A minimalist guide for first time parents

January 26, 2015

You really learn a lot in your first year. Mind you, we are in no way shape or form experts, but I do consider us to be somewhat advanced when it comes to first timers. This is our basic backbone to how we do it. Our gift to those who wish to succeed. You don't need to be perfect, in fact, being imperfect only allows for more room to grow. Just remember that everyone is different. Everyone has their own circumstances. I feel my advice is particularly helpful because it utilizes tools everyone already has. Being: body, mind, soul, and heart.

Support system........The first, and most important step of parenting is having a concrete support system. This doesn't have to be a husband, significant other, or boyfriend. A lot of times our greatest support comes from family and friends. 

Side note: Props to all of you single parents out there. I say parents because I've met so many wonderful single dads as well as single moms. You guys completely go above and beyond everything that is asked of you and I couldn't begin to put myself in your shoes. 

My strongest support comes from Joshua. I've never had any worries as to whether or not he'd be a good father. In fact, he is an amazing father, who jumps on every opportunity to change a poopy diaper. Who would much rather spend an evening cuddling with us than anything else. It's a mental, as much as physical weight off my shoulders knowing he's always there to lend the helping hand. 

Our families are so supportive. They have been from the very moment we told them we were expecting. We are so very blessed to have such a wonderful family. 

A tolerant attitude........One of the first things that new parents complain about, (at least from my experience with friends and family) is others trying to tell them the dos and donts of parenting. This is something everyone will experience. Consider it a right of passage, if you will. I can't tell you how many times I've had to bite my tongue and avoid confrontation. A tolerant attitude of those "oh so opinionated" family members will save your sanity and your relationship. 

Boo-boos happen.........Kids get hurt, it's part of life. When Penny first began standing I knew the next step was her inevitably falling into everything we owned. When I saw her very first bruise, on her elbow, I bawled. (Keep in mind I am one of the most emotional people you will ever meet). As a parent we feel like it's our job to protect our children. I felt like it was my fault, I let her fall and she got her teeny tiny elbow bruised. 

As I type this I have a smile on my face. That was so long ago. When she first began to crawl and when she first began to stand. Now that she's sprinting, tiny elbow bruises are the last thing on our minds. Remember kids get hurt. They hurt themselves, they are hurt by others. Heck I'm just waiting for the day Penny bites or gets bit by her baby cousin (his mom's due in March). A minimalist guide to surviving this klutzy stage of their life is to just go with the flow. Remember boo-boos happen. You can prevent them from becoming seriously injured.  Please please please baby proof!  But you cant prevent them from tripping over their own two feet. Kisses make every boo-boo feel better. 

It's ok to be a big kid.......Play. Act like a little kid again, this is your best excuse. To me, this is the best advice I can pass along. To make every day you spend with your child fun. Sure I'm tired at night, but there's no way I'm passing up chasing her around the living room, or reading every single book she owns, twice. Of course I'd rather watch Sophia the First over my weeks worth of recorded TV shows. After all, these moments wont last forever. It's best to make every single one count. 

In what ways has being a parent enriched your life?
What is important for you to stay sane?
If you haven't had children yet, do you think these tips would help you in the future?

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