There is no parenting handbook
Becoming a parent is possibly one of a person’s most life-changing events. While news of parenthood brings with it a host of emotions and major changes there is no handbook to prepare for the arrival of this new member of our family. However, there are a number of things we can do to be emotionally ready for the arrival of our little one.
Things we can do to be emotionally ready
- Drop expectations: We have many references to maternity, paternity and parenting. Social media are now rife with images of what a perfect family should look like. In addition, our families and friends always have an opinion on the subject. That is why it is so important to drop all our expectations as to pregnancy and parenting because reality is not always as shown on screen. We should let go of all our idealisations and prepare to live through every experience gratefully.
- Find spaces to connect with your partner (if you have one): The arrival of a baby usually brings huge change to the dynamics of a relationship, time spent together changes, and schedules and even priorities can change. That is why it is important to always find spaces to reconnect because the first years of the little one’s life are usually most stressful for a couple. Emotional connection and good communication will always be key elements for difficult times.
- Prioritize self-care: Before the arrival of a little one it is important that you devote time to care for yourself, rest, do the things you like best, share with people close to you or simply connect with yourself.
- Define parenting values: It is important to consider and discuss the values you would like to nurture in your little one. If you are to share parenting of your little one with your partner, discussing this before birth is essential. Think about how you would like your baby to be, the traditions you would like to share, and what qualities you would like to nurture in your baby.
- Sleep as much as you can: Rest is an indispensable part of both the baby’s and the mother’s physical and mental health. Enjoy and make the most of the spaces you have to be with yourself and rest while pregnant because the first months of the little one’s life are possibly when you will be able to rest the least. Being ready is important.
- Strengthen ties with family and friends: We often underestimate people around us when we need them the most. Since there is no parenting handbook we will need a good deal of emotional help and tips on the road, and that is where our family and friends can be great company. If you have friends in your same circumstances, it may be very useful to connect with them and share experiences, concerns, happiness and tips.
Remember that the best parents are those who are there for their little ones and through love and care seek to give them all the best for their development. There is no perfect way of bringing up our children; parenthood is a journey, so don’t worry because you’ll find your style!