Adjusting to Parenthood

As you look around the baby’s room, you realize you’ve been waiting and planning for this moment for months.  You spent hours researching nursery room ideas and finally decided on just the right theme. Like your precious newborn bundle of joy in your arms, the room is not only beautiful, but perfect.

Everything is going great.  You’ve figured out how to feed your baby and change their diaper.  Don’t kid yourself.  These are major accomplishments for a new parent!  Who knew they could eat so much or would be so tiny?  You’re sitting, holding your baby, and life feels full.  You never knew this powerful bond of love existed until this day. 

By now it’s getting late. You are tired from all the excitement of bringing your prince/princess home for the first time. Although it took a couple of tries, your little one is all swaddled and sleeping calmly near your bed.  Your PJ’s are on, your pillows are fluffed up, and you are ready to shut your eyes and drift off to sleep. 

But before you know it, your sleeping prince or princess is crying letting you know it’s time to eat or change their diaper…one MORE time.  You’ve got this…you feed him or her, change their diaper, and give lots of love.  But, wait!  Your little newborn angel is still crying. And no matter what you do, they won’t stop.  You have never felt so tired, alone, vulnerable, and even scared as you do at this moment.

None of us should be afraid to admit that we have actually been freaked out a bit during those first few nights.  More important, is none of us should EVER be afraid to admit this and that we need some help and assistance.

As new parents, we sometimes feel that we should be able to handle it all.  And that if we can’t, it is a negative reflection on us.  It’s possible you feel you have already failed.  NONE of those thoughts are true. if If you just delivered, maybe your hormones are out of whack. Or if you adopted or used a surrogate, you could just be exhausted and overwhelmed.  Being a new parent–no matter how you earned the title–is hard and demanding, albeit the best thing in the world.  Plus, it’s scary having this tiny little person be totally dependent on only you.

I remember my kids’ reaction when their first child was born.  We all offered to help and stay over the first few nights.  They thanked us, but said with confidence, “We’ve got this.”  Without going into details, I will tell you that the next few nights they weren’t alone. 😉  Of course, when number two came home they were all too happy to take us all up on whatever help we could offer.

If someone wants to help you out, let them!  Day or night, you feel you don’t have a handle on this new journey, muster up the courage, pick up the phone, and don’t be too proud to ask for help! Trust me, no one is ever going to judge you for doing so.

Also, keep in mind that asking for help shouldn’t just go for the first few nights you come home from the hospital.  Juggling life with children can be challenging even during the best of times.  Think of it this way: From the beginning, we have always had someone there to support and help us.  It started when we were in the womb.   And then came the doctors and nurses who helped deliver all of us.  It continued as our parents took over and guided us through life.  And along the way, relatives and friends were there to assist in our journey. 

My daughter-in-law loves to use the expression that I’m sure you have all heard, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.”  She, like many new moms, has learned there is no shame in asking for a helping hand. 

So, once again…JUST ASK!!

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