- Sleep when your baby sleeps. Everyone told me that, but did I listen? Nope. Ocassionally I took a nap, but not like my body, mind and spirit
wantedneeded me to! Looking back I definitely wish I would have slept more when B slept-- at least during the first 4-6 months. It's very true-- the cooking and cleaning can and will all wait! But, sleep-- it is neccessary to function even on the most basic of levels! So be sure to get your Zzz's when the baby does.
- Keep in mind and TRUST the fact that every single stage, both easy and challenging, is only for a season. Therefore, try your best not to get worked up about all the what-ifs and wondering if you're doing x y & z "correctly." It's amazing, and you'll realize even more so as your little one becomes a toddler and preschooler, how quickly the stages truly go-- sometimes in the matter of minutes, one can go from hot to cold, from fighting sleep to sweet dreams, from loving sweet potatoes to hating them with a vengence-- flinging them across the room with an accuracy and speed worthy of a Cy Young Award. This has been my mantra with both kids, especially during long nights breastfeeding- leaving my sleep deprieved, yet thankful for our special nighttime dates!
- Go out on dates with your spouse! If you do nothing else as a new parent, remember to keep your spouse-- the first love of your life--
attowards the top of your prioriety list! I honestly believe that a strong marriage is the foundation to your family and parenting success! And I know you desperately long to succeed as a parent! I'm here to tell you that it is SO easy to let special moments with your spouse get pushed aside by the needs of your child(ren), and rightfully so at times. Kids are a great responsibilty that often need/demand your time, energy and love immediately (i.e. breastfeeding, kissing boo-boos, and general childrearing duties), which is naturally a big part of this stage of your life. Maintaining a solid relationship with your spouse as your SPOUSE, not as Daddy, is extremely important.
So how can you maintain or strengthen your marriage, especially during the first few years as new parents? Make time for one another! This can happen at the end of the night once your little one is in bed by just cuddling on the couch watching your favorite flick; as a family date out for lunch or a scoop of frozen yogurt (especially during infancy when all they do is sleep); and every so often book a sitter or ask a grandparent to watch the kids while you and your love go out for dinner and a movie, go for a bike ride on your favorite path or simply go grocery shopping without kids(really THIS is a huge treat to me)! Whatever you do, make it special by focusing on one another.
I love parenting these cuties... even on the hard days that require dark chocolate and lots of prayers!