How to Reduce Stress as a New Parent
As a new parent, there are likely going to be many times that you are stressed or overwhelmed. This is true of parenting in general, but for new parents, the unknown and uncertainty can make even the most minor things seem like the most significant challenges.
Lowering stress levels as a new parent isn’t always as easy as it sounds. You will naturally — and normally — worry about your baby, parenting abilities and the world in general. It means you are doing your best by worrying that things aren’t right for them.
But you do need to cut yourself some slack to avoid burning out or increasing anxiety levels. These tips can support you as a new parent to reduce stress levels and make life easier for yourself:
Look at the expectations you are setting for yourself. What additional pressure are you adding to your life? You don’t need to meet someone else’s idea of the perfect parent or live up to the happy new mom life you see on social media. There is no such thing as the perfect parent, and social media is only someone else’s highlight reel, not real life. Don’t comparing yourself to others and add on the pressure; you don’t need to be a super mom or dad. You just need to be a mom or dad.
Ignore Unsolicited Advice
The world and its wife, it seems, will have an opinion on the decisions you make as a parent. And quite frankly, if you haven’t already noticed, it is exhausting. Cut out the noise and chatter of what other people expect of you. And take advice from your loved ones or those you trust the most. Be it from trusted pediatricians, your parents or friends. If you don’t know someone and their advice contradicts things you do or know to be accurate, block it out, smile and walk away.
You’re not, nor should you expect to take the role of super mom or dad. Mom and Dad are plenty enough for your little one, and the last thing they need is you overextending yourself and not being able to give them the love and care they need. So take the offers of help; there is no shame in doing so. Someone even just make you a meal can make your life easier. Accepting help shows that you know your limitations and what you need as a person and a parent, and you are willing to do what it takes to ensure everyone’s needs are met, not just those of your new baby.
Becoming a new parent is a beautiful, exciting time, but it is also a time fraught with worry and insecurities for both parents. These tips can help you find what and who is important, listen to the right people, and start your new life as a family unit in the right way.