Am I Doing This Right?
Author: Jeannie Fleming-Gifford
Although you may have read all the books about becoming a parent, took classes, babysat for plenty of nieces, neighbors and friends, and have a great support system, as a new parent, you may simply wonder, "Am I doing this right?"
Though you may be tempted, don't push the panic button.
Chances are you are doing just fine.
Still not convinced? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use your resources. With the arrival of a new baby, chances are you are operating with your heart more than your head (you also may feel you have lost a few brain cells due to lack of sleep and simply the exhilaration of becoming a new parent!). Go dig up all that great information you gathered during pregnancy. Bookmark http://www.everydayfamily.com/. Find those pamphlets and books you read during pregnancy, and if you are still expecting, this is the time to mark up those excerpts you think you will use the most!
- Have confidence that you are the best parent for your baby. You are both new to this relationship, and just like any relationship, it takes time to get to know each other. It will take time to adjust to new roles and responsibilities, as well as to learn who your baby is, their preferences, and their temperament.
- Reach out. If you still have doubts or fears, don't go it alone. You will find out that many new parents have felt the same way. This is the time to lean on others for support: neighbors, family, friends, pediatricians, and local community groups. There are many, many resources available to new parents. Most of these can be obtained at little or even no cost.
- Finally, realize that you are not going to be perfect. Your baby isn't going to be perfect either. Books, websites, and friends may provide good ideas and easy suggestions, but none may have the right answer at the right time. Breathe deep, take it all in stride, and enjoy the ride, even the bumpy parts!