Feed. Change Diaper. Rock to Sleep. Repeat.
At least, that's how it can feel in those early days of parenting! Especially for the first time parent, those weeks following delivery will be some of the most stretching, tiresome, fearful, and wonderful days.
If you are about to meet your little one or just welcomed them into the world, it's a new beginning for you. Although there will be a variety of emotions among the diaper changes, late night feedings, and long stares at their rising belly for signs of breathing, you can rest assured that your roller coaster journey is worth it.
Here are some things I learned the first few weeks of parenthood, along with some practical ideas for the journey.
- Fear is a natural part of the journey but you don't have to live in it. And you're not alone! (See last week's post).
- It's part of your God-given plan to parent this precious child of yours. It's a gift you were chosen to steward and certainly your greatest opportunity to make an impact in this world. You get to raise this child to love God and others, and the influence you have with this child is the greatest you will ever have with anyone.
- Advice many moms shared with me was to give anything two weeks. In two weeks it's likely that whatever frustration you're facing will have passed. After you've had your baby, give your body two weeks to feel better. And then another two weeks to feel even better than that. Tell yourself that it's for a short season and that you can do this in God's strength.
- FInding devo time in those early days will be challenging. But know that it can evolve. It doesn't have to look like an hour on uninterrupted time alone. You can pray while your rock your baby to sleep and read your Bible will they lay on the playmat. Evolve with the season and give yourself grace when it doesn't look how you'd like it to or it did.
- Download the Wonder Weeks App! It will show you when your baby goes through a "leap" and how that will affect them. What a relief to know that when my baby is extra fussy it's because he's going through a change and that it's temporary!
- Don't forget you're still a wife or husband in addition to being a parent. Chances are that pregnancy and labor will make you and your spouse feel closer than ever before. However, when you have a new baby that dictates your schedule and you're exhausted emotionally and physically, it's easy to let your marriage fall second or third. Don't let it. Be intentional about pouring into your marriage and letting your spouse know they are important to you.
You're in such a precious season in life. Enjoy it!