You walk around and watch other people with seemingly great families and the family of your dreams starts taking shape in your mind. What does it take to raise a family and be a great parent? It is definitely more than just taking a trip to the delivery room.
This one becomes evident immediately you hit the labor ward. You need strength to push and when that is done you need strength to carry your baby as they keep getting healthier (and heavier). Once they become toddlers you need strength to chase after them since they will have discovered their legs and the uncanny habit of disappearing when you take one eye off them.
Patience is very vital in this gig because babies will go ahead and cry at any time and in their first few months of life it is usually at night (no idea why!). They believe they are communicating but you can’t yet decipher their language so they get frustrated some more. There is no reasoning with a child until much later so most of the time you will have to be the bigger person (even though you already are!).
Most children follow a specific routine and it makes them feel safe and secure. You will have to begin that routine for them and when something doesn’t remain the same for just a day things can go haywire. A bath, feeding, a nap and even play time will usually occur at the same time every day and with time even the occurrence of a bowel movement.
It may take some time for you to get into it and you won’t always have it perfectly going your way but it should get easier with time.
A healthy meal
You may not find time to eat at all with all the responsibilities that come with parenting. One minute you are putting down the child for a nap and you begin tidying up and cleaning. Before you are done you answer a knock on the door and the baby wakes up again.
Eating properly will boost your milk supply, keep you strong and Lord knows you need the energy, improve your mood and keep you glowing. A healthy diet will also keep you alert and this comes in handy with your parenting, although motherhood in itself sparks off something in you.
A little you time
That is not a joke. Baby schedules may get crazy but you actually need some time to yourself. Take a walk for an hour or so, go shopping for yourself not the house or treat yourself to a great massage. This will remind you of who you are (not were) before the parenting gig. It will breathe some new life into you and remind you that you are indeed a new person, a better person.
It may sound a little contradictory but it is true. When you realize that parenting makes you a better human being all the feelings of helplessness and being stuck when you have to go through the same cycle again with your baby will be easier to deal with. It will give you more zeal and rejuvenation to be an even better parent.
A healthy support system
Times get tough in parenting. Sometimes your baby falls sick or is crying but you can’t figure out why. Having someone to hold your hand and give you their shoulder and an ear when you just want to talk about nothing specific but everything comes tumbling out will help you remain sane.
It could be your spouse, your mother or your best friend provided you are comfortable sharing your troubles and trying moments with them.
Humans and especially parents are gifted and blessed in many ways but they have their limitations as well. A wise parent knows that with their own strength parenting would be the mot difficult task but with God it becomes easier.
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