Having a baby is a joyous occasion. It is miraculous. It is beautiful. It is also one of the most difficult things a person can do. While it is fantastic to focus on the wonderful parts of birthing and raising a baby, new parents should know there will be some tough times ahead as well.
After 40 long weeks of a pregnancy, once the baby finally arrives tears of joy are in everyone's eyes. Help is plentiful and there are gifts arriving from everywhere.
But after a few days, or if the new parents are lucky, a few weeks, the rest of the world goes back to their lives and the new mom and dad are left to raise the baby alone. They are most likely sleep deprived and have had their whole world turned around.
So for every new parent out there, here are some real-life tips to help survive the wonderful, amazing, and tough new parenthood time.
Tip #1 for New Parents: Remember it will not be like this forever.
After days or weeks or months of sleepless nights, it is easy for new parents to get so overwhelmed that they wonder if they will ever get back to a normal life. Rest assured, babies do learn to sleep through the night. Breastfeeding will not last forever.
A woman's body can take awhile, months even, to feel back to normal but it will happen. When the days and nights get long and one's fuse is short, just think about the time, years from now, when there are no more babies to cradle.
Tip #2 for New Parents: Do not be afraid of accepting help.
Some new parents cling to the fallacy that if they accept help from a well-meaning neighbor, friend, or family member, they are somehow admitting defeat. But this could not be farther from the truth.
Accepting help, especially in those early days and weeks of new parenthood, means the mom and dad are learning that it really does take a village to raise a child. It's not just a good campaign slogan.
Perhaps it's a home-cooked meal, or an offer to help clean, or even (best of all) free babysitting ... just take it and let the guilt go.
Tip 3 for New Parents: Be realistic.