The Baby Breakdown

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6 Stress-Free Steps Toward Tackling First-Time Parenthood

Becoming a parent is such an exciting time.  It is, without a close contender for second place, the biggest transition you will experience in life.  It’s also a transition that continuous transitioning as your newborn turns into an infant, into a toddler, into a small child then a second one comes along and maybe even a third.  Entering into the world of parenting can be daunting. But there are ways to tackle the stress before it tackles you.

Below, I have put together some methods towards living a stress-free (well, maybe decreased stress) life as a parent.  I am no expert, but I am a parent myself and have collated information from dozens of other parents to compile the list below.  If you are about to enter parenthood, or are in the thick of it now, then this article is for you!

1)    Gear Up

Feeling overwhelmed at all the gear available for babies?  You are not alone.  There are so many choices when it comes to gearing up your baby.  Rather than waddle into the store in your third trimester and uncomfortably walk around in a daze, how about shopping online baby stores to narrow down what you want then head to the store to purchase. 

2)   Believe in Yourself

One of the biggest pitfalls of new parenting is to feel insecure or nervous in your ability.  Instincts exist for a reason, and once you start listening to them then the parenting journey will become much more relaxing.  You know what your baby needs so believe in your ability as a mother or father and enjoy it.

3)   Advice Gathering

Everyone from a stranger on the street to your estranged Auntie Hilda are going to feel compelled to give you advice on parenting.  Politely listen, but don’t take all the advice on board.  Getting advice from peers and parents that will be close to you will be the most helpful and relevant.

4)   Every Child is Different

That kind of sounds like a cliche, but there is so much truth in it.  My first baby was a terrible sleeper and I was an absolute mess for the first year.  My second was a dream snooze machine and I was in disbelief every time I easily put her down for a nap.

The two of them remain to be different with eating, potty training, and social skills.  As long as I embrace their differences I can remain calm and enjoy raising two unique and successful humans.

5)   Perfection is the Enemy

If your house was sparkling clean and your hair always perfectly done before children, then guess what, you are in for a real surprise.  Things that seemed crucial to your pre-baby self will fall to the wayside in the first few months.

Be kind to yourself.  If your house is a bit cluttered and your appearance a bit disheveled, it means you are officially in the parent club!  Welcome!

6)   Comparison will Kill

Hey new mum scrolling through Instagram wondering why and how all these internet mums seem to have it all together….STOP IT!  There will be days when you absolutely nail parenting.  Your house will be tidy, dinner will be prepared and your baby will be blissfully following the schedule you set out for the day.

But there will be days, a lots of them, when that just doesn’t happen.  And that is totally normal, and it happens to EVERY parent, no matter what they post on their accounts.

I often say that parenting is totally (fill in any adjective here).   Emotions are swirling and the joy and happiness is all consuming.  Peers and parents all around you will try to explain it. But until you are day one into your own wild parenting ride, it is impossible to truly comprehend.

Stress will creep in, no matter how hard you try to prevent and prepare for it.  But there really are ways to decrease and manage it.  I hope these 6 tips are a starting point for you to enter into first-time parenthood calm, collected and ready for the greatest journey of your life.

Alison Morgan