Common Mistakes New Parents Make
Tell the truth at prenatal and postnatal classes
If you are having a rough time of it, tell people (likewise if you are taking to motherhood like a duck to water and loving every minute of it). Allison Mills found that many people pretend that all is well and that their children are sleeping, eating, and doing everything according to plan, which puts extra stress on those parents whose babies are screaming, non-napping messes most of the day. For a lot of new parents, other folks in their prenatal and postnatal classes are the only support network around. They need to be told the truth—warts and all.
Remember that a baby is not the answer to all your problems
Sarah Liebenberg says that she and her husband George really believed that having a baby would be the “cherry on the cake” to their marriage, and that “being very happy after difficult times we felt that a baby would complete us somehow; having been together for 10 years and having successful careers, we felt it was time we started a family. We are now facing the most difficult times to date in our marriage.” This is not a totally uncommon phenomenon, even for those who thought they were prepared for an addition to the family.
“At first, it may be more difficult than you had hoped to embrace your new roles as parents,” says Dr. Miriam Stoppard, author of Conception, Pregnancy and Birth. “You may resent the loss of your own income and the satisfaction of doing a demanding job well, and you may envy your partner his relatively free and independent lifestyle. Your partner, on the other hand, may find it difficult to cope with the stress of being the only wage earner and may feel shut out from your intimate relationship with your baby.”
Dr. Stoppard advises that couples keep talking to each other, explaining their feelings and trying not to let misunderstandings alienate them from each other.
There is no doubt that becoming a parent for the first time is a life-altering experience. There will be times when you will make the odd mistake, but don’t fret over it too much. You are not alone, and most of the time the mistake is easy to correct with little or no fuss from your child.
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