Are you ever really prepared for your first child? Or even the second or third? So you've got the nursery set up, the diapers bought and the pediatrician selected, but you may be shocked at how, despite your best efforts, you're totally unprepared for parenthood! Oh, Baby will provide you with the "real story" about the many ways a new baby will turn your life upside-down. While this book is realistic in the ways that life is changed post-baby, it offers practical advice and sensitive know-how to help you survive-and even thrive!-in the first year. Through the use of fascinating narratives, poignant questions, suggested activities and experienced advice, you'll find solutions that maximize an optimistic view in tackling the challenges that are naturally a part of new parenthood. Best of all, your new coping skills will free you up from the stresses of that first year so you can love your baby-and cherish your new family-for the ultimate parenting experience!
Susan gives an overview of the book:
HAVING A BABY WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
If you've picked up this book or received it as a gift, chances are you're a mother- or father-to-be, or the parent or stepparent of a new baby (whether it's your first or your fifth!). Congratulations! We are so very happy for you. Or perhaps you're considering having a child-even adding to the family that you already have-and you want to know, "What is it really going to be like in the first year with a new baby?" Certainly, having a child is a miracle-a gift from God. Most people rate having and raising children as one of the most important and rewarding things they will do in life. When people reach the end of their lives, you rarely hear them say, "I'm glad I had a nice house" or "I'm really proud that I got to be CEO of that company." Most people say, "My greatest accomplishment is my children." Indeed, the joys and challenges of child-rearing will impact you every day of your life (yes, even when your child is grown!), but that first year of baby's life is particularly special-and challenging. The rewards are many and wonderful, but the reality is: It's also probably quite different from what you imagined when you first considered having this baby.
Are we ever really prepared for our first child? Or even the second or third? Oh sure, we've got the nursery set up, the diapers bought and the pediatrician selected, but we're often shocked at how, despite our best efforts, we're totally unprepared for parenthood. Unfortunately, babies don't come with instruction manuals. Most parents tell us, "I never imagined I could love someone as much as I love my child. But I also never anticipated the way this child completely took over my life and changed it in so many ways. I wish someone had told me what it was really going to be like! It wouldn't have made me change my mind about having a child-definitely no regrets there! But I think I would have had more realistic expectations about parenthood in the first year, and the adjustment wouldn't have been so difficult." Even parents who already have a child-whom you would expect to be "in the know" about what it's like in baby's first year-are often unprepared for the realities of dealing with two (or more!) children at once. This new child-with his different needs and personality traits-can certainly throw a "monkey wrench" into an already established family. Many new parents think a child will fit seamlessly into their marriage and their lives, but the road is often much bumpier than they expected.
Of course, the parenting experience is different for everyone. Not all couples will experience the same stresses to the same degree. But it's been our experience that the seven areas of life described in this book will be impacted in some significant way for nearly all parents. That's why this book is so very important. Not only will we "clue you in" on the challenges and joys you'll experience in the first year of parenthood, but we also intend to help you get through them in the best way possible! For instance, each chapter is filled with "questions for discussion" that will help you and your spouse really think about these issues and, most importantly, communicate in ways that can resolve any conflicts between you and cause you to experience the wonder of your new baby. We'll also be providing helpful "action steps" that give concrete and doable suggestions for tackling each issue. And each chapter will include the story of one family's journey through the first crucial year with a new baby. We're certain you'll see a lot of similarities between their situation and yours. Finally, you'll read quotes from other parents, both well-known and not-so-known, who reflect on their experiences of new parenthood. Honest and sometimes humorous, they'll provide little nuggets of reflection for you to think about on those days when you're wondering if you'll make it through!
We're so excited to be going on this journey with you. As parents ourselves, we've been where you are now. In fact, we dare say that our lives, relationships and careers today are the direct result of the amazing experiences we've shared in being parents. Our lives have never been the same since giving birth, and yours won't be either. By overcoming the challenges and savoring the rewards, you'll find yourself more fulfilled than you ever imagined.
Bettie Youngs, Susan Heim and Jennifer Youngs
Susan Heim is an author and editor, specializing in parenting, multiples, and women's issues, and is a former Senior Editor for the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Susan's books include It's Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from...
Oh, Baby!: 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year
Bettie B. Youngs, Susan Heim, and Jennifer Leigh Youngs
Hampton Roads Publishing Company (2006)
Oh, Baby! was written by three women from different backgrounds who all know what they’re talking about. Their book attempts to give parents realistic expectations of how their lives will change...