As a new parent with a new baby, it’s likely you’re trying to consider every single angle of how to keep them safe and raise them well. That’s good. You won’t hear us complain about that, as your child is lucky to have you if this is your priority. Unfortunately, not all children are afforded the same basic necessity.
However, sometimes our overriding love for our child, which will never diminish, can put us on the backfoot. This is because it’s so easy for new parents to be so worried about this new undertaking (and who could blame them, raising a brand new human being isn’t exactly a minor task), that they tend to overthink much of it. Think of the calm ease in which an experienced mother in the hospital wing after the birth of her fourth child will regard a new mother with a sense of love and support – they know what’s it like to be at that stage.
In this post, we’ll take on the tone of that mother in the ward, and discuss why overthinking things as a new parent can be difficult:
It Stops You From Observing
Sometimes, being observant is more important than having every answer and knowing what to do in absolutely every situation. This way, you can focus on and react to the health of your baby in front of you, paying attention to them, rather than feeling you have to fit a perfect format for how every minute of the day could go. It’s the difference between learning the signs between if you children need to be burped or fed based on how they’re crying and breathing, compared to going through an entire routine to tick every potential solution off the list.
This doesn’t mean you need to avoid preparation of any kind, quite the contrary, but sometimes, an observant mother who knows how to attend to their child can be much better for them than a mother who has read every single parenting manual and textbook and thus can’t trust themselves to be present.
Consistency Beats Complexity
Being consistent with your care is important. For instance, making sure your child is able to get the medical care they need when you notice something wrong is much more important than identifying exactly what the problem is yourself, because you don’t need to be totally well versed in every baby-related medical issue to identify they need professional care.
Provided you’re consistent with taking care of your child, and you get lots of the most basic things right, you’re much more likely to ensure their continued wellbeing than considering parenting as one mammoth task you need to perfect or else. Keep them well fed with the appropriate means or formula, keep them clean and washed carefully, attend to them at night, keep them safe (such as preventing cats from finding their way into your baby’s room), and make sure they feel comfortable. Be careful with who you allow around them, and make sure to enlist help from families or friends if you need it. Do that consistently, and you will have performed a great job.
Don’t Doubt Your Skills As A Parent
It’s very common for parents to never give themselves the credit they are due. But you’re due it. This can be achieved by telling yourself you’re not necessarily there to be criticized in every way. Constructive criticism, perhaps, from your own parent, can help you with the necessary advice. But if you accidentally scare your child by snorting when laughing at something funny on the TV, or you need to have a parent look after them for an evening while you take a little time out with a friend – that doesn’t make you a bad parent. So mind your self-talk, and again, focus on the little things that count.
If you need help, you can focus on online advice and the advice of caregivers surrounding you. For instance, these characteristics of effective learning can help your child grow more readily in their early years, while motherhood blogs and forums can be helpful if you have any questions to ask.
Self-Care Is Important
Our last point is simple, but essential. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. This might mean catching up on sleep when you can, keeping your diet nutritious, and even exercising and stretching when you can afford to. If you’re not cared for, you can’t care for your child as well as you’d hope.
With this advice, we hope you can avoid overthinking as a parent.