There is nothing more rewarding than giving birth to a newborn baby and being able to take him or her home after nine months of unpredictable cravings, hormones, and pains. But parenting doesn’t get any easier after childbirth, as a recent online survey reveals that the most common struggles for parents in the first year include lack of sleep, the baby’s ability to sleep, feeding, recovery from birth, and taking care of their other children. Something that we must remember is that these struggles come with the pursuit of raising independent children.
Just as numerous organizations such as UnaKids, a nonprofit that sends orphans in war torn countries to school, strives to teach children to be self-sufficient, parents must do the same thing for their young ones. However at this stage, your child is going to need all the help that he or she can get, so scrap any notion you have of teaching your children independence while they’re still at a very vulnerable stage of infancy. Often parents will opt for the “cry it out” method in hopes that their baby will learn how to stop crying on his own, yet science has shown that excessive crying can be harmful to your baby’s development.
As difficult and frustrating as attachment parenting can be, one of the most effective ways of forming this early bond of trust is by being responsive to all of their babies’ cries, their needs. As Dr. Sears reminds us all, babies cry to communicate with us, not to manipulate. The 3am morning cries are something that we just have to cope with.
Despite how incredibly hard the early stages of motherhood and fatherhood can be, many parents fail to recognise when they need to ask for extra hands from a loved one, more so when they need help from a professional counsellor. In the same online survey discussed earlier, about half of the participants claimed that they would only seek professional help if they couldn’t cope with their issues anymore, and one third of them even said they would wait until they hit rock bottom.
Parents have a tendency to put on a brave face when asked about the amount of effort and energy they have to exert in the first few months of child rearing. It’s true when they say that no amount of reading will fully prepare you in all the trials and tribulations of having a baby. Only the experience itself can you fully grasp what you will endure, but that doesn’t mean that you have to downplay all the obstacles you’re going through. Fellow parents will attest to the fact that parenting is insanely difficult, and it takes a lot of discipline. We are only human after all, so there’s really no harm in asking for a little help when we need it.
Remember that you don’t need to hit rock bottom before you seek for professional counselling. There are numerous services and pregnancy hotlines out there that provide the support for new parents, so that you won’t have to go through this tough time alone.
About the Author
Ashley Garrison is a full-time mother to three kids. Though she has no professional experience in family health and child rearing, Ashley is the oldest in her family of eight kids and often acted as the stand-in or even a second mother whenever her parents needed a little help. She believes that her early exposure to parenting gives her the edge when it comes to giving advice on raising infants. Currently, she is completing her last semester of online studies in early childhood education.
Since early 2011, Australia has had a Paid Parental Leave scheme. This allows eligible working parents to get paid for up to 18 weeks when they take time off work to care for a new baby or recently adopted child.
Driving during pregnancy can present a unique set of risks - it pays to be as informed as possible about the facts.
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Our understanding of exercise in pregnancy + postpartum has come a long way in the recent years, and we are much more likely to treat the “normal” pregnancy as a normal physiological process – not a disability.
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