How to Emotionally Prepare for Parenthood
At a glance
Keep it real. The perfect parent doesn’t exist
Divvy up chores, so you’re ready once the little one arrives
Build up a good support network
Try pregnancy classes and new parent groups, great way to meet new parents and parents-to-be, even if it is only over zoom for now
Amazing news! You’re expecting your first baby, and there are going to be lots of exciting times ahead. But what can you do to emotionally prepare for parenthood? Check out our top five tips before baby arrives, and you’ll be as ready as you can be for life with a newborn when you become a mum (or dad!)
1. Don’t have unrealistic parental expectations
Repeat after us…. “there’s no such thing as the perfect parent.” It might be difficult to believe when you see all those insta-mums apparently living their best lives, but it’s true. Mum (and dad) mistakes will happen; it’s no big deal, so don’t be too hard on yourself. You may have a high-need baby, or you may have an easy baby. You might find breastfeeding comes easily to you, or it might take a bit of perseverance and getting used to. Until your baby arrives, you won’t know what they will be like or how their feeding/sleeping patterns will pan out. Sometimes it’s fun to embrace the unknown, so try not to worry or feel overwhelmed.
2. Get ready to slow down
Take it from us you’ll be doing everything at a much slower speed! Whether that’s recovering from giving birth or even just getting out the door for a breath of fresh air, give yourself some time adjusting to being a new mum. There really is no rush so do what you need to do in your own time. So, you’ve got a playdate at 11am, but you turn up at midday due to your baby deciding they’re hungry again? Don’t worry about it; everyone will understand that’s life with a newborn!
3. Practice self-care while pregnant
It’s so important to remember to take some time out for yourself when you’re pregnant. You might want to check out prenatal yoga classes (it’s a great way to relax and meet like-minded mums to be). Oh, and here’s a top tip… make sure you and your partner get as much sleep as possible! You’ll be sleep deprived parents for a long time after your baby arrives, so this is the perfect time to enjoy lazy weekend lie-ins together, if you haven’t already got a little one in your family of course!
4. Have a think about parenting duties
It’s time to have an honest chat with your partner about what you are both expecting when you become parents. Talk through parenting duties and who will do what around the house. Work out how the chores need to be divvied up. Emotional support is also so important when you’re a new parent, and not feeling like you’ve got that support or help can cause rows and the odd new parents' relationship problem, so have a chat and a think about it now. Here are some great first-time dad tips which perhaps you could read together!
5. Gather up your support network now
Family and friends will be more than happy to help guide and support you with all the emotions you’ll be feeling during pregnancy now, and when your little one arrives. It’s a good opportunity to connect with other, soon-to-be parents, too. Check out local new parents’ groups and pregnancy classes in your area or give prenatal exercise classes a go, even if it’s over zoom for now. When things are back to normal going to classes is a great way to get out of the house while giving you the opportunity to meet pregnant mums in your area. Some of these connections often turn into friends for life!