Parenthood is an evolving role.
Adding parent to your current roles will change the expectations you and others have for yourself. Take some time to think about how being a parent will fit with your current work and family life. For example, some occupations require that a parent may have to work long periods of time away from the family, so that parenting role will look different from a parent who works close to home. Parenting roles will also look different when a baby’s parents are not together in a relationship. It can help to talk as a family about what you see as your role in parenting this baby.
Early days as a new parent
The early days of parenting can be exhausting and exhilarating. Here are a few tips from research and from other parents for making the best of your early days as a parent
- When your baby is born, or as soon as you’re able, spend time holding your baby. Frequent interactions with your new baby will help you get to know them.
- One way to do this is to be involved in the everyday care of your baby. It’s OK that you hold the baby differently or have a different diapering routine than other family members. Every interaction helps build your confidence as a parent.
- For parents who have not given birth, the baby may not feel real until they bring them home. Enjoy this event: plan to make it special for all of you.
- Spending time with your baby in play and taking an active role in introducing your baby to your friends and family will help others see you as the parent you are.
- Getting to know a baby is different for every new parent. Some will report that they have ‘love at first sight’ and others talk about taking time to fall in love with their children. There are many ways to have this loving parental feeling come. Spending time holding, playing with, and calming your newborn will help you make your baby part of your life.