Meet Lindsey Bell. She is the author of Searching for Sanity: 52 Insights from Parents of the Bible. She is my guest blogger today and a fellow M.O.M. Initiative team member. I love her 5 points for new parents. Read her blog and then enter her contest to win a free devotional!
With faith, hope and Love,
Dear First-Time Parents
Holding that baby of yours for the first time really is amazing, isn’t it?
You tried for months (maybe even years) to get pregnant, and then waited another nine months to meet your little one. Or maybe your wait began when you sent in your application to an adoption agency. You waited to finally get the phone call that changed your life: you had been chosen.
But now that your little one is here, the wait is over and real life begins.
And maybe (though you don’t like to admit it) this life you’d been waiting for isn’t exactly how you expected it to be.
Maybe your baby cries all. night. long.
Maybe nursing—something you assumed would come naturally—isn’t working.
Maybe your spouse—who just months ago was the love of your life—isn’t looking quite as good now that you are both sleep-deprived and irritable.
Maybe parenthood isn’t the glorious rush of emotions you expected to feel.
If any of these describe you, I want you to know something: It’s okay.
You’re not a bad parent because your baby cries a lot.
You’re not a bad parent because you can’t (or choose not to) nurse your child.
You’re not a bad parent if you don’t love everything about your new life.
To you, the first-time parent who is struggling in your new role, here are a few things I want you to know:
What First-Time Parents Need to Know:
1. You ARE doing a good job.
You’re meeting the needs of your child. You’re feeding him, changing her, and loving him as best you know how. That matters, and you should be proud of the parent you already are.
No first-time parent has it all together, even if they look like they do. (Scratch that…NO parent, even second or third time parents, has it all together). We are all learning as we go.
2. Your marriage might be rough for a while…but don’t give up.
Many marriages struggle immediately following a life change like the birth of a child. Mine certainly did. But please hang in there. Don’t give up on your marriage or your spouse. Allow your spouse to find her rhythm. Wait until you aren’t so sleep-deprived to hash out the problems.
3. Don’t compare.
Your baby is different than your friend’s baby, and your family is different than your sister’s family. Instead of comparing your life to another’s, learn to enjoy it.
Comparing will do nothing good for you; it will only leave you disappointed and discontent.
4. Hang in there.
The first few months of parenthood are hard. VERY hard. Surviving on only a couple of hours of sleep, plus learning to adapt to a completely new role, is something anyone would have a hard time with.
Hang in there. I promise it does get easier (and your baby WILL eventually sleep through the night!)
5. Pray. A LOT.
There is no formula to parenthood. When I first became a parent, I wanted one. (Or rather, I needed one!)
Now, though, I’m learning to love the freedom God gave us as parents.
God never asked us to follow a specific set of instructions as we raise our kids. Instead, he asked us to follow Him.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, Lindsey is giving away 1 copy of her new parenting devotional called Searching for Sanity every week until May 11th! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win. Then, check her blog every week to find a new giveaway!
Let’s Talk: What has been the hardest part about adjusting to life with a baby? Or, if you’re a veteran parent, what advice would you add to this list?
About Lindsey Bell:
LindseyBell is the author of Searching for Sanity: 52 Insights from the Parents of the Bible. She’s also a stay-at-home mother of two, minister’s wife, avid reader, and chocolate lover.
About Searching for Sanity:
Have you ever looked at your beloved children and wondered, what in the world am I doing? Why did God trust me—of all people—to raise them?
Motherhood is the most difficult job many of us will ever take. Searching for Sanityoffers moms an opportunity to take a breath, dig into the Word, and learn from parents of the past. In short devotions designed for busy moms, this book uses the parents of the Bible—both the good and the bad—to inspire today’s mothers.