New Parents – Being Mentally Prepared

ImageBefore the baby arrives, new parents-to-be enthusiastically look forward to the arrival of the new bundle of joy. Everything is lovely, everything is nice. It’s a stage when everything is idealistic. Baby is going to be such an angel. Everything is going to be a breeze…….

Some are more realistic. They are aware of the sleepless nights coming, the loads of work to do, etc. But seriously, no matter what, reality is going to knock you over when you actually have that bundle of joy in your arms.

Let me just warm you up to what your life is going to be when the baby comes. You want to be mentally prepared rather than to be caught off guard. The last thing you need is to deal with a new baby, post-natal blues, physical recovery, and disillusion, all in one go.

  1. Your baby may not turn out to be the little angel you envisioned. He may cry every hour at night, leaving you sleep deprived, tired, blue and even seething with anger. Remember, you can reason with an adult but with a baby, there is no way you can expect him to behave in a reasonable manner. He is not going to sleep and wake as and when you want. (Most likely he will sleep when you want him awake, e.g. feeding time; and wake when you want him to sleep, e.g. in the middle of the night).
  2. No more outings and painting the town red. Especially if you are breastfeeding. No more last minute decision to go somewhere because every outing involving the baby takes time to prepare. No more movies. No more shopping the entire day. No more late night clubbing or movie going. And in the initial days, no more TV even! Be prepared for your whole life to revolve around your baby. At least in the initial months. If you have caregivers to take care of the baby for you, good for you! But still, life will never be the same again.
  3. Sleeping in on weekends? You wish! Sleep is a precious commodity when you have a baby. Even for a night person like me, who normally will not be awake before 9am (earliest), I have to learn to wake up in the morning, or in the middle of the night. It’s only when your baby is able to sleep through the night that you get some reasonable amount of sleep. So here’s added incentive for you to train your little one to sleep through the night.
  4. Couple Time? Well, if you make the effort to maintain couple time, you can still have couple time. But with the lack of sleep and physical tiredness, the quality of your couple time may suffer a bit.
  5. You think after reading books after books, doing research after research, you will know what to do with a baby? Think again! Every baby is different so there is no way any reference material is going to be the perfect ‘manual’ of baby care. Let me tell you this, and I am sure many mothers who actually take care of their babies full time will agree, taking care of a baby is not easy.