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New Parent Anxiety

Updated on June 19, 2013

Proud New Father

Dads may have different standards than moms in raising babies but they love them equally.
Dads may have different standards than moms in raising babies but they love them equally. | Source

Being The Perfect Parent

Congratulations, you have a new baby in your home! Now you are on center stage spotlighting your parenting skills for all the world to see. With each visitor to your home, the need to demonstrate your knowledge and skill of raising your child is important. Comments made by parents, relatives and visitors are all reflections on how well you are caring for your baby, to some extent.

Now let's look at the reality of being a new parent, many new parents believe society expects perfection in parenting from the very beginning. Self-imposed pressure to be the perfect parent will often cause anxiety in the baby and delay the happiness in raising a child.

It is also interesting to note that dads differ in their standards of raising children than moms and this causes tension between the two.

Baby Care Tips For New Parents

Sources of Anxiety

Limited paternity leave is a concern for working parents. Some companies allow parents to take an extended leave of absence, even allowing them to work from home the first few months afterwards. There is a real concern when the parent(s) cannot afford to take more than the allotted time and this causes anxiety in both parents as they face having to return to work.

Financial concerns center around health care, clothing, food and other supplies needed to raise a child. Working parents must consider the cost of child care, or becoming a one income family. If a decision was made "pre-baby" to purchase a new home, the expense of house payments may cause additional anxiety.

Loss of Intimacy in a marriage relationship usually affects fathers more than mothers. They often feel abandoned or left out as the baby needs mom's full attention. Mothers' may not have the energy after caring for a little one to fully enjoy sexual intimacy, which causes a rift to build in a relationship.

Depression is a health factor usually associated with mothers after birth, but fathers may also experience depression to the extent that they withdraw from loved ones. A recent study based on 26,000 patients completed by Dr. P. G. Ramchandani (2005) showed that 4% of fathers had clinically significant depressive symptoms eight weeks after a child's birth. Postpartum depression is usually diagnosed two weeks after giving birth and should be addressed as soon as possible as it can affect a baby's care and development.

Social life can also cause concern as parents realize friendships change due to priorities in raising a child. Mothers may feel that they are lacking quality relationships because the baby keeps them busy and at home.

Quiz: New Parent Anxiety Concerns


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Managing The Anxiety

Returning to work can provide welcome social interaction for parents and keep the doors of opportunity open in careers. For those who have an option, look at all the angles and choices and make a decision based upon what works for your whole family. Considerations may include working from home, part-time employment, job-sharing and temporary leave.

Financial budgeting must consider the baby's needs, child care, insurance, food costs, and other associated expense in raising a child. Making a list of all the expenses will help you to discover what to budget. You may have to adjust your extracurricular activities and change your shopping preferences (try consignment shops, garage sales and online auction sights for additional savings). As the weeks and months pass, you will be able to adjust your costs and realize that opening a savings account may be an option.

Keeping your relationship strong during this early stage of your baby's life is important. Men, especially suffer from the lack of intimacy and will need the support of family and close friends to advise and encourage them through this phase of life. Taking time to play with baby and taking turns feeding your little one as a couple will strengthen your family bonds. And of course, all parents must plan some time as a couple to keep the romance alive. Find a few hours, perhaps while baby naps, to do fun things together such as watch a movie, cook a special dinner, or give each other a massage. Establishing some couple time on a regular basis will only serve to make your parenting enjoyable and benefit your relationship.

Dealing with postpartum depression requires a parent to face the fact that outside help is needed. Many keep this disorder to themselves, suffering silently because they believe others will view them as inadequate. Opening up to a partner, family, pastor, or a doctor will help to alleviate the feeling of shame and guilt that often comes with this depression. Other suggestions in combating these blues are joining a support group, counseling, eating healthy, getting enough rest; and if needed, taking medication such as an antidepressant. Make sure you talk to your doctor about the type of medication needed and discuss the effect on your baby if you are nursing.

