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It is Just a Phase: Surviving Life as a New Parent

1
As I fellow new parent, I do understand what you are thinking: ”Does it get better?”. The first few months of your baby’s life are marked by a series of developmental phases. Some of these developmental phases are less than ideal and can be downright challenging to get through. Since starting this parenting journey of my own seven months ago, we have experienced our fair share of phases (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and I know first hand that is can be tough when you are going through them.

Some of our baby’s many “phases” have included

SelfishMother.com
2
the following:

A baby who wakes up every few hours for months on end.
A baby who refuses to nurse.
A baby who refuses to take a bottle.
A baby who would easily sleep in the car seat wherever we would go.
A baby who loved the pacifier.
A baby with reflux.
A baby who spits up a ton each time she eats.
A baby who hates to nap.
A baby who puts everything in their mouth.
A baby who wakes up too early each day.
A baby who suffers from severe separation anxiety.

Does it sound familiar?

Some of these stages were short.

SelfishMother.com
3
Others dragged on for a much longer period of time. Some weren’t that tough to get through. Others were a bit more challenging.

We are currently at the “no sleep ever” phase with our six month old who doesn’t sleep much longer than 2-3 hour stretches. Each night before bed I say a prayer hoping that tonight will be “the night” that my daughter will magically sleep through the night and life will start to feel normal again.

That has yet to happen but I am well aware that this is indeed ”just a phase” and while it might end tomorrow or

SelfishMother.com
4
six months from now, it WILL end. I know that for certain. And that realization keeps me going. ”It is just a phase and we will get through it”, I repeat it as a mantra. This perspective has helped me deal so much better with these challenges because I know many of them are short-lived.

As you have probably learned by now as a parent, our kids change and evolve so very quickly. It really is true that while the days are long, the years are actually short. I feel like I blink and we are through another month with our daughter. And every few months a

SelfishMother.com
5
new curve ball comes sailing along and we have to adapt and figure out our way through it.

This is parenthood, I guess. But what I am learning is that maintaining the perspective that this is truly “just a phase” and that you will soon be working your way through the next one is helping me navigate a little better than when I first became a parent.

More importantly, not all phases are meant to be tough. One of the best things about parenthood is to witness your loved one’s development stage by stage. Like when your baby started to crawl or

SelfishMother.com
6
first started to babble her first words and couldn’t seem to want to stop ”talking” for hours.

The secret is to focus on all these amazing experiences and let the most challenging ones just pass.

One day I asked a wise friend of mine what her favorite “phase” with her children was. Was it when they were all little? Or when they were starting school? Now that they are older and live on their own? She responded in a way that I absolutely loved.

She shared that her favorite phase was always the one she was currently in. That she tried/tries

SelfishMother.com
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to live in the present with her kids and while each phase with children has its particular joys and challenges, she enjoys the current phase she is in, focuses on that and doesn’t dwell too much on missing the past periods or looking forward to future ones.

I found these words to be so very useful and challenge myself each day to truly embrace the current “phase” we are in – challenges and all – because pretty soon that phase will be over.

 

SelfishMother.com
Sofia Marklund

By

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- 30 May 19

As I fellow new parent, I do understand what you are thinking: “Does it get better?”. The first few months of your baby’s life are marked by a series of developmental phases. Some of these developmental phases are less than ideal and can be downright challenging to get through. Since starting this parenting journey of my own seven months ago, we have experienced our fair share of phases (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and I know first hand that is can be tough when you are going through them.

Some of our baby’s many “phases” have included the following:

  • A baby who wakes up every few hours for months on end.
  • A baby who refuses to nurse.
  • A baby who refuses to take a bottle.
  • A baby who would easily sleep in the car seat wherever we would go.
  • A baby who loved the pacifier.
  • A baby with reflux.
  • A baby who spits up a ton each time she eats.
  • A baby who hates to nap.
  • A baby who puts everything in their mouth.
  • A baby who wakes up too early each day.
  • A baby who suffers from severe separation anxiety.

Does it sound familiar?

Some of these stages were short. Others dragged on for a much longer period of time. Some weren’t that tough to get through. Others were a bit more challenging.

We are currently at the “no sleep ever” phase with our six month old who doesn’t sleep much longer than 2-3 hour stretches. Each night before bed I say a prayer hoping that tonight will be “the night” that my daughter will magically sleep through the night and life will start to feel normal again.

That has yet to happen but I am well aware that this is indeed “just a phase” and while it might end tomorrow or six months from now, it WILL end. I know that for certain. And that realization keeps me going. “It is just a phase and we will get through it”, I repeat it as a mantra. This perspective has helped me deal so much better with these challenges because I know many of them are short-lived.

As you have probably learned by now as a parent, our kids change and evolve so very quickly. It really is true that while the days are long, the years are actually short. I feel like I blink and we are through another month with our daughter. And every few months a new curve ball comes sailing along and we have to adapt and figure out our way through it.

This is parenthood, I guess. But what I am learning is that maintaining the perspective that this is truly “just a phase” and that you will soon be working your way through the next one is helping me navigate a little better than when I first became a parent.

More importantly, not all phases are meant to be tough. One of the best things about parenthood is to witness your loved one’s development stage by stage. Like when your baby started to crawl or first started to babble her first words and couldn’t seem to want to stop “talking” for hours.

The secret is to focus on all these amazing experiences and let the most challenging ones just pass.

One day I asked a wise friend of mine what her favorite “phase” with her children was. Was it when they were all little? Or when they were starting school? Now that they are older and live on their own? She responded in a way that I absolutely loved.

She shared that her favorite phase was always the one she was currently in. That she tried/tries to live in the present with her kids and while each phase with children has its particular joys and challenges, she enjoys the current phase she is in, focuses on that and doesn’t dwell too much on missing the past periods or looking forward to future ones.

I found these words to be so very useful and challenge myself each day to truly embrace the current “phase” we are in – challenges and all – because pretty soon that phase will be over.

 

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