It takes a village to raise a baby, and that is something many of us would agree! A mother who has just given birth needs time to recover. However, the little one needs round-the-clock care and support too. Right from feeding and sleeping schedules to changing diapers and other baby duties, a parent’s life after a newborn comes into their life is chaotic. With a strong support system, taking care of a newborn becomes manageable, and new parents learn their way around it. Grandparents, friends, siblings, and other family members pitch in to help, making life a tad bit easier for new parents. But what about those couples who do not have help? It might seem like all hell broke loose! Fret not, here are nine ways to survive life with a newborn when you have no family support:
1. Accept Help
It’s been a few days since you got back from the hospital, and you’ve not had the time to shower, do the dishes, or the laundry. But now is not the time for you to prove yourself to anyone (especially yourself). Allow people to help. Let them cook your food or make a trip to the grocery store. There’s no shame in accepting help from the ones who are offering!
2. Realize The Newness Of The Situation
Since time immemorial, people have been having babies, but it’s not easy to come home with a newborn with only your partner for support. It’s all new, and it takes time to get used to. Therefore, don’t expect everything to go back to normal. Your house will be messy, your laundry will be undone, and there will be dirty dishes in the sink for days. Don’t be disappointed — it’s absolutely normal!
3. Take Advantage Of Technology
Technology is a lifesaver! Take advantage and embrace different things you have because of your smart devices. Watch that show, listen to that podcast and take a gazillion photos of your baby making faces. It’s a time that you’ll look back on and cherish for the rest of your lives!
4. Let Go Of Standards And Expectations
You have a ton of responsibilities as a new parent, and you’re doing the best you can. Do not add to the pressure by setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. You’ve had a successful day if you put your baby to sleep. It’s that simple. Let go of that parenting standard you’ve set for yourself and acknowledge that you’re doing great.
5. Virtual Support
You might not be able to get a physical hug from your mum or your best friend, but you have the internet to connect with them virtually. You can get on a call with them and speak your mind. Cry if you have to, rant all you want, and let go of those pent-up emotions. You could also join online communities that have mothers in the same boat as you and share your struggles.
6. Take That Break; It’s Okay
You have no external help, and it’s just you and your partner. That makes it all the more important to take a break when you need to. Take turns watching your baby and allow the other to enjoy a little alone time. Self-care is essential, and it’ll help you get through difficult days. So, take those extra minutes in the shower and listen to your favorite song while sipping on a comfort drink. When you take some relaxing free time, it helps your brain as the body rejuvenates from all the fatigue and tiredness. Instead of continuing to work in a half dead state where you just sleep through the work, it’s better to do them with focus and joy.
7. Try To Become Members Of Local Parenthood Clubs
The struggle you’re going through today has been faced by many others before. That’s the reason in many towns and cities you will find like-minded people who decide to extend a helping hand to people in need. If you can find any club, be it online or in person, do reach out and try to become part of it. You will get to learn from the experiences of real people who successfully survived the ordeal and the advice they will give will be more practical than just theoretical.
8. Plan Out The Schedules With Your Partner
Have you both been doing your best to manage your new situation but still struggling to meet it all? Have you found yourself utterly dismayed at falling short of your own expectations? Well, it seems like though you are doing all the work, you’re not being very efficient about it. You and your partner should sit down and take some time to jot down the timings and schedules you’re going to follow. This way it will be clear as to who will be handling which responsibilities. You will be able to keep track of your own activities. Also this would lessen the chances of any bitterness stemming from one getting the feeling that the other is not doing enough. With clear demarcations and timely schedules, you both will know what is to be expected of each other.
9. Look For The Silver Lining
It’s hard to do this alone, and there’s no denying that. But if that’s all you look at, you won’t be able to enjoy the beauty of these days. After all, it’s the first few months of your baby’s life. Cherish it and savor all those moments that you’ll never get back again. Focus on the silver lining, and it just might make the whole process easier.
Parenting is hard – more so when you’ve got to do it without your family there to support you. But remember that in no time, your little one will grow up, and you’ll have memories to look back on. It might not seem like it, but it’ll be worth it! Did you raise a baby without your family’s support? Let us know in the comments below!