Parenting is an extremely hard job. Many people are not prepared for the amount of hard work as well as stress that you go through as parents. From the worries about getting them to sleep as babies, to concerns about them being parents and everything in between, it is natural to worry about your children and to work really hard to make sure they are as content as possible for as long as you possibly can. There are some things that you can do that will make the whole job of being a parent much easier.
Trust your instincts
Sometimes we just need to trust what we are thinking when it comes to our children. You need to remember that as their parent you know them better than anyone else and therefore you are the best one to know what their needs are. If you feel that they are seriously unwell, for example take them to a doctor rather than waiting to see what others think. You can try things, such as sleep techniques but you will tend to know what will and will not work because you know your child. If others are critical of what you are doing then ignore them as they do not know your child as well as you.
You may find that well-meaning people will make suggestions about things that you should be doing. They might suggest that as their child did not need a dummy then your child should not have one either. They will not realise that this is what is recommended for newborns and that there is no reason to believe that it will be a problem for them as they get older. You will know whether you think it is the right thing for your baby based on what you have been told about using them.
Do not feel guilty
There is so much guilt associated with parenting these days. Everything seems to be telling us how to be a perfect parent and it is impossible to stick to this, particularly as not everyone agrees on what perfect parenting looks like. We all make mistakes, whether that is in a major way or a minor way but as long as we are trying our best then we have no reason to feel guilty. We should be doing our job as a parent as well as we can and considering no one gets training to be a parent and they are just expected to know how to look after a child, then there should not really be high expectations. It is worth always keeping in mind that children are different and just because your neighbours child has graduated university at age 10, slept through the night from birth and eats any food that is put in front of them but remains a healthy weight does not mean that you are doing anything wrong with raising your child. Parents like to show off and they will only tell you the good bits about their children not about how they have tantrums every evening before bed, were not potty trained until they were five or swore in front of their granny!
Do not believe everything you read or hear
There is so much information out there and it is wise to remember that not all of it is proven to work. So if the latest technique for getting a child to sleep does not work on your child, do not despair but just assume that it is incorrect. It can be worth doing research but make sure that you are realistic and know that it does not all work and not all children are the same.
There will also be some things that it is not wise to try out on your child. For example if you read that all children should be taken certain supplements, for example, do check with your doctor or pharmacist first to ensure that it is safe for them to take them, if it is necessary and if so, which ones they should be taking.
Look after yourself
It is so important to make sure that you look after yourself, then you will be a much better parent. So make sure that you nourish your body with good quality food, get as much rest as you can, do some gentle exercise and take time to relax. Parents will naturally put their children first but by making sure that you look after yourself, you will be a better parent to them and therefore it is important for them that you are looked after.
Take help when it is offered and ask for it otherwise
When you first have your baby you may get offers of help from well-meaning friends and family. It is worth remembering that they are not trying to imply that you are not a good parent but they are genuinely hoping to help you. Do take them up on the offer. It may be that you need them to hug baby while you go and have a shower, clean the kitchen, sort some washing or get a nap. You might want help with the chores and some people might be willing to do that for you. It might just be that you want their company so you have a coffee together and a natter so that you can get some grown-up conversation.
If you feel that you need help and you are not getting any, then ask for it. If people have not had children then they may not realise how difficult it is. It may be that you are normally very independent so they will assume that you will want to be independent with the baby too, so you may have to explain to them that you would actually like a bit of help. If you have the money you may want to pay a cleaner to take away the burden of chores or have someone do your laundry or ironing. Even if you do not have the money to pay someone you might fid that a friend or relative will be happy to help you with those jobs.