There is not enough time in the day. That is a phrase I’m sure we all can relate to. I remember prior to being a dad how much space that phrase took up in my mind. Once my 3 kids came along, forget about it. That phrase took over indefinitely. You may notice it starting to take over your mind too. But it doesn’t have to. I discovered a few tips that will eventually help you abandon that phrase which keeps you feeling overwhelmed and unable to succeed. Check this out:
Stress is unavoidable as a parent. So my belief is instead of fighting it, prepare for it. How you may ask? Start with making a list. Lists are awesome to keep you organized. Even better making boxes to check off your list will give you that feeling of accomplishment. You can be as detailed as you need whether you make a list for the week, day or hour. Seeing your schedule on paper or your phone is the first step in taking control and avoiding stress.
Tag team with your partner when it comes to childcare duties like diapering. The first few days are going to be a blur so just except the fact that sleep will be limited and exhaustion will be unavoidable. But taking shifts will be something you and your partner will both appreciate. When our first was born my wife would breastfeed in bed and I would sleep until she finished. Stepping in to do the diaper change and eventually putting our son to sleep became my contribution as well as a bonding experience with our newborn even when it was at 3 am in the morning. Tag teaming will help to eliminate resentment toward each other and also keep you both as rested as you can be once your little one arrives.
Embrace flexibility. If you are a control freak this one is going to take effort. When your newborn arrives chances are you will not be able to run your household as efficiently as before. Last minute issues will come up like a sick baby, diaper explosions or a sudden feeding, keeping you delayed. There is nothing you can do about the fact that your newborn comes first. Take a deep breath, evaluate the situation and come up with a solution that both you and your partner can follow and give yourself a break for not showing up to events on time or having to cancel overall. This is new territory you are treading and it will take a while to figure out your new role as dad. Keep this in mind and go easy on yourself.
Find the time to take care of yourself even if it’s only 15 minutes a day. The key to this tip is to also find the time to give your partner a break too. Lack of sleep will surely keep you on edge. Taking the time to recharge with a catnap ,meditation, a quick workout or walk around the block listening to a podcast or book on tape is a great way to regroup and have some time for yourself. While we try to be superman while being a dad, we need to remember that we all need a break at some point. If you agree to follow only this one piece of advice you will surely be a better dad for it.
Have some tips of your own that work? Please share in the comments.