Confessing My "New Parent" Mistakes
Spilling the details on my biggest mistakes as a new parent.
It’s easy to feel like you aren’t very good at this parenting thing when you first have kids. Everywhere you look you see more experienced parents who appear to have it all figured out, while you haven’t even mastered a functional swaddling. And then there are the mistakes. Every day it seems you’re doing something wrong. How do these other parents do it?
Well, I’m here to tell you and all new parents not to stress. I may not be as veteran a parent as some, but I’ve brought three beautiful children into this world and know that everyone parent has a learning curve. So, in an effort to put your mind at ease, I’ve decided to confess, er, share a few of the most embarrassing gaffes I made as a new parent.
I was a stay-at-home Dad with my first child, Madeline, and after my wife, Heather, went back to work it was my job to make sure Madeline was taken care of every day. To my surprise, my biggest challenge in those first few days of solo-parenting was feeding her. It seemed like the minute she finished a bottle she wanted another one! I mentioned this to Heather at the end of the first week and she was just as confused as I until she watched me make Madeline a bottle.
“HAVE YOU ONLY BEEN GIVING HER ONE SCOOP OF FORMULA?!?!?!?”
I frantically read the instructions and saw that I was supposed to use two scoops per four ounces of water instead of the one I’d been using. Suffice to say I felt like the worst parent in the world, but after that it was two scoops all the way and feeding got a whole lot easier.
We were on vacation in San Francisco when I packed the baby bag ahead of meeting my parents at a Mexican restaurant.
Diapers and wipes? Check. Formula? Check. Change of clothes? Check. Favorite toy? Check. Check, check, check.
I was feeling pretty pleased with my packing job until Madeline got hungry at the restaurant and I pulled out the baby bag to discover I’d forgotten to pack her bottle! Cut to me sprinting through the streets of San Francisco, desperately searching for a store that sold bottles. I made it back to the restaurant with a new bottle in what must have been world record time, but understandably no one was very impressed with that.
Here’s one that should really put new parents at ease because it happened not with Madeline, but my four-month-old baby boy, James, nearly six years after I first became a Dad. I was carrying James to his room for a diaper change when my daughter, Annabel, ran up and asked for a snack. Momentarily distracted, I misjudged the angle into the baby room and smacked James’ head against the door jam. Annabel gasped as James wailed.
“Don’t tell your mother,” I told Annabel.
“MOM!!!” Annabel hollered, running off.
The good news is that James was fine and you will be, too. Every parent has stories like these (even if they wouldn’t dare share them as I just did), and in the end all you have to do is try your best and love your child with every fiber of your being. Do those things and it won’t be long until you’re the parent new parents look up to as the one that has it all figured out.
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