The discovery that you are going to be a parent is a life-changing one, and one that is responsible for a huge outpouring of joy and excitement. The 40+ weeks of pregnancy are essentially the biggest preparatory phase in your life, and the nerves and anticipation of being first time parents intermingle into a confusing, constant wave of emotion.
During this time, you’ll find yourself contemplating parenting and what it will be like to be a Mom or Dad. It’s at this point the uncertainty will arise, and you’re most likely to fall for one of the classic mistakes every first time parent makes.
You’ll believe you’ll never be that parent
Everyone has a different version of that parent; the kind of parent they think is parenting just plain badly. You’ll decide that you’ll never be the kind of parent who lets their child watch TV, eat sugar, or have a smartphone. You’ll tell your significant other that you’ll never be the kind of parent to let your child be a picky eater, talk back, or refuse to share a toy.
It’s easy to forget subjectivity when you’re contemplating parenthood. While you may hope to be the best parent that has ever parented, the reality may be different, and you’ll find yourself empathizing with the parents you were once tempted to judge. It’s also important not to set unrealistic goals for yourself as a parent.
Remember: You’re going into an experience you have never had before, so it’s worth being willing to ‘play it by ear’ where necessary.
Buying too many gadgets
Parenting in the modern world is assisted by gadgets. Given that there’s such a great choice of baby gadgets, it’s generally concluded that this is a positive thing. It can be a good thing; unless you go too far with it. Be careful when purchasing your baby gadgets because this is definitely a case where the more is not necessarily the merrier!
Most parents purchase gadgets they never use, so be circumspect. Talk to your parenting friends and ask which gadgets they actually found beneficial. This should help you to cut through the endless recommendations books and parenting blogs will make. Instead, you can select the gadgets that will genuinely benefit your parenting experience.
You’ll lose patience with the “just you wait” crowd
In some ways, this isn’t a mistake as such, but it is an unnecessary aggravation. The just you wait crowd will appear throughout your pregnancy. If you complain you’re tired, for example, they will (almost gleefully) crow “just you wait!”.
Many prospective parents just want to look forward to the journey that lies ahead and the “just you wait” crew can become incredibly infuriating. If possible, try not to let this kind of comment upset you. As annoying as the “just you wait” crowd are, the chances are it comes from a decent place. They want to feel included, to feel that they are taking notice of the pregnancy and impending parenthood. They may even feel they are helping by reminding you about the tough days that will inevitably be in your future. Most of all, it’s simply not worth the stress of feeling annoyed and upset by their thoughtless comments, so smile, nod, and change the subject— doing so is far better for your blood pressure than letting yourself be riled.
First Time Parents
By avoiding the mistakes above, you should be able to enjoy the months you will spend as a soon-to-be parent without the worst of the downsides. As a result, you’ll be able to make the most of a serene pregnancy that helps prepare you for the adventure to come.
Photo Credit: Daniel Reche, Photo by Laercio Cavalcanti on Unsplash, Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash