There are so many challenges that come with being a new parent. It can be difficult to navigate the waters of being a new parent alone. 17 moms have come together to share the most challenging thing they faced as a new parent, and how to overcome it.
If you are a new parent or a soon to be parent, you can learn from the advice of these 17 moms, so you don’t have to face the same challenges.
Let’s jump right into it!
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1. Unrealistic Expectations of Shear Joy and Bliss
Colleen Lubin at Not Quite Knocked Up shares that, “in actuality parenting can be more like a tornado of joy mixed with exhaustion, confusion, chores, visitors and questioning everything! I expected to be tired but I wasn’t ready for the fog of “what the eff am I doing” that I lived in for 12 weeks+.
Overcoming it was allowing myself to feel those feelings instead of feeling guilty for having them, and realizing it all looks so different for everyone.”
2. It’s Easy To Get Bogged Down By Little Things That Are Temporary
Amanda Southall Krieger at The Kriegers is a mom of four, and explains that, “it’s easy to get bogged down by little things that are temporary — the messes, the laundry, how impossible it is to get out of the house — instead of focusing on foundational things.
Sure, we’re tired and our house is never clean, but my kids are healthy and growing, my marriage is strong, and our family is stable.”
3. Try Not To Obsess Over Sleep and Watch The Clock All Night
Cindy Hemming at Living For The Sunshine shares that, “yes, there will be nights when you get little to no sleep, but you will survive.
Obsessively counting the hours of sleep you get each night will only make you feel worse.”
4. Get Help!
Annie Moore at Awaken and Begin advises to get help even when you are on maternity leave. “If you can find someone trustworthy to take your baby for an uninterrupted stretch of 2-3 hours even once a week, that can make all the difference.
I didn’t really feel justified in doing this while I was on maternity leave, but looking back I feel that it would have really helped. I started getting more help once I went back to work and just having a few hours to clear your mind and get other things done can improve your perspective.
If you don’t live near family, home-schooled high school students who have experience with younger siblings are perfect for this! You don’t even have to leave the house. But a few hours alone in your room will work wonders.”
5. Take Some Time For Yourself
Nicole Salama Tenenbaum at The Professional Mom Project shares, “I remember feeling like I had to do everything all the time and that strategy was completely counterproductive.
Let your family and friends help out a bit. It will make a huge difference.”
6. New Baby Priorities Come First and They Are A Constant Marathon
Emilia Lewis at Pursue Today shares that, “you and your partner must truly become a team to juggle these new parenting demands.
New parents need to learn to always think about how your choices and actions now affect the other parent. For example, wanting to stay up late one night means you can’t wake early to let mom sleep in.”
7. You’re Going To Be Tired
Lauren Kidd at At Home Entrepreneur shares, “’Sleep when the baby sleeps’, haaahaaa. Sure that sounds great in theory but if you ever want to shower, eat, wash clothes, have a moment for sanity those all occur while the baby sleeps.
You’re going to be tired, but it will ALL be worth every moment because the time goes by so quickly. Cherish it even though you have tired eyes.”
8. Schedule Yourself Some Self-Care Time
Taylor Nicole Lee at Accomplished Family says, “schedule yourself some self-care time. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a walk everyday, or a simple uninterrupted shower where dad or someone can watch the babies.
You NEED that time to yourself to recharge. Take the time, as much as possible. You’re going to need it, and know it’s going to get easier.”
9. Initial Isolation
Brooke DiFormato at Sassy Smart and Simple explains that, “one of the most challenging things my spouse and I encountered as new parents was the initial isolation we faced.
With our first child we didn’t want to risk illness and I didn’t feel like leaving the house really ever for at least 3 months. While some of it was self imposed, we felt socially isolated and it took us a little while to realize that our lives as parents were going to be very different than our lives with children.
We love our lives now with our kids but we weren’t prepared for that initial isolation of a newborn (and new mom). We got through it and now on our second, we have far less boundaries to worry about.”
10. Setting Boundaries
Tiffany Sears at Sears in the South shares that, “my biggest challenge as a first time mom was setting boundaries when it came to others visiting/wanting to hold my little one.
I felt obligated to let everyone hold him and visit whenever they wanted despite my hesitation and exhaustion. I didn’t learn how to overcome it until my third child. Now with my fourth it has been a breeze.
Overcoming it is purely an awareness that it’s an issue and knowing it’s okay to tell others no it doesn’t suit to visit.”
11. Being Patient With Yourself and With Your Partner
Lauren Stepek at A Whole New World explains that, “realizing that you are both new to this parenting thing and it is not easy!
Stay united, communicate and appreciate each other! It is so important.”
12. Quit Trying To Be Perfect
Chandelle Huerta at Pure Family Essentials explains that, “everything you thought you knew about being a parent…throw it out the window.
Love your baby and do the best that you can with what you have.”
13. Being Over Paranoid About Your Kid Getting Hurt.
Xochil Silva explains that, “I finally over came this after I read the book Duct Tape Parenting and It’s okay to Go up the Slide.
After seeing how my mom fears everything it really caused a disability of just pure fear of failing. I saw how she kept saying things like “be careful..you’ll get hurt, you’ll get swept up, you’ll slip, your pop your head. It would make me angry because I notice my kid wouldn’t learn situational awareness, she would learn fear.
Since then I don’t say a word..if I notice a possible danger. I make sure to describe the surroundings instead, like those rocks look a bit wobbly and slippery, maybe we should take moms hand so you have more stability.”
14. Birthing The Mother Within You
Elizabeth Stone At Mama & Co. explains that, “from one minute to the next, your life is changed forever. Becoming a mother is a natural process, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy!
Learning to take care of yourself, balance your work, relationship, and home duties on TOP of a tiny human that needs endless attention has got to be one of the HARDEST transitions humans ever make.
The best way to overcome it is by prioritizing yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. And it takes time- be patient with yourself!”
15. Navigating What “They Say”
Laura Jones Jumrukovski at They Say Parenting has an entire blog and parenting book about this topic!
“Challenges arise and I would head to the internet and search only to find conflicting information. This left me with anxiety.In the end and after my three kids, I learned it best to go with my gut, to use that mommy intuition! After all we know our babies best!
One particular example was breastfeeding. I had an impression that supplementing was bad, which couldn’t be further from the truth. In the end we needed to supplement to make sure our baby was getting enough and it was the best thing we ever did for her.”
16. New Mom Surprises
Laura Dingman Jafarkhani has an entire post about challenges that new parents face during the first night home with a new baby.
Check it out at LaLa To Mama.
17. Learning To Breastfeed
Alison Wilkin at Moving Mountains With Motherhood (yup, that’s me!). The biggest challenges I faced as a new parent was learning how to breastfeed. I had the assumption that it was going to be easy.
This couldn’t have been further from the truth. Fortunately, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class at Milkology had all of the answers that I needed.
Being a new parent is the biggest challenge any person can face. Luckily, there are plenty of moms that have already gone through the challenges.
Learn from other moms, so you do not have face these challenges alone and clueless.