When our first daughter Luna arrived in our little family, we fell into a common trap: we expected Luna to obligingly fit in. BIG MISTAKE! We rapidly reached the point of exhaustion, and it got harder and harder to get up each night.
To avoid the same mistakes with our newborn Maëlie, we intend to stick to a plan for life with young children.
I plan to get my revenge when they’re teenagers by waking them at the crack of dawn on weekends.
Here’s my best advice for new parents:
- Set a bedtime for Mom and Dad and stick to it, however much you want to watch an episode of your favorite TV show or movie. Make a list of what you want to watch so you can do it later on, when everyone sleeps all through the night. Your family is your main priority right now.
- Work as a team. We try to share tasks, especially at night. We both get up and while one of us changes diapers, the other gets the baby’s bottle ready. Then one rests while the other gets our baby back to sleep. And we take turns so neither of us gets too tired and both can get some rest.
- If you have older children, let them get involved with their new sibling. Our toddler Luna helps us constantly by entertaining Maëlie when she’s sitting in her bouncer or getting her pacifier or teddy bear … lots of small things that make everyday life with young children easier for us.
- Eat a balanced diet, even though it can be difficult to find time to cook. Don’t forget fresh vegetables and fruits so you get your vitamins, which are more essential than ever for your life as new parents. To stay in balance, I now drink two cups of coffee at a time – one for each eye ;)
- One of the most important pieces of baby advice for new parents is this: Remind yourself that even though your life as new parents feels challenging, these are unique and valuable moments in your parent-child relationship. I, for one, plan to get my revenge when they’re teenagers by waking them at the crack of dawn on weekends.
Lives in: St Céré, in the countryside in France
Works as: Blog manager at monpapa.fr, which deals with life in our little family
Family: Married with two little girls, Luna & Maëlie, aged 3½ years and 3 weeks