It’s hard to imagine how someone can manage being a first-time parent during the pandemic. Parenting has taught me a lot of life skills in my journey. Challenges and different cultures are inevitable but adjustment and flexibility are the keys to success.
I realized that self-care is of utmost importance to maintain our self-sanity. It is the key to achieving a happy family too!
Being a First-Time Parent During the Pandemic
Being a first-time parent is not easy with so many uncertainties and anxiety lying ahead of us. It was even harder being a first-time parent during the pandemic. With little support and no extra helping hands, my husband and I have to figure out how to divide our parenting tasks without compromising our life quality.
We experienced moments of joy and laughter. However, we also shared moments of cries and arguments. Before I gave birth, I thought that it was going to be simple and easy to manage a baby. How difficult could it be? However, things were not as simple as I thought.
I had to learn many things as a new mom. Days were full of anxiety and the funny thoughts about whether I had done enough as a mom. Plus, the pandemic kicked in and it even made me more depressed when I was not able to have the amount of social life as before to de-stress. However, it was all worth it when I saw her little smile and her chubby cheeks.
At that time, everyone had to stay at home. Aside from taking care of my child, I was trying to find things to do which can make me happy and contented. For the first 6 months, I only focused on my daughter. I did not have much time for myself. because of this, I started to focus more on self-care and self-awareness.
Raising My Child While Keeping My Body Healthy
I realized that I have not lost much weight 6 months after giving birth. Because of this, I started to implement daily exercises with a healthier diet. I love to dress up and lose weight. Indeed, it makes me a happy mom!
Sometimes, I would lay her down beside me while I exercised. I love coffee and I always set aside a coffee break even. I take a few sips every 10-30 minutes or during jackpot hours when my girl was napping.
It’s not selfish to put aside time for myself because I realize that I am the root of the family. If the root is not nourished well, the stem and leaves will not grow well too. Mums have to take good care of themselves to have a healthy baby, hubby and family!
Challenges of Being Parents With Different Cultural Backgrounds
My husband and I were raised in different cultural backgrounds. This created another challenge in raising our child. One of the examples is sending her to a full-day school. It is quite uncommon for my culture to send a 2-year-old child for a full day class. Moreover, childcare is very common here in Singapore due to the busy working schedules of both parents.
At the end of the day, I understand that I have to adjust my mindset. I also need to be more flexible when it comes to raising our daughter. With this, she can become more independent. She can learn new things aside from what we teach her at home. Furthermore, she can enjoy her social life with lots of new friends.
Dealing With Separation Anxiety as a First-Time Mum
Separation anxiety for both mom and child is common. I had it for about 2 weeks until my girl was slowly getting used to her new routine and environment. I felt so uneasy not knowing if she had been coping well. I also always worried about her meals and sleep.
After I saw that she has learnt so much and enjoyed it, I felt more relieved. There are always pros and cons in life. She may not be eating so well as compared to when she is eating at home. However, the fact that she has learned new skills makes me feel that it is okay to let go.
I Understand the Woes of All Parents
Every parent has their own choices and whatever choices they have made, it is the best for their kids. There is no right or wrong answer in parenting. It is all part of a learning journey.
I believe that giving time to ourselves is important to let us relax and reflect for a better road ahead. In truth, I’m still learning and I just want to tell all parents that you are not alone.
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