How To Help New Parents

How To Help New Parents

Last summer, on Facebook, I saw a photo of a sign some new parents made after having a baby, in which they demanded help around the house in return for time with their newborn. I wrote a post about it. I shared it on Instagram. People were divided.

Some, myself included, felt the sign was presumptuous, pretentious, obnoxious, and at the very least, tacky. Others felt that in a world of overbearing in-laws, rude guests, and oblivious people with no awareness of how to behave around new parents, the sign was necessary.

Maybe we’re both right. Because people don’t know how to act around new parents.

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Stress Actor

Stress Actor

Stress isn’t a competition. Newsflash: We’re all stressed out of our minds!

Adulthood is stressful. Work is stressful. Marriage is stressful. The state of the world is stressful. Life is stressful!

And, of course, parenting is stressful too, in more ways than one. But parenting stress is a little different, because being a parent is both stressful in and of itself and because the presence of children adds an extra layer of stress on top of everything else. It’s fun!

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Parenting Isn’t A Job

Parenting Isn’t A Job

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t hate my kids.

In fact, some of the time, I downright love the little jerks! They’re fun in very specific, individual ways, which is delightful, and they’re annoying in mostly general, every-kid-is-like-that ways, which is forgivable.

But I do hate parenting, at least some of the time. It’s a tough gig. And referring to it as a “gig” is part of the problem. Because parenthood is not a job. And treating it like one – like a chore to begrudgingly complete – is bad for everyone.

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The Disease of More

The Disease of More

My 7-year-old always wants more.

He wants more toys, even though he doesn’t play with half the ones he has. He wants more dessert, even when he can barely ask for it because his mouth is already full of dessert. He wants more time before bed, which he usually gets by tortuously extending the bedtime routine. All this demand for more makes me want less — less whining, less stress, less kids!

Of course, children aren’t the only ones who want more. Adults have the same obsession, especially parents.

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