What are common unanticipated/unexpected challenges that new mothers and fathers face?
You have an expectation of what you think parenthood is going to be like with a newborn because you’ve never done it before. So much of parenthood has been glamorized and made to look flawless and for many that’s just not the case. That is not reality. Our whole platform is based on the raw truth of this exact conundrum because we lived it and we never saw the other side, the real side. Things pop up that you never knew would be a problem and are seen as taboo to even talk about. Instantly your relationship with your partner changes and you are trying to navigate this new role and have a relationship, which often is strained because of this new baby you just had.
What actionable strategies would you advise new parents to take to confront these challenges?
Have patience. Understand that sometimes emotions are running high from lack of sleep. Coupled with the new changes in your body and in your life. You don’t have the time for each other that you once had. If you have resentment, talk about it. Share the load. One parent doesn’t have to do it all. That’s the misconception. Women feel like they are failing if they ask for help. You are not failing. Doing it all does not make you a better parent.
New parents often report feeling unprepared and inadequate. How can new parents determine whether they’re doing a good job?
There really is no metric to say whether you are doing a good job. If you have a partner, validate each other and encourage each other. Believe that you are doing a great job. At the end of the day your kid wants nobody else but you. There is no good or bad. They want you. They know no differently.
What impact has the pandemic had on parenting, especially for new parents? Do you anticipate these impacts are permanent?
Parenthood can be very isolating for many and very lonely. The pandemic magnified this problem. Often mothers are the ones who carry the load. This became more evident during the pandemic. Hopefully with articles like this and communities like ours we can support each other and normalize this journey and make it a little less lonely. We need to take care of each other. Be a little kinder.