Parenthood: it’s not for the faint of heart. When you think of child-rearing, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Dirty diapers? Tantrums? Messy rooms and days without a shower? While all of this does accompany parenthood at one time or another, anybody with children will tell you that the joy children bring greatly outweigh these minor inconveniences.
There are ways, though, to simplify the hectic days with your child(ren). Below are different methods and techniques you can try to hack parenthood!
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Being a parent means taking on the responsibility of another life entirely, along with your own. Life’s responsibilities don’t vanish after having a child; in fact, they multiple! Dishes still need to be done, errands run, and spouses/friends need time and attention, too. This may feel like a huge load to bear; take your time settling into your new routine and do what you can when you can. If baby is awake, spend time with her by talking or singing, or pop her into a sling and do chores with her snuggly strapped to your chest. This way, you can get things done while also giving your little one some quality time with you. If things don’t get done as quickly as they would have pre-baby, don’t sweat it! It takes time to adjust.
Having the necessary items to get you through your day will take a very heavy weight off your shoulders. Take inventory once a day (during baby’s naptime, while she’s with another caregiver, etc) to avoid running low or running out of essential supplies such as diapers, wipes, toilet paper, and other things that you use to get through the day. Re-up on diapers, burp cloths, and extra clothes in your diaper bag every time you return from an outing; getting in this habit will help avoid unneeded anxiety when you’re already running late and realize your diaper bag is empty.
Ask for help
Whether you have family, friends, or a neighbor willing to help out with baby, never be afraid to ask for help if you need it! Taking care of a new person with constant demands is exhausting and stressful for anyone. Having a support system can ease the burden and even a quick ten minute break can drastically improve your mood, helping you get through the day and be the best parent you can be for your tot.
Living in the moment can be difficult as a sleep deprived parent. Try to engage distraction free with your child multiple times a day by turning off the phone, the TV, and taking a moment away from household duties. Spending quiet one-on-one time with your baby is a great way to destress and bring you back to the here-and-now.
Expect and embrace mishaps
No matter what kind of parent you are, accidents, frustrating moments, and messes are sure to happen. Know and prepare ahead of time; do not deceive yourself into thinking that inconveniences will not happen to you. Later down the road, the worst disasters will turn in to the best stories to tell your children!