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The Biggest Challenges Of Becoming a New Parent

There’s much to love about bringing a new baby into this world, there’s no doubt about that. However, it would be wrong to think that it’s nothing but good times. There are many challenges, and indeed, sometimes it can feel as if the good times are hard to find. If there’s a silver lining to the struggles of becoming a new parent, it’s that it’s highly unlikely that you’ll experience an issue that’s entirely new. Most of the challenges experienced by new parents are experienced by everyone, which means we’ve learned a lot about moving beyond them. Even if there’s not necessarily a solution, there’s solace in knowing that you’re not alone with your troubles. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the biggest and most common challenges that you’re likely to experience. 




Building Your Strength Back Up

The first challenge you’re likely to come across won’t have anything to do with your new son or daughter. It’ll concern your body, and specifically, how worn out it is. While some women sail through the labour process, for most people, it’s an arduous and tiring experience. This isn’t just the case when you’re giving birth, but in the days and weeks following the birth. Your body will be in pain. You’ll have low energy. There are things you can do that’ll help to get you back on track, but the best thing you can do for your body is to schedule as much rest as possible. You’ll need a lot of energy over the next couple of years, and in any case, you’ll enjoy looking after your newborn much more if you can move without pain. 

Anxious and Afraid

Having a baby will, of course, bring out a lot of emotions. Ideally, these emotions would be of love, happiness, contentment, and all the other things that a baby can bring. But it’s also likely that you’ll experience other emotions, too, such as anxiety and fear. The first thing to know is that these are totally normal feelings. You’re looking after a little baby; of course, you’ll be anxious from time to time. You don’t need to worry about small doses of these emotions. It’s when they become overwhelming or debilitating that you should seek professional help. 

Feeling Sad

There’s another powerful emotion that new mothers sometimes experience: sadness. We thought it would be best to include this as its own entry, given how intense and concerning the experience can be. While it can be worrying to feel sad after you’ve given birth, it’s important to remember that it’s something that most new mothers experience on some level. It’s when things become severe that you should seek help. Having the occasional cry should not be concerning; spending the entire day crying is another matter. If the feelings are present for more than a couple of weeks or your everyday duties are becoming difficult to bear, then speak to a doctor. There are a lot of effective treatment methods available. 

Relationship Challenges

You may have formed an instant bond with your baby, in which case you’ll have an entirely new and positive relationship in your life. While this is, of course, a good thing, it’s important to remember that your existing relationships will require some work too. It’s not that you can just let your existing partnerships just run on autopilot. If you do that, then you could find that they slide away; your baby will simply be taking up too much of your time. Of course, it’s normal that things won’t be like they used to be when you bring a life into this world. It’s important for the stability of the home and everyone’s happiness that you work on keeping the spark in your relationship alive. Even small amounts of effort can go a long way. 

Secure In the Home

Unless you’ve moved into a brand new home with your child, then you’ll need to go through the process of making your property baby-safe. You may have been living there for years, but if this is your first child, then it won’t be fit for a baby. Before you bring your child home, you’ll need to take a thorough and deep look at your home and make sure that it’s suitable for a baby. There can sometimes be dangers that would be entirely non-threatening to you but could cause harm to your child. 

Sleeping Problems

Of all the complaints that new parents have, there are none as common as complaints about sleep. Indeed, during the first year of your baby’s life, you might find that sleep is hard to come by. While it’s unlikely that you’ll ever feel truly relaxed and well-rested during the first year, it’s not as if you have to just accept that you’re going to be exhausted all the time. There are things you can do to improve things. It’s all about being aware of what’s going on with your baby. For example, you’ll find that you get fewer hours of sleep when they’re experiencing sleep regression. This can be a challenging time, but if you know how to survive sleep regression, then you’ll find that you’re able to handle it much better. As well as responding to your baby’s sleeping habits, it’s also worthwhile looking at other things that may be negatively affecting your quality of sleep. For example, you’ll find it difficult to hit the hay if you’re drinking too much coffee or you’re spending too much staring at your smartphone screen before you get into bed. 


What is Wrong?! 

Sometimes you’ll face challenges that are immediately obvious. You know what’s wrong, and what you need to do to overcome them. While you’d rather live without the problem in the first place, at least there’s a path to walk. Sometimes, however, you’ll face a problem that you don’t know how to deal with. That’s because the problem is vague or unusual. There’s something wrong with your baby, but what? It’s a mystery. When you’re faced with this experience, it’s best to stay calm. It’s highly highly unlikely that anything is wrong. The human body can be pretty weird sometimes. We tend to think that everything unusual = bad, but this is rarely the case. Taking a look online will likely appease your mind. If you’re concerned, however, then, well, that’s what trips to the doctors were invented for!

Finding Time For Everything Else

Alas, there’s no solution to this problem. Just acceptance. When you have a new baby, you can more or less forget everything else that you’d like to. It’s something that you just need to accept. There will come a time in the future when you do have time for all your old hobbies, but you’ll have to be a little patient! 

Groundhog Dog

They say that having a baby is exciting, and it is. But it’s not as if it’s one long rollercoaster ride. The truth is a little more complicated. The early days can feel like a whirlwind adventure that is indeed high on excitement. But after a while, it’ll begin to feel as if you’re living something of a groundhog day. All the days may blend into one. This is an issue because it makes life feel a little too repetitive, and it can also prevent you from enjoying the time you spend with your newborn. A good method for breaking this cycle is to do one thing each day that breaks the norm. It could be as simple as taking a different route to the store than normal. Anything that injects something new into your life will do! 

Taking Care of Yourself

You’ll be focused on your baby, sure, but don’t forget about yourself. It’s much easier to look after a young baby -- not to mention enjoy it -- when you’re well-fed and feeling good. 

The Magnitude of it All 

And here’s perhaps the biggest challenge of becoming a new parent: simply taking all that you’re doing and experiencing. There’s nothing bigger in this world that having a child; or if there is, it hasn’t been discovered yet. Of course, if you live with this feeling every single day, then it wouldn’t be long before anxiety and stress developed. It’s best not to overthink this aspect of having a baby, and simply enjoy it to the fullest!

Conclusion

This is only a selection of the challenges that you may experience as a new parent. Everyone’s journey is unique, and you’ll surely have your own along the way. How you deal with them will depend, of course, on what the issue is. One word of advice though: if you go through something that’s a little less common, then talk about it. We all get better at parenting and generally handling the problems it can bring by sharing our experiences. This is especially the case if you have problems that are a little unusual. You never know who you might help just by owning your mouth and talking about it. 

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