While discussing what we did right in our first two years as parents, my husband and I owed it to ourselves to introspect and assess what we could have done better. This article is that evaluation summarized in five top slips in the first two years of our parenting journey.

The post intends to journal where we think we erred or could have acted differently. But all the points below have been great lessons for us; so, no regrets here! There is another post on what helped us in those first two years – namely what we think we did right, in our humble opinions. 

As with every tip on parenting, I believe to each his/her own. I only hope that anyone reading the post can gain from our experiences. So let’s dive into our “not-the-best” moves, shall we? Please let us know what your learnings were in those first couple of years!

 

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1. Not Working Out

This point is so important that I will do a separate article on it. To be at the best of our mental and physical healths, we must exercise and establish a routine. And yes, as early as possible after delivering a child. A very dear friend of mine gave me this piece of advice, but unfortunately, I couldn’t follow due to various reasons.

We learned it the hard way when we started facing health issues. But if you are reading this post, please pay heed to it and make time for some physical activity.

If you don’t have enough support at home, you may take turns where one parent takes care of the child, and the other goes and works out. In any case, please try to make arrangements at home to take care of yourself. I wish you the best of health!

Takeaways

The child will grow and get more active. If you are drained and not fit, you may not be able to be your best at taking care of her. Let’s prioritize exercising and building a routine for keeping health over everything else.

2. Not Weaning our Child

Breastfeeding the child is such a personal issue that I was in two minds about writing it here. I am all for breastfeeding for as long as the mom and child feel comfortable. But there is a compelling reason as to why I mention it here.

I breastfed my son for almost two years, feeling drained with full-time work and disturbed sleep.

For me, however, the reason was: WHO (World Health Organization) recommends breastfeeding until the age of two, and my son didn’t want to wean. I thought it was selfish for me to wean him. Our pediatrician would recommend weaning, but I won’t. Eventually, I did, but I think I stretched it too far to the point that I got exhausted completely. 

Although here, I think the exhaustion was partly due to my work, which is a topic for a later discussion.

Takeaways

Please breastfeed if you and your child are comfortable, but if it is coming at the cost of your health, you may want to consider weaning. Juggling between work and child can be overwhelming – the child wants a happy mom more than anything else! Above were my two cents, and please take your judgment call.

3. Giving up Self-Feeding around age One

Self-feeding solids is something that we were delighted to have started at a perfect note. Our son would feed himself seated on his high chair until he turned one. Food was the most fun activity of our day because he thoroughly enjoyed it.

However, when he turned one, perhaps because of teething or international travel, where he was jet-lagged, his appetite dropped considerably. We had been patient until then, but we stumbled and started feeding him, distracting him by stories or books at times.

Nothing was lost after all because he came around in six months and now, at age three, feeds himself unless we have kids around or he is distracted. But I think we should’ve been a bit more patient and trusted our child’s instincts during that short period.

Takeaways

I’m mindful that there are kids who may not be eating or growing well. But if your child is thriving and growing okay, you may want to back off from urging him to eat. Let’s help them establish a healthy relationship with food!

4. Not paying enough attention on Dental Care

Despite having so much information around, I’m not sure exactly how we missed out on this one. We held off our son’s pediatric dentist until he turned 18 months old only to find that our little one got cavities due to night-feeding.

Ideally, as soon as the first tooth erupts, one should pay a visit to a dentist. You may use a wet muslin cloth to clean the little one’s teeth or let her/him sip some water after milk!

Takeaways

In summary, please be mindful of taking care of your child’s teeth – it isn’t challenging, just a small note to the parents. Please visit a pediatric dentist, and even those tiny teeth must be cleaned after every milk feed to avoid any tooth decay.

5. Not seeking enough Help

I’m sure most of us can say this about our lives in retrospect. In the strife to do-it-all, we cut corners, especially with regards to ourselves, sleep, fitness, etc.

Letting go and not seeking perfection is the first prerequisite of asking for help. Work, child, home can easily be overwhelming, so it is okay to radically accept that we cannot do everything perfectly for a while.

In retrospect, we should’ve hired a cook or asked for more help than we did, to make sure that we (my husband and I) don’t burn out. Instead, we should be spending more time with our child. They grow up soon; everyone tells you that, and it is so true!

Takeaways

If you can put your needs into words/bullets and reach out for help, you may be surprised how willing people are to help you! As cliched as it is, it is so true that you cannot pour from an empty cup – ask for help!

A Parting Note

In a nutshell, please take care of yourself to be a healthy and happy parent; rest shall follow!

What are the things that you think you could’ve done differently in those early years?