Advice For First Time Parents, From a First Time Parent

01 August Ayesha Farhad 25 Comments


When you are a parent for the first time, you are doing the best you can. You actually don't know what you are doing, but just letting yourself go with the flow is your motto. But there are so many times, right now, nearly four years later, when I think about how I handled everything and what I could have done to make it all easier.

So here is a bit of advice for a first-time mother, from a first-time mother.

1. Listen to everyone's advice.

I was just so stuck up on not taking anyone's advice. EVERY body wanted to give an advice but I just wanted to shut it down so I wouldn't confuse myself. Everyone had a different opinion about parenting and the things that I could do and not do. And I wish I would've listened to it. I am not saying that everyone is going to give you the right advice. They will tell you what worked well for them. And every parent, every baby and every situation is different. Just listen to what they are saying and do what is right for your baby and for yourself. These days, like me, many parents don't want to listen to anybody's advice until they ask for it. But there have been so many instances when my sister had told me 'Just listen to me. And if you feel that it won't work for you, then don't go ahead with it.'

2. Sleep when the baby sleeps.

Oh, my God. EVERY body said the same thing to me. But then what about the dishes? The laundry? The house? The food? The curry isn't going to cook itself and neither is the laundry going to fold itself. But, a newborn baby sleeps for approximately 15-18 hours of their first few weeks of being born. And I was always wasting time and not doing chores and just relaxing when my son slept. But I wish I would've slept when he slept. At least it wouldn't have taken a toll on my frustrations, just letting it out all on my husband. I am not saying that sleep for the 18 hours your baby sleeps but I wish I could've scheduled my chores accordingly. The first nap he took, I could've completed half my chores and with the second nap, I could've slept with him. And that would have saved me a lot of cranky-ness during the sleepless nights when I was overworked and under-slept.

3. Stop comparing.

I had a family friend who would just compare their children's milestones with my child. And I swear it put me under such a lot of stress. I would compare Azlan to every other child not realising that every single child has a different capacity for achieving certain milestones. Glad to say, that the person is not in my life anymore. But if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't compare my child to other's milestones. Every child is different in their own way.

4. Meal prepare in advance. 

This is one advice that I wish I had listened to. As a first time mother, I had no idea what lay ahead of me and I was so chill with everything that when it finally hit me, I literally laughed at myself. When you are a first-time mother, you are not just worried about the workload but your routine just changes in a split second. The time you are supposed to be making dinner, you are either feeding your baby, snoring for dear life or just trying to sort your mental state out. I wish I had prepared a few meals in advance so that on days when I had no energy left to do anything, I could have just popped something out of the freezer and have piping hot soul food on the table to feed my small family.

5. Relax. You are doing fine.

When you become a mother for the first time, you are in a constant battle with yourself thinking if you are raising your child well or doing everything right. You are always in a complete frenzy, checking google every few minutes, reading books, reading labels, joining a gazillion mum groups. I wish I had relaxed a little bit and just gone with the flow. Not worried about every single thing while raising my child.

6. You don't have to feel guilty all the time.

Your priorities change when you become a mother. You put your child first before anything else. There is no denying that. But you're a human before you are a mother. So to keep yourself sane, it is definitely okay to leave your child in the hands of people you absolutely trust and go for a night out or lunch or even just to grab a cup of coffee on your own. I was ALWAYS tiptoeing around the idea of leaving my son in my husbands care and going to the supermarket to get a few things and I always just felt so guilty leaving him and no sooner had I stepped out of the door, I would just come rushing back in and send my husband out to get the work done.

7. Ask for help.

Even though thank the Lord, I have managed everything on my own, there were times that I wish I would've asked for help. I stressed uselessly and endlessly about completing chores so my house would at least look presentable. Coming from Pakistan, where maids picked up everything that you left behind, it was hard completing chores on my own. And I really wish that I could've hired help so that I could feel sane.

