Parenthood is one of the most rewarding but challenging adventures that life can throw at you. Given the amount of change that’s about to come your way when you become new parents, it’s impossible to feel prepared. That said, there are some things you should know so the first few years of parenthood are more enjoyable than stressful.
Here Some Tips for New Parents
Get Financially Prepared
You’re going to be responsible for another human being and ensuring his/her financial security will be one of your biggest challenges. Prepare for the unknown by taking out a life insurance policy that will provide a financial comfort blanket for your family should something happen to you. If your circumstances change over the years and you need access to quick cash, there is always the option to sell your policy. This transaction is called a life settlement and it’s where a third party investor takes over your policy in exchange for a cash payout. It may seem like an unnecessary step but you should also start planning for retirement by contributing to a 401(k) and setting up a savings account.
It’s nice to think we can do everything without outside help but it’s not real-life for new parents. This is the one time in your life where everything will seem overwhelming. Talk to healthcare professionals about the help that’s available for new parents. Perhaps there’s a consultant who can advise you on the pros and cons of breast feeding vs. bottle feeding? Or maybe a health nurse can check in on you at home every so often to ensure everything is going smoothly? You don’t know what resources are available to you until you ask. The same goes for help from family and friends – don’t be shy in accepting grandma and grandpa’s offer to babysit when you know you need a break.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Your life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine so don’t be too hard on yourself as you settle into this next chapter in your life. Learn to be kind to your mind and body and don’t make the mistake of comparing your parenting skills to other mums and dads. It’s important to accept that things will go wrong, you will make mistakes and there will be times when other people may judge you. That’s all totally normal – ask any parent and they’ll agree.
Make Time for Your Partner
It can be very easy to fall into a routine where everything revolves around the baby. And while most things will inevitably work around the times when your little one is napping, you have to do what it takes to keep the spark in your relationship alive. Plan a regular date night where you and your partner can enjoy a nice dinner and a bottle of wine. If you have access to a sitter, try and get out to the movies or to a restaurant once a month for some alone time. Talk to one another and do small things that will let your partner know that you love them. All of this will ensure your relationship survives the rocky road of first-time parenting.