Being a parent is probably the single greatest responsibility that you can take on. No wonder this concept is so scary and confusing. This means that as a young parent, you’ll already be under a lot of stress. If there’s one thing that we know about stress, it’s that it can make even the simplest of tasks into something incredibly complex. In order to avoid this scenario, here are five steps for stress-free parenting.
Do some research?
Keep in mind that, as a parent, your assessment of the situation will always be off, mostly due to the fact that you’re so subjective. Even if this is not your first child, the same benchmarks don’t have to apply. For this very reason, you need to look up some reliable information or, better yet, ask a specialist (pediatrics) for some guidelines. This way, even if your child doesn’t start walking, talking or developing other skills by the deadlines that you think are optimal, you’ll know that there’s nothing to worry about.
Quality over quantity
A lot of working parents have a problem with the feeling of guilt that they’re leaving their family behind or neglecting them in pursuit of a career (or sheer existentialism). The same thing goes for divorced parents. One thing you need to understand in order to avoid this problem is the fact that how you spend time with your kids matters far more than how much time you spend with them. An hour of socializing, playing with them or helping them learn is more substantial than a whole day of being in the same room with them while they watch cartoons on TV and you browse your internet via a smartphone.
One of the biggest sources of stress and negative energy is definitely a problem in the financial department. You have no idea just how expensive it is to be a parent, especially a first-time one. There are so many unexpected expenses and you have no privilege of pre-owning essential baby equipment. Also, they grow out of all of their clothes in a matter of months, even weeks, which means that you’ll be forced to spend even more. There are two solutions to this issue and they are both quite simple and convenient. First, you can look for kids’ clothes sale online. Second, you can borrow, inherit and pass on clothes with your friends who are also parents.
Regardless of how grim the situation may look at the moment, remember that you’re not alone in this ordeal, you’re never alone. Avoid assuming that you have to do it all on your own and ask for help. Sometimes, your friends and family members may offer some help, which a lot of parents refuse out of a misplaced sense of pride or duty. Don’t make this mistake. At the end of the day, you’re still the one doing all the heavy lifting and the fact that someone will sit for an hour next to the crib while you take a nap or a long bathtub session will not change this.
Take care of yourself
The last thing you need to understand is the importance of taking care of yourself. Staying up all night is something that a parent must do, from time to time but doing so regularly can become a bit of a problem. Being sleep-deprived will make you naturally more aggravated, which means that you might get tipped over even by some things that you would otherwise be able to tolerate. Skipping a meal is also a common occurrence for parents who have an irregular schedule (which is the majority of them) but it may have dire repercussions in the long run. Just make sure to take care of yourself as much as you can.
As you can see, the most important thing for stress-free parenting is your mindset. This is the only way that you can get to enjoy this amazing adventure to the fullest and give your best to your beloved children. Both them and you deserve this.