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15 Things Only New Parents Would Understand

15 Things Only New Parents Would Understand

There are a lot of things that we don’t quite understand before we become parents. It’s through our own experience that we learn to appreciate old gems of wisdom – it’s really something you have to go through to fully understand, and each parent will have some uniquely interesting and bizarre moments to share. It’s no use trying to explain it to your friends who haven’t yet made the final leap of faith, but the more experienced parents will just smile knowingly and nod when you tell them about your little joys and your worries. Here are some of the things that only new parents will truly understand.

1. You never knew such a strange mixture of fear and joy was even possible

Mother and daughter

    Our bodies can be washed over by tons of different chemicals, which cause a wide plethora of emotions that can greatly vary in intensity and the effects they have on our psyche. In specific circumstances you can get some potent mixtures of incredibly strong emotions, and being a parent for the first time is one hell of an emotional grenade. You feel worried and scared, but at the same time overjoyed and protective, and you are lost for words when it comes to describing how you feel.

    2. You might have thought that you were a night owl, but now you know better

    A lot of people these days tend to be more active at night, especially those in their twenties. Most of us will happily identify with the night owl status, but once the little bundle of joy comes into your life, and you have to get up several times a night, it becomes apparent that our bodies weren’t built to function on a mere 3-5 hours of sleep for any extended period of time. You’ll become clumsy, forgetful and your mind will struggle with even the most basic problem-solving tasks – essentially, you turn into a giant toddler.

    3. You are fairly stressed out and edgy most of the time

    Yes, having a baby is a magical experience, but it is also quite physically and mentally taxing, particularly during the first few months when you are still getting a hang of it. Lack of sleep, coupled with the extra stress of caring for the baby, while balancing your work and other obligations, can have many adverse effects on your health, but the biggest problem is that both partners will tend to be highly irritable. Having a very short fuse might get you into some unpleasant situations, but things get easier once you learn how to function better under stress.

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    4. You buy them tons of clothes, but they just keep outgrowing them

    Cute baby clothes

      Who doesn’t like shopping? Buying new stuff just makes us feel happy, and it’s a good excuse to leave the house and stretch your legs. However, you’ll want to buy tons of cool baby clothes at first, only to realize that the little guy will outgrow them within weeks. This teaches you to start thinking about the future, and it’s from then on out that you start buying your kids clothes that they will grow into.

      5. You have to go over an extensive checklist before leaving the house

      The simple act of grabbing your wallet, keys and jacket, and running out of the house quickly turns into a drawn out session of strategic planning once you have a baby. You need the diapers, some spare clothes in case the baby gets all messy, the bag with all the different creams and ointments, baby food, the pacifier; and the list goes on.

      6. You are much more patient with your parents, as you need all the help you can get

      It used to be that you would shut down any of your parent’s attempts at running your life for you or nagging you about an issue, but then the tides turn. You need their help if you want to have even a smidgen of free time, so you learn to zone out and let them talk. Some of the baby-related advice actually comes in handy, if you can survive all the critique they are more than willing to dish out.

      7. You become a health and safety fanatic

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      Baby proof home

        Even if you were once the five-second-rule-type, you will become a stickler for hygiene. Everything needs to be properly washed and disinfected, and the whole house thoroughly baby-proofed. You don’t want to risk the baby getting ill or hurt, even it if it means becoming annoyingly careful about everything.

        8. You suddenly start referring to each other as mommy and daddy

        Most couples go through a few cutesy-wootsy nicknames for each other, from simple ones like honey or baby to nauseatingly loving ones like hunny bear or cuddle cakes, but nothing even comes close to calling each other mommy and daddy. It kind of kills the sexual tension, but it makes you feel all mature and responsible.

        9. You have to choose between sex and sleep in those precious few quiet moments

        Apart from the lucky few whose babies start sleeping through most of the night early on, parents tend to have a real problem with finding a few moments of peace and quiet. Being that you will both be exhausted and cranky, you’ll often find yourselves pondering whether to give sex a shot or to just slam your faces into the pillows and get some rest.

