life to bring a baby into the world. Many aspects influence an individual’s feelings of preparedness and impacts how they choose to prep for the adjustment of caring for a newborn.
2. Sleep Deprivation
For some, this concern can start early on as they become more uncomfortable and find it difficult to sleep during their pregnancy. However, sleeping arrangements tend to unravel when new babies enter the home and possibly cry throughout the night. It can be difficult to feel your best if you are not getting adequate amounts of sleep, which is something new parents often have to come to terms with. Although many hope for their new bundle to be a good sleeper, many look forward to the phase in which their baby is sleeping throughout the night.
3. Worrying About Your Child’s Health & Development
Probably one of the biggest concerns for parents is whether or not their child is healthy. During sonograms, parents want to know if there are 10 fingers and toes and whether or not their child is growing at an appropriate rate. Most parents do not feel relief until they hear their baby’s heart beat or first cry. For some parents, this can also include deciding on whether or not certain testing is needed. Parents also spend time considering the benefits between choosing to breastfeed or use formula, vaccinate or not — all in the hopes of producing the healthiest baby they can.
4. Changing Your Lifestyle
Many individuals believe that welcoming a new baby means letting go of their previous lifestyle in order to accommodate the little human that now relies on them. For some families, this could even involve concern about breaking their baby bubble or returning back to work, all aspects that can feel very daunting. Becoming a new parent is an added identity to your former self! Many parents work hard to establish a schedule early on for themselves and their new baby in order to get things back to a sense of normalcy.
5. Relationship Issues (Communication with partner, co-parenting, & overall need for support)
All new parents need support! Depending on individual circumstances, the restructuring of dynamics can be a source of stress for new parents. Whether it is coming to terms with your spouse or partner that intimacy and opportunities for connectedness may be limited as new babies need substantial attention. The importance of healthy communication with one another during this time is essential to making everyone involved feel heard and at peace. Nurturing co-parenting relationships or identifying trusted supports early on will create a greater sense of security for new babies and parents.
6. Not Wanting Them to Cry
For many first time parents, new babies can feel like a trial and error crash course. Identifying babies’ needs can feel like quite the guessing game. Oftentimes parents can feel stress around whether or not it is okay to let your baby cry, maybe even more so in public settings. A lot can be said about whether or not it is okay to let your child cry. Getting in tune with your baby’s needs can take time, so allow yourself patience when attending to needs or even learning what specific cries mean for your child.
7. Worrying About Doing Everything Correctly
As you are a new parent, the expectation cannot be that you know and are good at everything. The best most parents can hope for is that they get the hang of things over time. Feeling incompetent or unsure can really impact a new parents level of confidence in their performance as a parent. Having a trusted support system to turn to when you are experiencing doubts or uncertainty can make all the difference. Relying on others for assistance or creating your own way can ease anxiety about things having to be done in a specific manner.
8. Being Drained in Every Aspect
In the process of preparing for new life, it becomes evident that this new journey can be grueling. Many mothers have concerns about whether or not they will be affected by Postpartum Depression and what that may be like. For others, the mental, emotional, and physical drain can start at day one, depending on their pregnancy. This adjustment can have many highs and lows for parents. Finding outlets that allow you to pour back into yourself through self-care routines or effective communication with support systems, aid in allowing you to hold on to yourself in this time of change.
9. When to Take Advice or Trust Your Instinct
To read or not to read? There’s so many resources out there that can allow you to become consumed by various outlets of information. There’s also probably special people in your corner that want you to take head on the information they share with you as they may believe “they know best” or say things like “I’ve done this before.” New parents oftentimes have to find a balance between trusting their own instinct or relying on other sources of information. Whichever route you feel more comfortable with, trusting that decision is probably best for you and your little one.
10. Concerns About Delivery
Many new parents have to make a lot of decisions even centered around delivery. New moms tend to experience a lot of concern about what the labor and delivery experience is truly like. The typical response that “it’s different for everyone” may not always be so comforting. It is okay to lean into your concern and develop specific questions to discuss with your doctor to alleviate stress. Feeling comfortable and knowing what to expect helps with the process
Every life stage has its own set of achievements and struggles to face. Parenting is a long journey of managing your own development while trying to rear another individual. Navigating this experience is unique for every parent; therefore, meeting yourself with grace as you do your best is essential to overcoming and conquering some of these challenges and more in the process.