"You’re left to figure it all out and while you’re focused on making sure your new baby is healthy and happy, you might not realize that you are also going through something monumental and that’s becoming a parent!"
Marina's Diary: Becoming a Parent
"Before you have kids the excitement of starting your family is all-encompassing. But the truth is, it’s hard to fathom just how much your lives will change.
During those first few weeks when you bring your newborn home, you’re in this blissful yet extremely tired period where your whole life revolves around this little, tiny human.
You’re thrown into this brand new world where you’re left to figure it all out and while you’re focused on making sure your new baby is healthy and happy, you might not realize that you are also going through something monumental and that’s becoming a parent! A life change unlike any other. This transformational period is not to be underestimated.
While family planning, we had many discussions mostly around the practical aspect of growing our family. Things like our finances, childcare, our parenting styles, etc.
In hindsight, there are a few things I wish I knew before I became a parent.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Whether it be from your friends, your family, your neighbours, or professional help – don’t hesitate to rely on others. It’s not the time for your pride to get in the way and most of the time people are more than willing to help out new parents. Let them! Whatever your village looks like, use it.
- The hard times don’t last: There will inevitably be some really difficult days and nights. These will pass. Remind yourself of this when you’re in the trenches and don’t be afraid to reach out for help if it’s taking longer than you think it should.
- Trust your instincts: Yes – caring for this little human is completely uncharted territory for most of us new parents. But you would be surprised just how quickly your instincts kick in. And when it comes to knowing what is best for them, trust this instinct because no one knows your children better than you do.
- Roll with the punches: In so many ways this is important. Especially in that first year of life, your little one is changing so quickly. Just when you think you have it figured out and you find yourself getting comfortable in a new routine, they change (in what appears to be overnight) and you’re finding yourself scrambling to readjust. When you learn to go with the flow it becomes easier to adapt to their changing needs.
- Prioritize your relationship: This is probably my biggest piece of advice. It’s no secret that becoming parents can be a huge stressor on your relationship. But when you prioritize each other, you become stronger together and it’s so much easier to weather the challenges of parenthood when you’re supporting each other. Ultimately, your children will benefit from having a strong family dynamic. Becoming a parent is both wonderful and terrifying. It will challenge you in many ways and yet it will always be worth it. If you are embarking on your parenting journey, know that the most rewarding and beautiful moments are coming your way. You got this!"
If this content reminds you of your own experiences or makes you think of someone you know and you feel concerned or uncomfortable, please head to the PSI website for information about perinatal mental health resources that may be able to help.