You always hear that being a parent is the hardest job in the world. You won’t fully understand this simple statement until you become one. Parenthood is no joke. It is by far the most difficult yet most rewarding job EVER. My husband and I are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this month and as I sit back and reflect on the last few years, it’s been quite a ride. We’ve made so many mistakes as new parents…
1. WORRYING TOO MUCH
Stop worrying so much. I know it’s easier said than done right? It’s completely natural as new parents to worry. How can you not worry? Parenting is scary AF! I know it’s impossible to NOT worry when you have this precious little human you’re trying to feed, nurture and keep alive. There’s a difference between worrying and obsessing. People who obsess will be miserable and make everyone around them miserable. It’s not fun to be around this type of behavior nor is it healthy for your marriage or baby. This was a really tough one for us because of Milan’s surgery and infection. After this, our worry levels were through the roof. It not only took a toll on our marriage but it became extremely unhealthy and toxic.
2. PUTTING YOUR MARRIAGE LAST
This was one of our biggest mistakes and one we are still working on. You must make your marriage a priority. If you don’t, your marriage will suffer. There is no doubt. Making the transition from being a couple to parenting is the most difficult journey for many marriages. It certainly was very challenging for us. To be honest, we still don’t know how to do this because you become so wrapped up in making sure your child is happy that you forget about everything else. Your world revolves around your baby. It’s hard to focus on each other and the longer you wait, the harder it is to get back on track. If possible, take one night a week and designate it as date night.
3. NOT MAKING NOISE
I’m laughing as I write this because OMG…we lived in complete silence for the first year. No joke, we were so deathly afraid to make any type of noise in fear of waking Milan up. Looking back and after talking to other parents, making noise when they are babies is crucial! Newborns are used to a lot of noise inside the womb so it’s ok to make a lot of noise and talk. We thought we had to have the house completely quiet but the more noise you make, they will get used to it and it will be better later on.
4. TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING
Ask for help and be willing and open to have others help you. If my mom lived close, she would have done everything for me the first month Milan was born. She did that for all my other sisters and it really helped them heal and get the hang of being a new mom. Unfortunately she lives in Minnesota so we basically did everything ourselves. If you have family near, let them help you. If you don’t have anyone that can help, don’t try to be super mom or super dad. It’s okay if things don’t get done. I’ve realized and accepted the fact that not everything will get done in one day. It’s impossible without some type of help.
5. WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER
You both are tired. Sleep deprived. You’re mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. You start to resent each other for the stupidest reasons. Kids change everything. You change. Your partner changes. Life will never be the same. You and your spouse need to work together as a team. As simple as that sounds, sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. It’s so easy to start working against each other when both of you are sleep deprived and stressed out.
6. RESEARCHING TOO MUCH
Stay off the internet. The end. My husband was constantly researching and going down the rabbit hole about every single thing. This was so frustrating and very stressful. Have you noticed anytime you google something, nothing good comes out of it? Especially when researching about baby stuff – it’s so scary! Everything is bad, don’t do this, don’t do that…it’s NEVER ENDING. Of course it’s ok to research things that you need to find out but do not allow yourself to go down that rabbit hole. Once you go down it, it’s hard to get out.
7. NOT HIRING A HOUSECLEANER
If you can afford one, hire a housecleaner. I had one in my last house but haven’t had one since having Milan and my house is a disaster. Major kudos to any parents that have a clean house because that is definitely not the case for us. Our house before kids used to be spotless but priorities shift and I just simply don’t have the time or energy anymore. Once we move into the new house, you better believe I will be hiring someone.
8. NOT SHARING RESPONSIBILITIES
If one person does everything or mostly everything, it will lead to resentment. Each family is different so this will depend on who is at home caring for your baby. In our case, we are both home. We both have type A personalties so can you imagine two type A’s at home caring for a newborn? It’s no joke and not something I would recommend. I think it’s important that each person have clear roles as a new parent. I also believe that changing diapers should be a shared responsibility. Just because one person is “better” at it does not mean they should do it every single time.
9. NOT ALLOWING YOURSELF SOME ME TIME
I don’t think I really got our routine down until Milan turned one. The first year, I was a hot mess and didn’t even comb my hair except for when I had a photoshoot. Brushing my teeth and showering was a luxury. I didn’t even get a manicure or pedicure for 3.5 years! OMG. Now I treat myself once a month and if I can, I put on a little makeup and a cute outfit just to feel normal. After Milan goes to bed, I work and then after that, I will watch my favorite shows or a movie. Making time for yourself is necessary and you should not feel guilty about it. It will make you a better person and parent.
10. NOT LIVING LIFE
It’s so easy to stop living life after you have a baby. Your world is flipped upside down and you almost don’t know what to do with yourself. I envy all the parents that have kids and travel, go out to eat and live life normally because it REALLY was difficult for us (still is). We are now just starting to get in the swing of things but going out to eat is still a challenge (LOL). I sometimes wonder what is wrong with us? But you know what? You just have to live life and go on with your day as best as you can. We are still working on this…
So what have I learned so far as a new mommy? I have MAD respect for all moms and dads and even more respect for the parents that work from home and have kids. Life doesn’t have to be over once you have kids, it’s just the beginning. I’ve also learned that making your marriage a priority is a choice. Kids change the dynamic of your relationship and it’s up to you to keep it strong and healthy. This journey has been exhausting, overwhelming, heartbreaking, incredible and the best thing that has ever happened to me. 🙂 XO
You may want to read: Ten things I wish I would have known before becoming a mom