        10. You often end up trapped underneath a sleeping baby

        Baby sleeping on father

          Babies are incredibly sweet, but when they get sleepy they are just the cutest things in the world. This is why parents like to spend some of their time holding their baby on their chest and letting them fall asleep. However, this is a double-edged sword, as you’ll lose a perfectly good opportunity to get other things done and might even have to hold you pee in for a couple of hours because you don’t want to wake the baby up.

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          11. You get into a strange battle to get the baby say “mommy” or “daddy” first

          When it comes to first words, there is always a sort of competition going on behind the scenes between mommy and daddy, over who the baby will call out to first. You’ll find yourself trying to get the baby to say daddy for several minutes while mommy is in the bathroom, and she will do the same as soon as you go to get some more diapers. Same-sex couples don’t have to worry about this one, but there is still a chance that the baby might go with “nana” if there is a persistent grandma around the house.

          12. You sometimes miss a major milestone like first words or first steps and it drives you crazy

          Let’s face it, you can’t be around the baby all the time, because of work and other social obligations. Even if you are the dedicated stay-at-home parent, there will be times when you leave the baby with someone else to go get groceries or to have a relaxing bath, and you just might miss an important milestone in the baby’s life. The fact that your partner was there for the baby’s first smile or first words might drive you a little crazy at first, but you quickly realize that there are a whole lot of “firsts” that you can look forward to.

          13. You keep looking for any hint of meaning when your baby lets out a sound

          Baby talk

            It takes the average baby a while to get the hang of this whole language business, and to utter his or her first actual words. From about month four, you’ll be trying hard to find any semblance of coherent speech every time the baby starts babbling – “Oh my God, did she just say onomatopoeia? Quick, call Mensa”.

            14. You become weary of people offering unsolicited parenting advice

            While you may be used to going over all kinds of topics with your close friends, as you’ve been through both the good and the bad together over the years, as soon as the topic of raising a child comes up, you will start cutting off anyone who doesn’t have a child and still wants to offer you some advice. ”Yes, I have access to the same internet as you do, so stop quoting studies at me. We’ll talk when you’ve got a kid of your own” – you’ll think to yourself while listening to someone, before politely changing the subject.

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            15. You need to give your friends time to adjust to the fact that you are a parent now

            It can be difficult for friends, particularly single ones, to get used to the fact that you are a parent now. They simply won’t know how to approach you. Some will keep calling you to go out drinking, while others might consciously exclude you from social activities thinking that you will be too busy.

            You have to be open with your friends and discuss just how having a child will affect your friendship – yes, there will be less drunken binges and you won’t always be available, but every now and then you’ll want to spend a lazy afternoon reminiscing about old times over a few drinks. Oh, and when you have them over, they’ll have to hold the baby and play with it while you spend a suspiciously long amount of time making coffee.

            When it comes to parenting, there is a lot of little details that you won’t find in any book or hear from other parents, simply because there are too many variables involved and everyone’s situation will be a bit different. These are just some of the perks and struggles of being a new parent, and I’m sure everyone reading will have a thing or two to add to the list.

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            Nemanja Manojlovic

            Editor at MyCity Web

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            Last Updated on November 19, 2019

            20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

            20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

            Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

            If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

            1. Create a Daily Plan

            Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

            2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

            Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

            3. Use a Calendar

            Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

            I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

            Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

            4. Use an Organizer

            An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

            These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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            5. Know Your Deadlines

            When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

            But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

            6. Learn to Say “No”

            Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

            Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

            7. Target to Be Early

            When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

            For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

            Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

            8. Time Box Your Activities

            This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

            You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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            9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

            Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

            10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

            Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

            You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

            11. Focus

            Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

            Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

            Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

            12. Block out Distractions

            What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

            I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

            When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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            Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

            13. Track Your Time Spent

            When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

            You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

            14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

            You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

            Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

            15. Prioritize

            Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

            Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

            16. Delegate

            If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

            When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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            17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

            For related work, batch them together.

            For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

            1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
            2. coaching
            3. workshop development
            4. business development
            5. administrative

            I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

            18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

            What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

            One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

            While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

            19. Cut off When You Need To

            The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

            Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

            20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

            Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

            More Time Management Techniques

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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