An Ode to Holiday Parenting

December 22, 2017   Pregnancy & Postpartum, Wellness

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The Holidays are in full swing.

As we prepare for family, friend, and work celebrations we thought this was the perfect time to share a bit of insight from one of our beloved providers, Janet Perkins, M.D.

I have been thinking about our pregnant and postpartum moms, as the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has commenced. Reflecting on my own experiences as a mom of three, and as an obstetrician for more than 20 years, I’ve got some advice.

I hear the following few parenting tips over and over again and feel that some cause more harm than good:

  • “You have to find time for yourself.”
  • “You and your spouse need to go on a date.”
  • “It goes by so fast!”
  • “Take time to smell the roses.”
  • “Carpe Diem.”

Well, guess what? I am calling BS on most of this. Parenthood is different for every couple, and I think it is imperative that new parents tune out the noise and follow their unique paths. If you want to go on a date with your spouse, nothing should stop you! Though, while a date night at your favorite restaurant is relaxing, it may not be a complete stress reliever. Becoming a new parent is nerve-racking, joyous, stressful, and lovely all at once. But, your kids are this small for such a short time.

Instead of listening to the self-acclaimed parenting experts, I urge you to realize that your methods of parenting (and maintaining sanity) may not work for everyone, nor should they. Sometimes this means taking moments for only you. Today I went for a short run around my neighborhood, overtired and a little cold and underdressed. I started running faster and faster, and for a brief moment I was Shalane Flanagan. I felt great! Rest assured, my inner Shalane soon gave out to a much older and WAY slower runner, but it was an awesome moment — one that I consciously grabbed for myself.

When you find yourself in a moment of pure bliss, savor it. Don’t let it pass you by! Some moments may not be enjoyable or memorable, but understand that your child is only little once. The counter covered in powdered sugar or chocolate from your holiday baking session can be cleaned up, but the memory of the sugar all over your child’s face should not be forgotten. I guess this is what those “live in the moment” people are talking about.

My patients give me these moments all the time, especially with newborns: the smell, the coo, and the pièce de résistance… the smile. This holiday, try not to DO too much and instead realize that your baby is the best present you could ever give to anyone.

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