~ Wani, mother of Daniel and Danish.
I am guilty of comparing my child to others…everyday! Call it Kiasu-ism; it is an auto-switch which I can’t find a way to off it!
~Priscilla, mother of baby Avery.
I would tell my wife that she shouldn’t be too careful with our daughter, to let her explore and a little fall won’t hurt. But, I don’t practice what I preach and tend to be the over-protective daddy compared to my wife.
~ Semiu, father of baby Damilola.
I put a lot of stress on my husband because I wasn’t expecting the amount of work to be done with a newborn. I also neglected my marriage for months without realising.
~ Pudentina, mother of baby Zoe.
Original article from Skoolopedia. Republished with permission.
Your new bundle of joy’s about to arrive and you couldn’t be more excited (or eager to end the pregnancy). You’ve read the parenting books and attended the classes, but before you get started on your own hands-on attempt at managing a whole new human life, take note of these 4 common pitfalls of rookie parenthood.
1. Listening to Dr. Google
We’ve all been down that path – you wake up with a slight itch in the throat or a funny rash and google your symptoms to save yourself that trip to the doctor’s. Suddenly you find that you’re at risk of leukemia, you may have developed bone cancer, and that maybe the ache in your neck isn’t just from sleeping funny anymore.
With a new baby, Dr. Google amps his game up to a whole other level – don’t be surprised if he tells you that everything you’re doing from the way you’re burping the baby to how you’re rocking him to sleep is a matter of life and death, and that somehow or other you are just doing it all wrong.
So resist the temptation to consult Dr. Google whenever you have a question (he’s a lot more trouble than he’s worth) and get your advice instead from a trusted medical professional instead. Keep your paediatrician / lactation nurse / confinement lady / gynaecologist’s numbers handy, but don’t bug them all day long – which brings us to our next point.
Whilst being in charge of such a tiny, fragile, vulnerable human being is no doubt very scary, stressing about all the things that can – or could have – gone wrong doesn’t help anybody. Though there are indeed many health ailments that could be dangerous or fatal to a baby, most of the time that sneezing you’re hearing is just your baby clearing his nose out, not a respiratory tract infection.
If you’re always stressed, anxious or worried, you’re also sending out negative vibes to your baby. Though they don’t look like they’re coherent or know what’s going on at all, even newborn infants have the uncanny ability to pick up on emotional cues from the adults around them. More worryingly, babies of chronically stressed mothers have also been known to exhibit signs of stress after prolonged exposure.
3. Comparing your baby
Today at Mommy and Me class, the baby next to yours rolled over for the first time. Amidst that lucky mommy’s delight was the sudden tang of competitive energy from all the other mommies in the room, who all started wondering simultaneously why their baby hasn’t rolled over yet and what that means for their kid’s future.
Though Singaporeans may have ‘kiasu’ wired into their DNA, try to resist it because comparing your baby with another is really an exercise in futility. Babies will reach their developmental milestones at their own time and pace, and the speed at which they do so is not reflective of their innate intelligence – so stop speculating if your tiny infant will still make it to the Gifted Program after he didn’t sit up first!
4. Neglecting the marriage
This one’s a toughie – after a long, unimaginably hard day of dealing with a screaming baby, diaper-changing, breastfeeding and cleaning up of unmentionable bodily fluids, how do you still have the time or energy to take care of your other baby in the evening? The one that comes home after a civilised day at work needing dinner and attention when you’re all but dead on your feet?
Many an exhausted mom has lashed out at their partners in an effort to unleash a lethal accumulation of sleep deprivation, stress and worry, of which the poor spouse cannot understand. Even for those who don’t start World War 3 at home, a full day of mommying leaves them so emptied out they want nothing more than peace, quiet and sleep.
However, this is one avenue that requires nurture and care almost as much as your new bundle of joy. History has shown that the unexpected pressure of the first baby is often enough to sink what was otherwise a good, stable marriage, so make the effort to keep your partnership afloat in this difficult time! Simple things like leaving Junior with his grandparents for a date night every week, sending loving text messages through the day, or taking a continued interest in your spouse’s life could work wonders in keeping your marriage alive so your baby will eventually grow up in a secure, loving home.