I’m not sure if anybody has ever put a name to the feelings that most new parents have. I’d like to call it the “new parent syndrome.” Let me describe the situation and the symptoms, and you can decide for yourself if you are really suffering from new parent syndrome.
There’s a new baby in the house that is six months old or younger. The baby, it seems, has needs that are constant and unrelenting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. There is NO relief for Mommy or Daddy. Does that pretty much sum up the situation?
The parents feel tired…make that exhausted. There doesn’t seem to be any part of the people they were who survived this parenthood thing, and both parents are likely wondering if they can survive another 18 years (at least) of this. The two parents haven’t had a moment alone since the baby was born. Something has got to give!
Exactly! Something has got to give. It’s time to hire a babysitter and take an evening off. It’s time to look into “mother’s day out” programs at local churches and civic centers. It’s way past time to get this parenthood thing into perspective.
Parenting is, without one doubt, the most important job that either parent will ever have in their lives, but it’s not the only job. The objective of parenting is to work yourself right out of a job. The idea is to raise this tiny little unique human being to be a self-sufficient, self-supporting individual who doesn’t “need” you to take care of him. Start by taking a few hours off. Give yourselves a break.
It does get better, and it does get easier. You’re just suffering from new parent syndrome.