Best Advice for First-Time, New Parents
A colleague of mine has a two-month old daughter. Back at work while his wife enjoys another month at home, he still looked a little foggy and fuzzy as we caught up last week. Beyond what baby gear essentials they needed, he wondered: what piece of advice did I (parent to three, eldest being 12) have for him?
My answer, which I learned from watching my own mother (full-time bread-winning, bread-making mama like me): ask for help when you need it, offer help when you can.
I am very much of the mindset that it takes a village to raise our children. I very much believe in a community wherein we all play a role in helping shape our (collectively) children. I need help. I ask for help. I give help. One late Sunday evening, after all sorts of family commitments, school things, etc, I just could not get to the store to get milk. I was catching up with another parent, and I sighed about being milkless at home. She quickly suggested: "I'm going to the store right now, and I will get you milk and bring it over." A small task for her, but a huge help for me. When I had my third child, there was an amazing outpouring of endless meals delievered to us, the ultimate gift to parents of a newborn. And, when I had to coordinate relocating my family of five to the next state down (*sniffle*), there was no way I could pack up my house without all the help from friends on multiple occasions.
So, for you: what would one of your top suggestions be as advice for first-time, new parents?