Top 10 Complaints Of New Parents (And How To Solve Them!)
BY JENN COX
May 18, 2017
You don’t know the struggles of a being a new parent until you actually go through it. There’s sleep deprivation and more household chores than can be kept up with, and if you have older children at home, these challenges are compounded. Us parents, who went through the “new” stage, hear you, and you’re not alone. Here are the top 10 complaints of new parents and how to solve them.
I can’t sleep when my baby sleeps.
Everyone says it: “Just sleep when the baby sleeps.” As if that’s an easy feat. A sleeping baby means a window of “free” (read: non-baby) time, and it’s usually the time that a new parent tries to sneak in a snack, a shower or a load of laundry. It can be really difficult to use up valuable time napping.
So here’s what you do: newborns can nap as many as 3-4 times a day, so tell yourself you’ll use 1-2 baby naps to get things done and at least 1-2 baby naps to rest yourself. Then you can put head to pillow, even for a few minutes, without feeling guilty about the six loads of accumulating laundry.
It’s too much laundry!
Which brings us to the next complaint: yep, babies make for a lot of laundry. Whether it’s their own clothes, your clothes or the umpteen rags and burpees, laundry seems to reproduce independently during baby’s first months.
Forget trying to tackle a mountain of laundry and just try and maintain. Throw in a load or two every day so you can stay on top of the mess. And split laundry duties between the spouses and even siblings — no one person in the household should be solely responsible.
I’m over the unsolicited advice.
This just may be the biggest annoyance of having a new baby — everybody suddenly has the insatiable urge to spew forth every piece of parenting advice they’ve ever heard. Whether it’s from days of yore, some overhyped book or those who don’t even have kids, you’ll get advice from visitors, in line at the grocery store and from just about every parent you see in between.
Ignore it. That’s the only way to solve this one. Because the advice will keep coming, and you have to learn to just do you. Go with your gut, because you’re the mommy or the daddy, and put the unsolicited advice in the diaper pail.
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You know, I have more than one child…
Oftentimes, when people come over to a visit a new baby and there are older children in the home, they’ll overlook them and just fawn over the newborn. While it’s not always fair to the siblings, it’s a common mistake that visitors may not even realize they’re making.
Bring your older kids into the conversation. Invite them to hold their brother and sister, or tell your guest about an accomplishment of the older child. Get them involved in the visit so they don’t feel left out.
I am never, ever alone. Ever.
It can be nearly impossible to get any sort of alone time when there’s a new baby. Personal spaces are invaded with baby accessories, and things like showers or meals are rushed and interrupted. Constantly.
But everyone needs their alone time. Not for hours upon hours, but moms and dads each need some solo time to unwind. So make an agreement with your spouse on a half hour or an hour where you can switch off. Sometimes both parents are so involved in the baby that they don’t realize: you both don’t need to be there all day, every day.
And when your friends or family members come for a visit, ask if you can slip away to take that uninterrupted shower. Everyone loves to hold and snuggle a newborn baby.
Which brings us to our next complaint…
“Helping” is not cuddling my sleeping baby.
A friend calls to say they want to come over to help. And when they arrive, they scoop up your sleeping baby, plant it on the couch, and don’t move for an hour. To be brutally honest, it isn’t a help to hold your baby, especially if they're sleeping — and if your friend is offering to help, then take them up on it! “You know, I could really use some milk and bread,” or “Would you mind stopping at the pharmacy to grab me a pack of diapers?” A true friend won’t bat an eyelash at the request.
I feel like everything that I’m doing is wrong.
You are not alone! Every new parent occasionally doubts their skills. Having a new baby is super overwhelming — you’re raising a teeny tiny human! Just take a deep breath and keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re doing your best (and you are), you’re doing everything you can for that baby. And that makes you a supermom or superdad!
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My house is a mess!
Dishes pile up, laundry stays folded in a basket for days and your windows are streaked. Housework definitely takes a backseat to other baby-related priorities. But for those who like having a tidier house, here’s what you’ve got to do: pick your battles. Everything isn’t going to get done in an afternoon. Do a little bit every day (like the laundry) and try and be content with basic neatness.
You can also do things to “mask” the mess: buy baskets and bins and shove things in those. Whether it’s supplies for a diaper changing station in the living room or dishes on the counter, buy containers that will help group together the individual messes. It will help with your sanity.
Sitting down to an uninterrupted meal may be a pipe dream, but it’s imperative that new parents eat well and stay hydrated. The last thing you need is to get sick. You’re already getting less sleep and are likely experiencing a bit more stress than usual, so making sure you eat throughout the day is important. Finding the time to eat, well, that’s another battle.
Stock up on things that are healthful and easy to eat on-the-go. Keep things on hand like apples and bananas, containers of nuts and seeds, muffins and granola, raw individual veggies (like carrots and Lebanese cucumbers), boiled eggs, hummus and more. Even though they may be a tad pricier, get some ready-prepared foods at the grocery store, too. And always have your water bottle in hand.
I’ve completely lost touch with reality.
When friends come by gossiping about the latest Hollywood buzz, or the newest series they’re marathoning on Netflix, you can feel sort of out of the loop. Those first few weeks (and even months) of baby-dom can be a blur of feedings, diaper changes and mixed up sleeping routines, and reality becomes a tad foggy. Never fear: the way to solve this one is to not care. It really doesn’t matter who Kanye West is feuding with or what Piper is up to on Orange Is The New Black — it’s about being a mom or dad and focusing on your little ones. There will be lots of time down the road to binge watch television. But you only get a short time with your baby.
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