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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 January 17, 2019

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

            In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

            Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

            Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

            Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

            Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

            The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

            There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

            How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

            According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

            Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

            Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

            The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

            Listen carefully:

            We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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            The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

            Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

            8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

            There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

            Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

            1. Pray Daily

            You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

            When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

            Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

            Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

            2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

            A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

            By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

            Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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            If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

            This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

            How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

            3. Smile Often

            Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

            Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

            Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

            The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

            4. Organize Your Working Desk

            A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

            When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

            Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

            Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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            5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

            I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

            Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

            What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

            6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

            God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

            I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

            I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

            7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

            You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

            How do you do that? This is my formula:

            First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

            If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

            If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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            If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

            Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

            8. Go Exercise

            Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

            The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

            You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

            12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

            The Bottom Line

            It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

            It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

            Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

            More Resources About Mindfulness

            Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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