When you were excitedly awaiting your baby’s arrival, you probably had the most beautiful fantasies of what parenthood would look like: Time spent rocking your baby; singing lullabies; bonding at feedings and making sweet memories at bath time.
Parenthood is all those moments, and so many more. So many in fact, it can sometimes seem like you’re rushing from one task to the next. Having a baby is one of the most special times in a parent’s life. Be sure to take a moment and cherish the time with your little one.
Quiet the chatter in your head
You may not have anticipated the responsibility, anxiety, and guilt that comes along with parenthood. Is he eating enough? Is she sleeping too long? Am I going to spoil him if I hold him too much? And while it’s obviously important to make sure that you’re meeting your baby’s physical needs, it’s also important to relax and enjoy your time together. But how can you relax when there’s so much to do and so much at stake?
Fortunately, it’s much simpler than it seems. Start by taking a deep, slow breath and silently reciting this powerful phrase: “be here now.” You might be amazed by how much your focus changes within just a few seconds. Now that you’ve slowed your mind down, consider the rest of these tips to help you enjoy the moments with your little one.
Accept your new reality
The first, and probably most powerful, thing you can do is adjust your mindset. A baby takes up a great deal of time and energy; there’s no denying that. Just compare how long it used to take you to walk out the door to go to the grocery store before the baby and how long it takes now. It’s not your imagination — there’s more to do and less time to do it. Accepting that fact as your new reality will help you plan much more effectively. You’ve already begun to adapt, now work on doing it with an open mind.
Let go of the quest for perfection
Logically, we all know that “perfection” is not achievable. But that doesn’t stop us from strapping on our superhero capes and trying to achieve it anyway. How much stress could you avoid, and how much time could you get back if you gave up trying to make things perfect? Maybe you can’t make your own baby food, teach your child a second language, and knit a perfect set of booties, but does that really mean you’re not a great parent? Of course not. It means you’re human. But you know what’s great? Even on your worst days, your baby sees you as perfect.
See ordinary moments as special
Sometimes, the most seemingly mundane moments wind up being memories we cherish. It’s all about connection. Whatever you’re doing with your baby — feeding her, giving him a bath, or even changing a diaper — can be a bonding moment. Look into your little one’s eyes. Smile. Say ‘I love you.’ Gently rub his cheek. Make funny faces until you’re both belly-laughing. That’s all it takes to create a moment.