Brave is 8 months and honestly, HD and I finally feel like we have this parenting an infant thing down! Everyday is a new learning opportunity for us but we officially-officially have a system that works for our baby boy and it feels great to have a little sense of normalcy because nothing about being a new parent feels normal in the beginning.
Since having Brave, HD and I have really learned so much about each other, partnership and parenting. I got him to share some tips he would like to offer new parents, and together we put together a full list. Check it out below:
There’s no such thing as prepping too early. I remember people always teased me for randomly buying things on the clearance racks at Target, often saying “you won’t need a baby shower in a minute” … or “you’re wasting money, you won’t remember that thing when baby arrives!” But I PROMISE you, I remembered! Every single thing I swiped from a clearance rack for 5 dollars here and there literally came in handy, especially footed pajamas!
Come up with a schedule and a daily routine sooner than later and stick to it. In the beginning, this are hectic. There’s no structure, you’re still learning your baby’s cries and cues so don’t expect to be on a serious daily routine right away. But around month 3 when baby has some what mellowed out, you want to move to some type of schedule because it will save you and your edges, sis. BELIEVE ME. Before I had a child I would always shame my mom-friends when they left parties early or just didn’t come, but now I totally get it because the minute that cycle is broken you are back to square one. So I beg you, for your own sanity, start a routine and stick to it. Don’t let anyone interrupt that routine because baby will notice.
Allow your partner to be actively involved. I hear so many mamas say their partners aren’t involved as much as they would want them to be and I seriously couldn’t imagine it. HD is so hands-on every single day with Brave, sometimes more than me! Heck, sometimes I tease him and say if he could produce milk he could easily replace me lol. But the reality is, as new moms we can be a bit of a control freak, I know I was in the beginning. Quick to jump in and change the pamper because we want it put on perfectly, running to grab baby as soon as baby cries because it’s our natural instinct … but I encourage you to make room for your partner to do some of the work. They will step up more than you could imagine if you give them the space to do so.
Everyone will have an opinion on your parenting style. But so what. An opinion is just that, an opinion. Nothing factual, nothing set in stone. Ignore the noise and focus on you and your family.
Don’t let milestones drive you crazy. This has been the hardest part of being a new mom. I remember when Brave didn’t meet a milestone when I expected him to, I sobbed. I saw other babies his same age rolling over, front to back, and my precious boy was just not interested. I constantly beat myself up, “is he not getting enough tummy time?” “do I hold him too much?” … the reality is, your baby will do what your baby wants to do in baby’s own time. No milestone tracker can change that.
Make investments on your baby’s behalf. HD and I knew early on that we wanted to start pouring into our son’s future so we came up with simple actions we could take to start setting up a fund for him. Each Thursday we both move $25 into his savings account. We started doing this when I found out I was pregnant. It doesn’t seem like a lot, really. It’s literally what I would spend at Starbucks every week. But when he’s 18 he should have about $50K carelessly saved up that he can invest in a business or in higher education if he wants to.
We also consciously purchase a few stocks for him each month with whatever extra money we have leftover after we handle bills and savings. People are really intimidated by the stock market, but it really doesn’t require a whole lot. You can buy shares for as little as a few cents, and take those profits and reinvest into larger shares. As of today Brave at 8 months old has over 50 shares in different companies.
Brave is also a baby influencer by default haha. When I use him in any collaborations I am doing, I ALWAYS take a small percentage of what I profit and move it to his savings account because nothing is free! And as adorable as he is, he earned it!
Don’t forget about your marriage. Seriously, once you have a baby –life is basically about them. It’s all you think about, it’s all you talk about, it’s all you are doing! And as beautiful as becoming a new parent is, you don’t want to forget how you got there –the love of your marriage. Make time for each other. I know that’s really hard to do in the middle of a pandemic, but you must find a way.
For HD and I, we realized because we couldn’t get out of the house for an occasional date night, we knew we needed to find a way to spend quality time ALONE without Brave sitting between us. So we decided to start sleep training him to move his bedtime up to 8pm (he honestly stayed up until 10pm some nights). After about a week or so he adjusted to his new schedule, now HD and I get much needed adult alone time every single night from 8pm until we retire for bed. It is the best thing we have done in 2020. We get to flirt, watch movies, enjoy each others company without being on mom and dad duty. MAKE TIME for your mate.
I really hope these tips have been helpful. Everything that we shared has changed the game for HD and I. We actually feel like we can survive these parenting streets!