Babies are awesome. Parents are awesome. But parenthood? New parenthood is seriously hard work. And some days are far more challenging than others. New parents, you’ll want to bookmark this post for the hard days, the bad days, and the days you just want to pull your hair out and start all over. Because I’m here to tell you: they’re not all bad days and you can get through today!
Now let’s huddle up for a pep talk, New Mamas and Papas.
Maybe baby is teething. Maybe baby has colic. Or maybe, baby’s just having a bad day. After all, babies are people too — and sometimes they have bad days just like we do.
Here are the ABCs of surviving baby’s bad day.
ACCEPT THE DAY FOR WHAT IT IS.
Sometimes bad days just happen with baby. They could be going through a growth spurt. Maybe they picked up a bug at daycare. Remember that everything is new to baby and, as much as we wish we had an interpreter, the only way baby can communicate with us is through crying sometimes. Babies’ brains and bodies grow at tremendous rates that, were we to accelerate and grow at that rate as an adult, we too would be completely overwhelmed by even the most innocuous activities and experiences.
Baby isn’t being cranky to be spiteful; if anything, she’s saying, “Help! Help me figure out this crazy world!” Accept that today might just be one of those bad days and that it’s going to be okay.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
It can be extremely frustrating and exhausting to take care of an inconsolable baby. But you can’t neglect taking care of yourself, too, otherwise you won’t be able to take care of baby! It’s so important to have some backup and support where you can. Whether you can call up or text a fellow new parent who understands just to vent, or even call a friend or family member to come over and watch baby for a couple of hours so you can get out of the house, it’s important to take care of yourself.
I can’t say this enough: taking the time to take care of yourself does not make you a bad parent. If anything, it will only help you parent better in the long run.
Repeat after me: tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is another day. (Scarlett O’Hara was indeed right about that.) Every day is brand-new for baby… and you too! Just remember that when the long days and sleepless nights of new parenthood seem too hard, you always have a chance to get up the next morning and try it all over again.
And every new day brings baby closer to each awesome milestone: smiles, rolling over, sitting up… pretty soon, baby will be walking and talking before you know it! You may not miss the bad days, but trust me, you’ll wax nostalgic for the days when baby was little and tiny, before he or she started growing up so fast.
New Mamas and Papas: you’ve got this. Take a deep breath. Accept the day for what it is. Be kind to yourself. Now carry on — tomorrow is another day!