New parent anxiety is quite common. Don't worry, no one is expecting you to be perfect and the most experienced parents will admit that they made mistakes along the way. The most important thing to remember is that your preparation prior to baby and afterwards, along with knowing what to expect, will help parents to maintain a healthy, balanced, and enjoyable lifestyle.

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    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Very well written. You have made your point

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks for your support of the hub, Mg Singh. Glad you stopped by here and it is most appreciated.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      You are so very right, dad's have a totally different view of parenting. Preparation ahead will save all the anxiety and worries that come as a package deal along with parenting. Making mistakes is the best way to learn, and having a great relationship helps a lot. Another great hub. Voted up.

    • myownlife profile image

      myownlife 4 years ago from london

      Great views have been shared,Cheers

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Very important information that is not often discussed. I think it is true that mothers and fathers have different views on parenting but in my case my husband and I bonded as new parents because our firstborn was a premie. He quit working and moved in the hospital and we worked together as a team. I think this is the reason we still work together as a team and he is just as involved in parenting as I am. Voted up and shared! kelley

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vellur, it's something we often neglect to consider when there's a new baby, what is the dad going through? I agree - my mistakes have somehow helped to make me a better parent!

      Myownlife, thanks for sharing this hub and I hope it helps. Take care.

      Kelly, you have a very special person in your life -- how wonderful of him! Thanks for the votes and for sharing with others who can use the info. Blessings.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Excellent information, teaches, and very useful for new parents. Speaking of new parents, have you noticed how we take literally hundreds of snapshots of our first child. And no one knows where the camera is for the second.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Ha, ha, ha, Drbj. I was just talking to a friend who's daughter sterilizes everything for their new baby.... even visitors. Wait till the second child comes along, " a little germs won't kill you."

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. good info. I completely failed the quiz. I was determined that my children enjoyed a life my wife and I never knew. we worked together for their success, there was never a need for punishment. In the end (now) they don't visit or call.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Don't worry about the quiz, Mhatter, it's just to restate the facts on parenting anxiety. You did you best in loving your children, I'm sure. Keep the light on for them... there is always hope.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 4 years ago from Michigan

      teacher, great topic as many have struggled at one level or another after bringing baby home. My husband made all the arrangements for a once a week date night which really kept our relationship close. I so appreciated his efforts and he appreciated the time alone with me. :)

      I had severe postpartum (endrocrine/hormonal imbalance) after my last child. I went through the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to get help. They put me in touch with Women's International Pharmacy where they specialize in making hormonal replacement creams and pills that are natural, made from soybeans and yams. It worked like magic. I am so grateful. I also wrote a hub about postpartum and pms with links for help.

      Thanks for helping to get the word out.

      God Bless YOU!

      Mekenzie

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      How sweet and wonderful a man that would think about these moments and be proactive in following through. I applaud Mayo for providing natural creams to aid in postpartum depression. This would be my first option in dealing with any issue. I will get over to your site and link it to this. Thanks for your contribution and comment.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Excellent advice for new parents (or parents to be) to consider. Voted up and useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks for your votes, Peggy. It's so hard being a new parent and I hope those who find this information will discover they are not alone in their anxiety.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I think this hub should be read by couples prior to having the baby - it could be a very useful tool to prepare for the first weeks of the baby. I vote up!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Great article and well written. As the parent to 2 little girls, you have covered all the bases of new parenting very nicely. Am sharing and voting up!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I think it's a great idea to read up on raising children prior to having one, it does help. I had to learn by experience, which led to some mistakes. jBut, he turned out ok. Thanks for your visit and vote, Christy.

      Hello Janine. Thanks for sharing the content with others. You probably have a lot of good experience to share with other parents in raising kids. Two kids is enough to earn an honorary doctorate!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Thank you for saying that teaches12345. I can tell you it isn't easy, but love my girls and do whatever I need to to make sure they are happy and have everything they need.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Excellent and useful information for new parents, my daughter has just joined college, i remember my those days, when she was born, nice hub, voted up.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I couldn't help but laugh at drbj's comment, it's so true!

