Adapting to parenthood

Adapting to parenthood can be tricky as it involves a lot of changes. Following the birth of your baby it may be helpful to review your priorities and expectations. Find time to revisit your parenting hopes, fears, and roles.


REFLECT: What’s changed?

What has changed the most for you? What do you think has changed the most for your partner?

How are you feeling? How do you think your partner might be feeling?

Have you noticed any changes in your relationship? What’s different?

An attitude of acceptanceCopy of It was such a relief when my husband would get up throughout the night so I could rest. (5)

Be willing to continually explore and adapt, as what works one day may not work the next. You may be vulnerable or competent during different stages of your child’s life. Try to enjoy your family rather than feel like you are missing out on the old days. Remember, no matter how difficult things get, the situation is temporary.

Your baby will begin to sleep more, eat less often and it will get easier to take him or her out of the house.

It can be helpful, at this time, to develop an attitude of acceptance. Acceptance refers to opening up and making room for difficult feelings, sensations, and experiences. Acceptance creates a healthier, happier, and more positive environment for the whole family and can reduce the stress and challenges of working together to raise children.

5 steps to acceptancesky-383823_1920

1. Gently bring your awareness to the present moment

Bring your awareness to whatever you are experiencing, without judgement. Take a deep breath and notice what you are feeling. Don’t try to push it away. Be open to whatever you are experiencing, with an attitude of curiosity and acceptance.

2. Acknowledge what you are feeling

Identify what you are feeling. Acknowledge the feeling, whatever it might be.

3. Accept what is

If you are feeling a difficult or uncomfortable emotion, accept that it is there. Don’t try to push it away or tell yourself you “shouldn’t be feeling this way”. Accept that this is what you are feeling in this present moment. Open up to the feeling. Observe what is happening for you. What do you notice in your body? What thoughts do you notice? What feelings do you notice?

4. Realise that our feelings change moment to moment

Acknowledge that all feelings and thoughts pass. They come and go, like the weather or clouds across the sky.

5. How can I meet my needs?

When you feel able, stop and consider what you need. What is this feeling letting you know? What triggered it? What do you need? Give yourself time and space to gain some insights into what you are feeling and then decide how you would like to respond.

Last reviewed 24 April 2016