Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Key to Happy Parenting.....


IS TO SURRENDER TO IT!! 

Ok...we may not know the *key* to happy parenting but Makoto and I have definitely learned that we are much more relaxed since we have completely surrendered to our *new* life as parents!  It's really very odd....we still see our friends, eat the same food, visit the same places, etc but it's on a completely different time schedule.  For instance, we much prefer to have lunch get together with our friends now instead of dinner get togethers as Aria is in the bathtub by 7...7:30pm maximum in order to get ready for bed.  We are also up at 6-7am every morning now (it feels SO weird to actually be the first inside cafes in the morning..or sometimes even having to wait at their locked front doors hoping they will open soon!) so we get a lot of our errands done 1st thing in the morning instead of after work.  Instead of trying to force an ideal schedule with the baby, we've become very realistic about what can be done with having a bouncing baby in our lives.

One morning, we were up at 5am.....Aria was smiling and cooing away and Makoto and I were just staring at her with bleary eyes.  This is when we did our 1st morning "count" (note:  parents are obsessed with counting....how many poops did she have today?  how many oz of milk did she drink?  how many dirty diapers? etc)...."how much sleep do you think we got last night?'  The answer is always the same....."I lost count after the first 2 feedings".  We decided that we would no longer compare our new sleep schedule to our pre-baby sleep schedule because it was...well...just too depressing!  I can't even remember the last time I slept for more than 3hrs straight!  now Makoto and I high five each other if she "sleeps in" until 8am.  Instead of asking how many hours of sleep we got, we've decided to just ask each other if we feel well rested enough to get through the day.

That's the craziest part of parenting.....it's honestly the hardest thing we've ever done but we love doing it.  Some days are better than others...but no matter how hard things get, there are these sweet moments where I look at Aria and just know that everything will be okay.  Don't get me wrong....I'm that crazy anxious first time parent that will probably follow her to school every day....but somehow we'll manage to get through it......I can't believe it's already been 6 months!  Yay!

Here are some tips on what has helped us get through the first 6 months:

1.  Take the never ending free parenting advice that is *graciously* thrown your way with a grain of salt - you know your baby best and no two babies are alike!  (yes...i realize this tip is being followed by a list of more advice :P  Please take what you need from it :))

2.  Make sure to control your blood sugars with adequate protein intake and not overdoing the carbs....even if you're convinced that 10 chocolate chip cookies will miraculously turn you into superwoman....it never does :(  The last thing your baby needs is a freaky sleep deprived hypoglycemic parent :P

3.  Don't panic about sleep.  A lot of people told us to sleep when the baby sleeps...umm...sorry...I'm not a robot that can just fall asleep when told.  In fact, I found that when Aria has a nap, that's when we are the most energetic because I finally have some time to just relax.  Also, a lot of people find that if you do sleep when your baby naps, you wake up even more groggy when your baby wakes from their nap so it isn't even worth it.  If you can have a power nap, GREAT!  If not, just use this time to rest.....have a cup of tea, catch up on your favorite blogs or just watch some tv :) 

4.  Network with other parents.  I am SO grateful for our group of mommy/daddy friends.  We appreciate and love all of our friends but I know that when Aria is having a system meltdown and I have to stop in the middle of the park to breastfeed, my friends with kids won't even bat an eyelash and will instead offer to watch my stroller for me while I nurse.  It is SO helpful gabbing with other parents about the day to day stuff.  As a naturopath, I can be objective about introducing solids, how to treat a diaper rash, etc but no one taught me about the "in-between stuff"....there seriously should be a prep course on what to do with your baby between the diaper change-feeding-napping times.

5.  Hang in there!  It does get easier!  Remember....if you were thrown in to any job full force, there would be a learning curve so be patient with yourself!
 
:)
Aileen Lim-Trotter

2 comments:

  1. You both sound like incredible parents - Aria is so lucky to have you!

    Better to accept the challenges that face you rather than fight them, taking moments to bask in the chaotic craziness and smile through the tough times because I'm sure at the end of the day there's nothing better than to hold that baby girl (especially when she's sleeping)!

    And PS I am in LOVE with her name, as beautiful as she is, I'm sure.

    xx alima

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