      A very helpful and useful article, with lots of good advice, becoming a parent and the changes it brings, comes as quite a shock!

      Voting up, thank you.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Girishpuri, those days are ones that we will always treasure. Looks like you did well as your daughter proves it through her entry to college. Take care.

      Movie Master, I don't think anyone is every ready for the birth of their baby. You can plan, but the surprises is where the real learning comes in. Thanks for your vote of support. Have a great day.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 4 years ago from Arkansas

      You got 'em all in there!! This will be very helpful to new parents!!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks for the sweet comment, Ronna. Glad you enjoyed the read and your validation means much to me. Take care.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

      After reading this excellent hub, I can easily see why it is so highly rated(it was your best rated hub when I was checking out your profile). Lots of great advice.....I wish I knew a quarter of what I know now when my 24 year old was born....and now he has a kid...and I will be sure to e-mail him this hub....job well done and I am voting up and across the board.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am of the same mindset, if only I knew now what I didn't then: what a great difference it would have made in our family. Cogerson, now is your chance, as a grandparent, to make some amends! Have fun with your son and grandson. Thanks for the vote and sharing of the hub.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Very cogent article here! I'm not a parent, don't know if I ever will be, but I've had all these thoughts when it comes to child-rearing. I like kids, but I admit that so many things make me so very anxious about it. Money, work, wanting to be near your child, all the responsibilities of adult life and then worrying about a kiddo - eeek. I'm already a worry-wart. Hehe. Thanks for writing this - I learned some things!

    • profile image

      KatrineDM 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful hub, and yes I can definitely agree with the concerns of new parents, been there 3 times...but each time round it was easier, because we learnt from our previous experience. Thank you and keep up your great work.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Cclitgirl, some of us can relate to other's lives through similar life styles. I can relate the singleness of some, married without kids, etc., and still learn much from them. You are not alone! Thanks for commenting here, friend.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      It does get easier with each child born, Katrine. I find parents who have had two or more, discover that it's just a blessing to have a happy, healthy baby.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 4 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      This is GREAT information, Teaches! Thanks for sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thank you, Margie, for coming by for a visit.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      I have found myself getting depressed especially when the kid is sick. I always dread coming home to be told the kid has a fever, it is enough to give me a bad evening. Also, i like it that you mentioned something about budgeting, it is very important for the new parents to budget about the new baby to avoid many unexpected problems. Voted up and useful.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      Teaches12345,

      Welcoming a new member in the family is like having a famous person in the house. All eyes and ears on the little baby. That is the reason why family members get anxiety. This hub is very good for new parents. They will learn how to deal with the anxiety and share the spotlight to all the members of the family once in a while.

      Voted up and more.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Dwachira, it is tough and it takes patience having a new baby. Fear of the unknown causes anxiety and knowing what to expect helps much. Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate it much.

      Inungent, I love you expression on welcoming a famous person into the house, good analysis. I appreciate your comment here.

    • english-zone profile image

      english-zone 4 years ago

      What I am really afraid of is how to keep a romantic relationship with my husband. As a new parent I will surely give most of my time for my baby but I can not imagine that I will ignore and make my husband suffer from the lack of intimacy... but here your hub has given me vivid picture how to deal with that. It is really important topic, thanks for sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      English, congratulations on your pregnancy. It sounds like you are going to be a great mom! Glad that the article was of use to you and your husband. Couples often forget that spending time with each other daily and at least having one date night a week keeps the romance alive and helps the whole family in general. I appreciate your visit and support. Enjoy your family!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I could have sure used your advice way back when! lol Somehow I managed to live through it but I am not sure how. Great info and great of you to help those who need it. ^+

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I so remember the baby anxiety I had with my first.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Jackie,

      Ologsinquito,

      It was so good of you to stop in. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Jackie, experience is the best teacher and I know you are one of the best parents ever.

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