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Small victories for first-time parents

first-time parentsfirst-time parents
first-time parentsfirst-time parents

 

Small victories for first-time parents

As first-time parents, it’s hard to know what exactly to expect. Yes, you may have read the books and have friends with kids as well, but it’s never really the same experience. But there are moments in parenting when something happens, you look at your partner and give each other an epic high five.

And it’s those small victories that make you rethink that you’re completely ruining your child’s life or being the worst parents ever.

 

Buying the right car

First step: buying the right family car. Unfortunately, your sportscar or two-door vehicle will no longer be appropriate. And as hard as it is, you need to look for a new car (preferably find a cheap car for sale because babies come with a whole lot of expenses). You need something that is spacious, sturdy, comes with preventative safety features and will, hopefully, keep running for a long time.

You should also be thinking of the future and whether there will soon be another baby in the mix or when you will one day be in charge of helping transport your child and their school friends for a field trip. Family cars are long-term investments and once you’ve made that step, you have a reason to celebrate.

And along with the new car, there should be a car chair. And that is an absolute must if you’re ever planning on taking your baby home from the hospital.

 

Not dropping the baby

Let’s be honest, somewhere along the timeline of your life, you’ve dropped a child – by accident, of course. A sibling, cousin or your own child may have slipped out of your hands or wiggled their way free of your grip, but hopefully it’s never too serious. And, in any case, most children are (somehow) indestructible.

But those “almost” moments. Those split-second reactions that shoot your arm out and grab the child just before they drop, are victorious moments.

 

Meal prep

Another small victory is being able to meal prep between the feeding, changing, bathing and putting-to-sleep daily routine. When you can sort out frozen, mushed-but-nutritious food for the upcoming week, you can consider yourselves as organised parents. Whether you will be able to keep it up, though, is another question.

 

Getting the child to sleep

This may be a battle every night or you’re just one of those lucky parents who has a child who loves being left alone to fall asleep and keeps sleeping throughout the night. But for the rest of us, bedtime is the worst part of the day.

However, if you manage to get your screaming child to sleep, your victory is rewarded with sleep for yourself – and as a first-time parent, those few hours are incredibly precious.

 

Bath time

There are two types of babies in this world. Babies who love bath time and never want to get out and babies who hate bath time and don’t even want their little toes to get wet. Either way, you’re left with one type of parent: one who struggles.

At some point, your child will be screaming blue murder, but if you can still manage to clean them, wash their hair and get a snapshot-photo of them in their teddy-bear, hooded towel before they yank it off – you've done well.

 

Dealing with your first accident

As much as we try to prevent it, accidents and injuries do and will happen. The victory lies in how you deal with it. Are you calm? Or do you panic and stress yourself, your partner and your child out even more?

If you aren’t sure how to deal with an injury, go to the hospital and let them sort it out. But it’s important for you to be there to reassure your child, even if they don’t exactly understand what you’re saying or what’s going on. You’ll be proud of yourself at the end of it all and be better off for the next incident. Parenting as a whole is a learning and growing experience and, eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.

 

Data capturing

One of the better long-term victories of parenting is when you manage to capture the “first” moments. The first word, first crawl, first step, first tooth and first birthday, for example. These are all moments you want to remember forever.

But you need to know when relying on your memory will be enough or whether it’s worth sacrificing a few moments of the present to get your camera out. As long as you’re there for those special times, you know you’ve done a good job.

 

“Losing” the dummy

One of the greatest small victories that you’ll only realise is a victory in a few year’s time, is that of successfully “losing” the dummy. It can be a painful process (for you, not the child) to try and wean them off their dependence on the pacifier. But one day it will happen, that you purposefully misplace the dummy and your child will actually not think twice about it… or they will very quickly realise and you will be very quick to hand it back over to them.

 

first-time parents