How many times have you heard your mother, friend, relative telling you that things will improve, kids will get independent and your stress will reduce.
I believe, and this is something I can write/comment now on hindsight as our mindset always longs for something better awaiting us. It has got less to do with actual physical stress, but more to do with psychological stress we undergo with too many ‘News and First Times’ around our child and us. It is just the uncertainty and need for constant supervision or support or feeling of one to be wanted all the time that adds to the same.
Please don’t misunderstand my intentions, we all love our kids, but can we completely deny that we don’t get stressed at times? I am not here to advice whether to have kids or not, but to better prepare ourselves for the journey we have already committed ourselves to and enjoying the same will get us through the same happily and less tired rather than exhausted and burn out.
When I see any new First Time Parent/s (Family/Friends) struggling with their Infant, one gets inclined to give them the reassurance that things will get better soon like he/she will walk on their own (what gets ignored- you need to supervise them more when they walk!), will start eating on their own (of course, more mess and cleaning up coming your way), will try engaging themselves sooner (need to keep eye on what they are watching) and the list is endless. Being a Parent is full-time-job and endless worries/concerns about the wellbeing of our child captures a significant mindshare and the reason behind our stress.
How many times have you wondered, seeing parents with their second child that they are handling with such a finesse and ease? They are so good at it. It is not that they are less stressed or don’t have same work to be done. Instead, it is an increased responsibility for them. They have matured themselves as parents and conditioned themselves to better manage stress related to the responsibility of the child.
This is the most magical and true lines you will ever hear about Parenthood:
Things as a Parent will never improve or will get better as it is only the nature of the responsibilities towards your child that changes over the years as they grow but not the commitment. However, the good news is that how early can you get yourself adjusted to the routine and can embrace the change that will make a difference and will make you feel better in times to come.
Here are some tips how to better prepare yourself on the journey of Parenthood:
Don’t take stress on things that are already too stressful – Take a chill pill when Nanny has taken leave or suddenly turned ill when you needed her most and has planned leave. There is nothing much you can do about it, have an alternate support (if possible) or relieving other maid of her daily duties and helping you with the child. There is nothing you can do about this situation and sulking will only add to your and child’s stress rather constructively look for alternatives.
Don’t wait for better times to come, but enjoy the flexibility you get with every moment – If hearing this gives you comfort so be it, but be practical with your approach and don’t wait for moments to arrive to make you feel less stressful or relieved. Live and enjoy in the present.
Ignore things that aren’t harmful and dangerous, restrict your ‘NOs’ for Child and Nanny both – Don’t get too strict and adamant about SOPs (Standard of procedures) around how baby should be handled, fed etc. Give some freedom to the Nanny and room for yourself to relax and detach. Also, be easy on the kid and allow him/her to explore as far as security is not being compromised else you might just hear yourself telling ’NO’ most of the times to your Little One (try counting it someday).
Work as a Team between the two of you irrespective of whatever help/support you may have – This is the real test of the marriage and shared responsibility that everyone talks about be it emotional, physical, psychological, financial etc. Be a support to each other wherever you can and take a charge where you are the expert and follow where your spouse is.
Stay Happy and Relax as you pass on the same stress to kids unknowingly- Enjoy the moment, get comfortable in the company of your child and make him/her feel the same. Take a break from routine! E.g. If there is no help, visit a friend’s house or make a grocery trip with your Little One or take him/her to some play area (baby cafes etc) eventually turning your day to an enjoyable one instead of stressful.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect BabyChakra's point of view. BabyChakra does not assume any responsibility for the views expressed in the article.
Also read: The Minimalist In Me
Explore the entire collection of articles: Parenting Gyaan