Parenting Tips for the New Year

~By Kim Luckabaugh

Simply put, keep your expectations low and roll with the flow. Every mom has specific ideas about what they will or will not do and just how things are going to be. Those thoughts will serve as great guidelines, but if you stay wedded to them, you could find yourself dealing with increased frustrations after your baby's birth.

A baby comes with his or her own personality and temperament. And if this is your second baby, this one won't be like your first. Everyone's different, and that applies to babies, too. Also, the plans you have for how life will be as a new mother will be vastly different in reality. Just try to expect the unexpected and you'll be fine!


I can't begin to tell you how many times I have heard a pregnant woman tell me exactly what she will do with the child in all types of areas -- feeding, sleeping, discipline, etc. -- and then have to change it all because real life doesn't fit into her plans. Real life didn't fit into mine either! For one thing, I thought I had to have the baby's room all done before it was born. Funny thing was, the baby didn't need it until he was six months old. And TV has at times become a babysitter. My sanity dictated that one! The challenges we have faced with all three of our children couldn't have been imagined or preplanned. They have required a lot of flexibility!

So that is the word I leave you with as this year begins. Relax and be flexible. You have wonderful intentions, and your maternal instincts will serve you well. I hope these thoughts help relieve some anxiety and frustration and shape your plans for motherhood (and childbirth, too -- if there's ever a place where you need to be prepared to change the plan, that's it!). We hope that your pregnancy continues to progress healthily and that you and your coming arrival have a perfectly memorable and special year!