INFLUENCER Molly-Mae Hague and boxer Tommy Fury shared the news of their pregnancy on Instagram. In a video, Hague, 23, said: “I can’t wait for the adventures that we haven’t even dreamed of yet” – a clip from her finale speech during their time on the dating show in 2019.
The video then cut to the couple holding Hague’s baby bump and hugging.
“Becoming a parent for the first time can be one of the most exciting times in life – but can also be one of the most daunting. Most of us are unprepared for what lies ahead, we learn as we go, and sometimes we make mistakes,” says Matt Buttery, CEO of Triple P Parenting (triplep.uk.net).
“Everyone’s parenting journey is unique and will have different challenges along the way. However, with preparation and a positive approach, along with the confidence to ask for help when you need it, raising your first child will be a joyous, rewarding, and enriching experience. ”
What do first-time parents like Hague and Fury need to know about what lies ahead of them?
1. Ask for help, even if you don’t want to
“Unfortunately, we find many parents feel a stigma around asking for help, and that it means they are failing at parenting – we have to change this as a society,” says Buttery.
“Whether you are reaching out for social support from a partner or friend, or a professional for advice, ideas and strategies that have been tested in research, asking for help with parenting is a strength.”
After all, this is your first time as a parent – you aren’t expected to know everything.
“Remember you don’t have to be super mum [or dad] from day one, accept the help people offer and remember no one is perfect,” says Liat Hughes Joshi, author of Help Your Child Cope With Change (Summersdale).
2. Be kind to yourself
“Go easy on yourself in the first weeks, because it can feel like you’ve been hit by a bus physically and mentally.
“Don’t expect to bounce back, you will be tired so sleep when baby sleeps,” says Hughes Joshi.
3. Don’t panic buy
It can be tempting to buy every parenting gadget and gizmo available while you nervously await your due date, but Hughes Joshi says: “Don’t rush out and buy a load of new stuff, stick with the essentials like nappies, a cot and clothes, because you may not need loads of stuff – and may never use some of it.”
4. Partners, be proactive
If your partner has just given birth, it’s all about supporting them as much as possible.
Hughes Joshi’s advice?
“Have confidence as a new parent. You may feel [you] have to play second fiddle, but try and pre-empt the needs of the mother and baby. Ask what she wants or needs, make suggestions and be proactive.”
5. Don’t worry about your post-baby body
If you’ve given birth, Hughes Joshi says: “You don’t need to go back to your pre-baby weight instantly.
“Don’t push yourself [with diet and exercise] because it is the most exhausting time.” 6. Work will wait If you are in a position to choose how long you take off work, Hughes Joshi suggests taking the pressure off and giving yourself time to see how you go.
If you can, “Don’t make commitments work-wise pre-birth, see how you feel after”, she advises.