Adjusting to parenthood for the first time requires one very important key—balance. Yet, as with many life endeavors, it’s easier said than done.
After all, there’s so much to do every day…and every night, too. You give all you can to meet your baby’s needs. Often, this leaves your own needs forgotten or simply pushed aside.
It’s likely that friends and family encourage you to focus on taking care of yourself as well as your baby. But how is that even remotely possible when it’s a struggle simply to make it through the day?
When it comes down to it, you prioritize your baby’s needs first. It only makes sense as you want to ensure that your baby gets what they need.
Yet, you have needs too.
With that in mind, consider these ideas and also how parenting counseling could help you to achieve both of these priorities.
Defining Your Baby’s Needs
First, let’s consider what your baby really needs in the first place. Newborns, of course, need what they can’t provide for themselves—food, shelter, and clothing. Additionally, a baby also needs love, support, and intellectual stimulation.
They need to know that they’re safe and secure. This actually helps lay the groundwork for a lifetime of development.
For example, a child may cry because they’re hungry. When you feed your child and talk soothingly to them, they know that their needs will be met. On the other hand, if you ignore your child when they are hungry, they will learn a very different lesson.
So, your baby’s needs are really two-fold including both physical and mental aspects.
Defining Your Needs
When you think about it, your needs are not that much different than your baby’s. Meaning, you need the basics of food, shelter, and clothing as well. To take it a step further, however, intellectual stimulation, companionship, and exercise should also make the list.
It sounds simple enough but fulfilling your own needs when you’re a new parent can be a bit tricky.
For example, it’s common for many parents to isolate themselves—intentionally or unintentionally—after the arrival of a new baby. Their world shrinks to meeting the needs of their child. Maybe you know the feeling?
Yet, pushing aside your needs will only create issues later on down the road. So, the goal is to find the balance between trying to meet your baby’s needs and your own.
How to Find the Right Balance
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. Everyone has a different situation and requirement.
However, consider these thoughts:
- Plan ahead to save time and be efficient (packing the baby bag the night before or preparing food ahead of time).
- If you have a partner, communicate what you need from them
- Coordinate schedules
- Ask for help from your partner, relatives, friends, etc.
For example, let’s say that you have identified staying active as a priority in your life. Is it possible for your partner to watch the baby for an hour while you work out? Or, you are active with the community neighborhood association, and there’s a meeting tonight. Is there someone who can watch the baby while you attend the meeting?
Know that this is not a perfect process and that there can be “growing pains,” to say the least. However, with some patience and trial-and-error, finding a balance is possible.
Getting Support from Parenting Counseling
If you’re struggling to meet your baby’s needs and your own, consider reaching out for professional help.
Parenting counseling can be a great resource in times like these, especially working with a counselor who understands the unique problems of new parents.
Together you can learn how to strike the right balance between your child’s needs and your own. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to be perfect at everything!
Contact me today to get started or visit here to learn more about how I can help you.