Parents deal with challenges from birth to age 2
By CAILYN FINKLE
As everyone knows, raising a child comes with many challenges. One of the most difficult times for a parent is immediately following birth until they turn two.
Kenzy Robinson, the mother of one-and-a-half-year-old Nellie Marie, agrees with this notion.
“The first year really tried my patience,” Robinson says. “I had help from family and friends but that still wasn’t enough to know exactly what to do. I had to figure things out for myself and it makes you grow as a person too.”
Kelly Hagen, the mother of six-year-old Everett and four-year-old Stella, also recognized this time period as difficult. “Going into a pregnancy, everything has a shiny feel to it. You’re excited to bring this new person into the world, but once it actually happens, all of the shininess disappears. You have to works things out as they happen,” Hagen explains.
It’s not all bad news though; things do get easier with time.
“The second baby was definitely a lot easier to handle. Stella acted up a little more but at that point I could determine why pretty quickly and I could calm her faster. Everett was a challenge but it was just because I had no clue what I was doing,” says Hagen.
Family advice seems like it would be a blessing, but sometimes it can make things even more difficult, Robinson says.
“I was getting all types of advice from both sides of the family and sometimes their advice was conflicting. I ended up just going with my gut and realizing that being a parent means making mistakes and forging your own path.”
Talya DeLabio, the mother of three-month-old Jacob, is in the midst of the struggle right now. DeLabio says, “I’m always tired. But I’m starting to get used to it. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what he wants but when I do get it right, it’s worth it. It’s amazing to see this little man grow and progress because of you. His little smile makes all the tears and frustration seem like no big deal.”
Money is always tight but that’s also something that DeLabio planned for. “We started saving as soon as we found out we were pregnant. It’s helped out a little but you never expect how expensive things like diapers and formula are. Multiply that out over a few months and that’s hundreds of dollars,” she says.
As a nanny herself, the stress of caring for her newborn is even greater with the addition of more children to watch. “Sometimes I just need to take a break and walk outside for a deep breath, but most of the time that isn’t possible. I was going to take time off after having Jacob but I realized that I might as well watch a kid or two while I’m watching him. It’s an easy way to make money from home but it can get really overwhelming."
Being a new parent comes with many challenges and struggles but with some preparation and mental strength, it can be survivable, even rewarding.