Parenting is hard. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows. You’ll be tired, you’ll be cranky, and it won’t be like it is on TV—but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Though too much research can get overwhelming, there are a few things parents should know to make their lives a little bit better once their angel arrives. To start you off, here are some of the most common mistakes new parents make. Check it out!
Believing Every Piece of Advice
People are going to fling advice at you whether you like it or not. You don’t have to ask, and yet, you will receive. This influx of advice is a rollercoaster ride for new parents, and you’ll get a lot of conflicting stories. But here’s your reminder—you do not have to take their advice. If it’s a stranger, don’t listen to it. If you think there might be some truth behind it, research it. But that doesn’t mean you have to adopt the advice.
Not Delving Into Developmental Activities Early
It’s so important to delve into different ways to promote your child’s development. But quite a few parents make the mistake of not starting early. You don’t have to wait to read, play games, sing, ask questions, and even talk about emotions. When you start sooner, your child may develop even more understanding and capabilities. That said, you also don’t need to stress if you forgot to read to your child!
Another common mistake new parents make is overestimating their time availability. Having a child is adding on another full-time job—with extra overtime. You probably won’t be able to hang on to your schedule and plans. Instead of getting frustrated when you can’t accomplish your to-do list, try to limit it to one realistic task each day. Return phone calls, write thank-you notes, make the bed—one small to-do a day!
Neglecting Your Partner
These next two mistakes go together. It’s easy for parents to shift into the mindset of baby only and baby all the time. Doing this often leads to partners neglecting one another and then neglecting themselves. When it comes to neglecting your partner, this can happen quietly. In all honesty, there’s nothing abnormal about having marital troubles when your kids are little. However, the more effort you put into not doing this, the better.
Never Putting Yourself First
Similarly, make sure to reserve some time for yourself, too. You don’t have to do it all by yourself—ask for help, and then use that time to pamper your mind. If your baby is napping, set aside chores for a while to take a nap, take a shower, or put on a face mask. Take the time you can to give yourself a little grace and compassion.
Falling Into the Comparison Game
Lastly, a mistake that parents often make is falling into the comparison game. Just because you saw a similar-aged child doing something your child has not, that does not mean there’s something wrong. Comparison is never good. Try to let your child develop at their own pace.