20 Things New Parents Should Not Stress About
The day you have been waiting for has finally arrived! You’ve come home from the hospital with your new baby! A girl!
You are in an all encompassing state of bliss and happiness. She’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever see. And as you walk into your house, that adorable, precious, absolutely amazing bundle of joy lets out a blood curdling scream, the likes of which you’ve only heard emitted by dragons on HBO, and you’re quickly brought back to reality.
The nurses are gone, my friend; it’s now entirely up to you. But, before that “oh shit” moment totally overwhelms you, know that there are some things that you should not stress about. Welcome to parenthood.
1. Buying expensive “stuff” for the baby.
2. That you don’t really want visitors right away after coming home from the hospital. Hormone and stress levels are high, and you’re just getting used to this new life you’ve brought home. Take it all one step at a time, at your own pace.
3. Asking others for help. Or hiring some. Simplify your life and get a cleaning lady once in a while.
4. That you’re living in pajamas for a while, camped out on the couch.
5. The cleanliness of your house. You should probably take out the trash once in a while but cut yourself some serious slack in those early days.
6. Not having finished the baby’s room. The baby is going to sleep everywhere but in their own room/crib for for the first few weeks or months. Plus, their interior design gene hasn’t kicked in so they can’t quite appreciate the decor just yet.
7. How exhausted you are. You will eventually sleep, I promise.
8. The shape of the new momma’s body. She bore a child and that makes her even more beautiful than before. End of story.
9. Dressing the baby in “outfits.” You’re changing their diaper 12-15 times a day. Do you really want to be removing baby jeggings each time?
10. Buying them too many toys. They love simple things: the sound of your voice reading to them, funny faces, fans. Keep it simple.
11. Not seeing your friends as often as you used to. Becoming a new parent is like getting a new job. It becomes all-encompassing for a while until you get your bearings. You’ll see them again, don’t worry.
12. Working out. There are only so many hours in the day. Don’t stress yourself (or your body) out too much. Take walks, go for strolls, enjoy the outdoors.
13. Your mother-in-law’s advice. Nod and smile. Thank her for her concern. Then do whatever the hell you want to do.
14. That your parenting style is a little different than your partners. Ideally you have the same parenting goals for your child but how you reach them can be different and that’s okay. How you diaper may not be how he does it and vice versa. The baby will survive if dad snuggles him a little differently than mom does or doesn’t make the funny voices when reading stories. Let each parent do it their own way.
15. That you will be easily irritated by your spouse/significant other. Did I mention that stress levels are kind of high?
16. The baby will cry. A lot. For no reason. But sometimes for a reason. And sometimes you can figure out the reason. But most of the time you can’t figure out the reason. And you will want to cry. But everyone is going to be okay. Get yourself some earplugs.
17. What the “experts” say. One will say “do this.” Another will say, “never do this, do that.” A third will say, “you’re CRAZY to do this or that, do those.” Take everything with a grain of salt and use what works for you and your life. Every kid is different.
18. Bringing a crying baby out in public. This is of course with some limitation but don’t stress out if you go out in public and your baby starts crying. You’re probably more stressed and upset about it than the people around you. Try to calm them and leave if absolutely necessary but try to stay calm about it.
19. Meeting other people’s expectations. It’s not a race or a contest, there’s no trophy to be won. Ignore what others expect of you and do what you have to do, or what you want to do. It’s your family. You get to be the boss.
20. Being Martha Stewart in the kitchen. You’ll want to try to provide healthy meals for yourself and your family when the baby arrives but don’t put pressure on yourself to cook like you did before, or, worse yet, to learn to cook now that baby is here. Stick to simpler meals (maybe swap out Martha’s recipes for Rachel’s?).
Becoming a new parent is life-altering, to say the least. But don’t sweat the small stuff and you’ll be a calmer, happier person and parent.