If you just found out you’re pregnant, you may be both overwhelmed and overjoyed when thinking about the journey of parenthood. And that’s okay! It can be a lot to think about all that goes into parenting while also being incredibly excited for the joy new life will bring.
We asked seasoned parents what advice they’d give to young families. Here are 5 tips from moms and dads who have been there:
1. You won’t get everything right, and that’s ok.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself–you’re brand new at this, so expect that you’ll make some mistakes. In many ways, you and your new son or daughter are growing, learning, and developing together.
2. Listen to wisdom from men and women you trust.
Once you accept that you won’t get everything right, it’s time to find the people in your life you respect and trust. Talk to moms (of all ages) about their experiences and struggles. If you’re not sure who to reach out to, The Pregnancy Network’s Connect Program will connect you with women within a local church. This is a great first step to building relationships and a healthy support network as you begin your parenthood journey.
3. Don’t do things just because it’s popular or because you were raised that way.
Do your own research and make a fully-informed decision along with your partner based on what’s best for your family. Just because a certain life choice is “trending” doesn’t mean it’s what your family needs.
4. Your child is not a project or a reflection of your parenting skills.
Well-meaning friends or even strangers may ask questions about your child’s sleeping patterns, eating habits, disposition, or routines, and then proceed to offer advice if your answers don’t meet their expectations. Every child is unique–what works for one child will not work for another, and that’s ok! Your job is to love your child and teach him or her to become a kind, compassionate, and loving person.
5. Expect it to be tough – but also expect it to be wonderful.
Parenting will be one of the hardest things you ever do. It requires sacrifice, selflessness, and the kind of unconditional love that gives without expecting anything in return. There will be times you wonder if you’re doing it all wrong. You may feel frustrated, exasperated, lonely, or maybe even all three at the same time.
But parenthood will also be one of the most wonderful, rewarding, and joy-filled things you do. You’ll laugh until your sides hurt, talk in an unnaturally high and sugary sweet baby voice, celebrate every small milestone, and love more than you ever thought possible. The best things in life come as a result of hard work, and parenting is no different. Children truly are a blessing, and there is no greater privilege than walking alongside a child as he or she grows into the person he or she was created to be.
Parenthood is a journey.
No matter what this journey looks like for you, you don’t have to walk through it alone. We offer educational classes like Pregnancy 101 and Parenting 101 to equip you with all the need-to-know information. Our classes are facilitated by trained instructors and guest speakers who are experts in their fields. Women have shared that our classes are not only a great way to learn but a source of community in an isolating time. Call us at 336-274-4881 or contact us using the button below to sign up for the next class.