4 secrets of parenthood the books don't tell you
There are plenty of things you can learn from parenting books - which tenth of a degree your baby’s temperature can’t go over before it’s officially a fever, whether it’s normal that she is scooting around the floor like that, and exactly what timeline of developmental milestones she’s going to completely ignore as she grows at exactly her own pace. There are some things parenting books tend to miss, though, either because they’re supposed to go without saying or because they’re things it’s hard to believe until you see them for yourself, though it never hurts to hear them ahead of time.
- You will make mistakes
That’s not a judgment - it's a universal truth, and it can be a comforting one. You’re going to make mistakes, because that’s how life works, so isn’t it better that they’re the mistakes they are, and not the ones they could be? Sure, you forgot your breast pump before heading out for work the other morning, or you forgot your baby was napping and answered the phone at a really inconvenient moment last week, but you haven’t set her down on the moving baggage carousel at the airport and watched her be claimed by another family.
- Don’t set plans for the future in stone
You may think that your baby is never going to watch television, and her school lunches will always be a perfect, gourmet balance of unprocessed, wholesome goodness, but there’s no way to know what the future will hold. Deciding what you’re going to do in a certain situation before you’re there can set you up to be disappointed with yourself for perfectly reasonable decisions. Instead, trust that by the time you’ve reached the time to make a decision, you’ll have a better idea what the right thing to do will be.
- Trust yourself
Not in that sometimes-hokey ‘just trust your intuition’ advice, because that’s not always helpful - some new parents do get instinctive guidance from their guts, but plenty of others don’t feel like they are guided in how to parent by any set of instincts. There is nothing wrong with that, and if you’re in that second group, that doesn’t mean that you don’t get to trust yourself. You’re still one of the people who knows your baby best out of anyone in the world, and even if you don’t know exactly what to do, you get to listen to any advice you’re given, evaluate it, do your own research, and then decide what to do.
- your baby is stronger than you think
The list of things not to do when you’ve got a baby in the house is long and detailed enough to make anyone think that babies fall apart if you look at them wrong. And while it’s true that babies are delicate, and susceptible to a lot of things, it’s also true that they’re stronger than they look, and that they can bounce back from a lot more than it seems like they can. They can’t bounce, though, so of course you should still be careful not to drop her - though she definitely has a good chance of being okay if you did.
More articles at this age
Different places to find mental health support
There are a lot of places to look when seeking mental health treatment, but which option might be right for you?
5 problems parents of multiples face, and their solutions
Every new parent faces a certain set of challenges, but parents of twins and higher order multiples might be all-too-familiar with the same set of issues.
11 signs to call the pediatrician
If you're like 99.7% of Americans, you aren't a doctor. But that's okay! Just because you aren't a doctor yourself doesn't mean you won't have the full support of one as you raise your baby. So what are some reasons to make that call?
Surviving public transit with a baby on board
Maybe you're a part of one-car household, a no-car household, or you're just headed to a destination where you just know parking is going to be a nightmare, but for many city- and suburb-dwelling parents, bringing your baby on public transportation isn't a question of 'if' but of 'when.'
How early is too early to start baby's education?
It's easy to brag to other parents about how smart your baby is. Every parent does it, and truthfully, babies are pretty darn smart! But how soon is too soon to start training that little noodle?
What's the difference between psychologist and psychiatrist?
Psychologists and psychiatrists both play major roles in the mental health system, but do you know who does what?