- Don’t have unrealistic parental expectations
Start off by repeating this mantra now,“There’s no such thing as the perfect parent.” Mom mistakes are going to happen and it’s best to learn now to accept these. Cut yourself some slack! You may have a high-need baby, or you may have an easy baby. You might find breastfeeding comes easily to you, or it might take a bit of perseverance. Until he comes along, you won’t know your baby’s temperament, or what his feeding/sleeping patterns will be. Embrace the unknown and don’t let it overwhelm you.
- Slow down your pace
Accept now that you’ll be doing everything at a much slower speed. Whether that’s initially recovering from birth or even getting out the door for a breath of fresh air, give yourself time adjusting to being a new mom. There’s no rush and everything can wait. You’ve got a playdate at 11am, but you turn up at midday due to your baby deciding they’re hungry again? No worries! Everyone is going to understand and that’s life with a newborn.
- Practice self-care while pregnant
Remember to take time for yourself. Look into prenatal yoga classes (a great way to relax and meet some like-minded moms to be). And both you and your partner should sleep as much as you possibly can… You’ll be sleep deprived parents for a long while once you give birth, so this is the perfect time to enjoy lazy weekend lie-ins together.
- Discuss parenting duties
Have an honest chat with your partner about what you are both expecting when you become parents. Talk through parenting duties and household chores, and how you both feel these should be shared. Emotional support is also key when you’re a new parent, and not feeling emotionally and practically supported can cause new parents relationship problems so it’s best to be open about it now. Read our first-time dad tips (or ask him to!) for more ways he can get involved.
- Prepare your support network now
Family and friends can help guide you through your emotions during pregnancy now and beyond when you become a new mom. Connect with like-minded, soon-to-be parents, too. Research local new parents groups and pregnancy classes in your area. Combine it with a hobby like prenatal exercise classes. It’ll keep you healthy and fit, while giving you the opportunity to meet pregnant mums in your area.