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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 May 21, 2019

            13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

            13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

            Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

            Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

            Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

            1. Stress Eating

            I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

            While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

            I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

            If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

            How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

            2. Nail Biting

            Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

            People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

            Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

            For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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            3. Hanging out with Naysayers

            We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

            Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

            Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

            4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

            Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

            While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

            Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

            Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

            5. Smoking

            Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

            In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

            Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

            Smoking risks

              6. Excessive Drinking

              All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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              According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

              • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
              • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
              • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
              • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
              • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

              If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

              If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

              7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

              Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

              If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

              A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

              “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

              And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

              While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

              Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

              Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

              8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

              There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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              In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

              Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

              Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

              9. Watching Too Much TV

              I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

              Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

              Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

              It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

              10. Being Late

              Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

              Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

              Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

              11. Being in Bad Relationships

              Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

              I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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              Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

              12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

              Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

              Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

              Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

              By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

              Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

              13. Focusing on the Negatives

              In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

              Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

              Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

              And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

              The Bottom Line

              So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

              Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

              Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

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