8. Make new friends.

Just because you are a mother now, doesn't mean that you only need to have mommy friends. I only looked for people who were either going to be parents or were already mothers. The constant chatter that revolved around kids and families just wore me out so much. And I have taken up this advice now. Every now and then, I meet my friends who aren't parents and it is so refreshing to talk about anything and everything besides parenting.

9. Pamper yourself.

If you had met me three years back, you would've seen me in a night suit with hair going berserk and skin acting up with no sense of looking good just for the sake of it. Going back, I wish I had taken the time out to pamper myself. To treat myself to good clothes, to get an occasional pedicure or get my nails done. It is very important to feel good when you are a parent. And how are you going to feel good when you don't look good?

10. Create a bond with your other half.

We were both first-time parents who had absolutely NO idea what was happening. We were just trying to do things on our own, trying to wind each other up unintentionally. And with breastfeeding, sleepless nights and doing everything on my own came another wave of emotions that lead to fighting all the time. Now, I wish, we had talked more and opened up about our feelings and helped each other with everything.

Having said all this, when I plan another child, I am making sure that I don't make myself suffer like the first time round and follow up on these steps so that I don't stress my husband and myself to the point that the negative energy surrounds my family. We all are trying to become parents that have kids who are happy.Trying to become parents that create a happy and a healthy family atmosphere and making sure that nothing negative takes a toll on our children.

25 comments:

  1. Asking for help is a big one. I know it is hard for some people, but sometimes you just NEED help!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some people scoff at the "sleep when baby sleeps" advice. I do not. I still nap when my kids naps (if they nap anymore!).

    ReplyDelete
  3. some great tips. Sleep when you can...because you may not get a lot of chances as they get older!

    ReplyDelete
  4. These sound like some great tips, I wouldn't know where to start or what to think if I was about to become a parent.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stop comparing is one of the hardest things for me. Some of my friends that are stay at home moms, do so much with/for their kids. I am a full time student, so I am either at school or studying. It's rough sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great tips! Don't be ashamed to ask for help when you need it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. These are great tips for new moms. Also let down your standards on housework and enjoy the baby.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great tips for new mamas.. Especially to ask for help!

    ReplyDelete
  9. These are all great tips! I felt so alone after having my children when my husband would go to work. Making friends is very important for any new mom - or at least have siblings who visit.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is such an amazing site! I really enjoyed reading the content. Thanks!

    Ethnic Wear For Boys

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sleeping when the baby sleeps is great advice. I made a bunch of dinners I could freeze before my first baby was born.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found that one nap during all of their many naps recharged me that I was able to get a lot done during their other naps

    ReplyDelete
  13. These are great tips! Most of the time, I try to nap when the kids sleep! It keeps me feeling refreshed!

    Belle | www.OneAwesomeMomma.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. It is a great article! It gave us much useful information as well as advices. I hope it will be helpful for first time parents.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This a really good post.....and I agree with the tips.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So many great tips for first time parents! I wish I had known many of these before I had my first baby!

    ReplyDelete
  17. These are all great tips! Having adopted kids, there were so many other things that people added to this list and I just stopped listening to all of it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think the number 5 and 6 are the most important ones. But all in all, all great tips!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Its also a good thing to try to put yourself first. How can you take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself! :) Xx-Doran @HauteBeautyGuide

    ReplyDelete
  20. Comparison never helps in life! Everyone is different in their own way and it should be beautifully embraced :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is a great list! i think asking for help is so, so important for a new parent. It's a big adjustment, and having emotional support is so crucial.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Being a new parent is hard. Everything is trial and error until you master the things you're supposed to do. Just dont't forget to take care of yourself too.

    ReplyDelete
  23. These are great tips! I think accepting help when it was offered was the hardest for me.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yes, great tips, especially sleep when the baby sleeps and meal prep. I can't tell you how many times I wish I had already prepped a meal ahead of time (especially when unexpected things pop up with the kids when trying to prepare a meal at dinnertime).

    ReplyDelete
  25. Such brilliant advice. I would add fill your freezer with easy food before the birth.. advice I was given but didn't listen to x

    ReplyDelete