There’s no shortage of information on the internet showing us “how to” do this and “steps to” do that. It’s no different with parenting advice. So, if you’re first time parents, this type of “how to be a parent” messaging can be more overwhelming than helpful.
We encourage you to balance the information you allow into your minds and hearts. Information overload is a real thing, and we all need to protect our sanity.
Four Things We Wish We Knew as First Time Parents
Don’t worry. We aren’t coming to you today with detailed tutorials, guides, or new information for you to consume. On the contrary, we hope that what we have to offer gives you peace of mind if you are journeying into the “first time parents” club.
So, we’re sharing four bits of “advice” we wish we knew as new parents.
Trust your intuition.
We wish we knew that we could trust our God-given instincts and intuition. Even as a first time parent, you know your child better than anyone else. When you read a piece of information from a blog, or even a credible parenting book, you have the choice to receive and apply that information or ignore it.
We love good information and have read many parenting books on just about every stage of parenting. And although there are helpful tips, they are usually generalized and not specific to your individual kids or situations.
But what if our gut or intuition is still “unsure”? We get it. Maternal and paternal instincts are there for a reason, but there are times that we’ll continue to second guess ourselves … and that’s okay. Here are some things you can do instead:
- Talk to your spouse about it, and make sure you are on the same page.
- Chat with your parents (or friends you trust) who are one step ahead of you, or even alongside you, in the parenting journey.
- If faith is an important part of your life, PRAY for discernment and wisdom.
Mistakes are part of the parenting journey.
Another important reminder is that no matter how much research you do, you will make mistakes. Not only that, but sometimes parenting doesn’t always turn out the way you imagined it. Maybe your birth plan gets thrown off the rails or sleep training becomes a nightmare situation. Maybe you’re not sure you responded in an appropriate way when your child was having a tantrum in public (or even at home).
If we were to go back and start over, we would tell ourselves that it’s all okay. Mistakes will happen, and just as with anything in life, failures are just another opportunity for us to grow as a person.
Parenting doesn’t have to be complicated.
Because of the influx of information you’ve likely been hearing, reading, or watching, it’s natural to believe that parenting is complicated. We want to ease your mind and gently reassure you that, although it CAN be complicated, it doesn’t HAVE to be.
If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed with parenting decisions, take a step back and remember that parenting is all about caring for the heart and soul of your kiddo. It’s not to make perfectly obedient kids or to stop your kids from having big feelings. It’s about them knowing how much they are loved.
Sometimes remembering that helps you to make decisions in the moment that don’t feel so complicated.
There’s no “right way” to parent.
Much of life is lived in the gray, and we feel the same way about parenting. It’s rarely black and white. But unfortunately, there’s a lot of noise, usually on social media, that borders on shaming when it comes to the ways of parenting.
As first time parents, this can be terrifying. Please find comfort in realizing that there is no “right way” to parent ALL THE TIME.
This is why one of our favorite parenting books is “Parenting,” by Paul Tripp. Rather than focusing on manufacturing behavior change in kids, it focuses on principles that urge parents to consider why they do the things they do when it comes to parenting. It puts emphasis on heart issues and encourages parents to ask the question, “how do we want to launch our kids into the world?”
We refrained from sharing a lot of resources in this blog because we didn’t want to add to the noise. But this one is worth giving a shouting out.
First time parents? Give yourself grace.
The message we’re trying to send to you is that you’ll do, or are doing, just fine. Trust your intuition, seek advice from real people rather than people on the internet, and have grace for the mistakes and uncertainties that inevitably come with parenting.
We realize that parenting is hard regardless of how we prepare for it. And as you grow as a family, new challenges will arise. One of our last bonus tips is prioritizing quality time. Our blog on, “Five Lasting Benefits of Family Mealtimes,” will help!