It’s the moment you’ve waited for, planned for, and dreamed of! The nurse hands you your freshly swaddled baby, a pack of diapers, and sends you on your way with, “You’re going to be great parents!” Reality sets in. You are parents and there is no owner's manual! Becoming a new parent can be overwhelming and scary, but also life-changing and incredible. How can you navigate this new journey of parenthood and feel equipped? These simple principles can make a huge difference in your life and the life of your baby.
Love Your Child Through Words and Touch.
Even though they can't understand your words, babies need to hear your voice and need you to respond to their needs. Connecting with your baby with your words and your touch is so important for your baby’s growth and development, as well as for you!
Be in Community with Friends, Family, and the Church.
Those first few weeks and months, your baby is vulnerable, so you may choose to limit visitors to help keep them safe and healthy. But you can still stay connected with others by text, phone calls, and attending church online. And when you and your baby are ready, being a part of a church community is a support like no other! As you connect with other parents you can learn from and encourage one another.
Prioritize Time for Yourself.
Parents can get so caught up in caring for their new baby, that they may forget to take care of themselves. But when we take care of ourselves, we can better serve our family. Have a cup of hot coffee, take a shower, watch a show, spend time with God. Fill your cup, so you can pour into your family with a joyful heart!
Ask for Help.
It’s so easy to try to do it all alone, but life was meant to be done with others! If someone offers a meal or offers to watch your older kids, take them up on it! If you are exhausted, ask a friend or family member to watch your baby so you can nap. We can be better parents when we lean on others for help when we need it most.
Pray for Wisdom and Direction.
God’s Word is the perfect parenting manual! And God wants to hear from you. Whether you are praising God for a healthy baby or navigating a difficult diagnosis, prayer is one of our best parenting tools. When we partner with God in prayer, He meets us right where we are and comforts us in ways only He can! The best thing you can do for your baby is seek God to give you wisdom and direction in raising and guiding your child through this life!
These simple things will make such a difference as you begin your parenting journey. You don’t have to just survive parenting, you can thrive!