WT 051: I'm a New Parent: What Do I Need to Know?

by Karen Stubbs | Birds on a Wire | Wire Talk Podcast

From potty training to picking the right schools and babysitters… being new to parenting comes with a series of confusing and overwhelming decisions. On today’s episode, Karen and Sunny talk to all the mothers of little ones who are figuring out this parenting thing one step at a time.

Question 1: I’m a mom to a 3 year old son and 8 month old daughter. I’ve recently begun listening to the podcast and enjoy it so much! My biggest, most burning question about parenthood is how can my husband and I be great parents and raise a healthy family when neither of us had that growing up? I feel like I’m reinventing the wheel here. 

Karen’s Answer: Girl, you’ve come to the right place! That is what BOAW is all about! 🙂 Our mission statement is to equip and encourage moms! First off, you just have to take one step, one day at a time. The fact that you are listening to the podcast is a good thing.

I had great role models, but when I became a parent, I honestly had NO idea what I was doing.  All the things I swore I’d never do, I found myself doing.  I just had to slow down and take it one day at a time. Ask God to give you wisdom. James 1:5.

Question 2:  Karen, please send me your wisdom and advice on potty-training! I’ve read all the books and blogs I can, but nothing is working. I’m about to lose my mind!

Karen’s Answer: I don’t know how old your child is, but depending on the age, if you’ve truly done everything and non of it is working, maybe you should put it aside for about 6 months, and then try it again.  Potty training is difficult because we cannot make our child go potty. They are in control. So, if they have their mind set that they don’t want to do it, good luck.

Emily was my one that I struggled with. I started her late compared to Kelsey, but she still wasn’t ready.  I was driving us both crazy! I put it all away, then one morning Emily woke up completely dry, so I knew she would go potty that morning if I played my cards right. I gave her a huge cup of orange juice and pulled out the potty and sat her on it, and we read books.  I made her sit there till she went.  When she finally did go, we celebrated, laughed, clapped and she was done! She only had a few accidents, but she was finally ready.

When you do decide as a mom it’s time, you have to be ALL in. It is as much a mind thing for the mom as it is the child.

Question 3: Karen, when did you start to become comfortable leaving your kids with a babysitter? My daughter is 9 months old and I really have a hard time thinking about leaving her with anyone other than my mother or mother-in-law. There are a few teenage sitters at church that come highly recommended, but I have major anxiety about it. I can tell my husband is getting frustrated, as he’s planned two date nights and booked a sitter and I end up canceling. Please either set me straight or tell me I’m normal, either way I need advice. Thank you. 

Karen’s Answer: Oh sweetie! I’m getting ready to set you straight. Please hear me, I’m doing it in LOVE.  First off, what an amazing husband that he has planned two date nights!!! Girl, just so you know, that doesn’t always happen.  That is one wish I’ve always had with Greg is that he would plan the whole thing.

I think if you have highly recommended girls from your church, and your child is 9 months old you need to go and have fun.  Nothing is going to happen. More than likely your sitter will put your child to sleep and sit and watch tv the rest of the night.

Ask yourself: What am I afraid of? Don’t let fear control your life, that is no way to live. I talked about fear at Soar last year, so you could download those talks if you think that will help you.  Realize you are not in control anyway, God is.

Take your husband up on his offer!!! And go!

Question 4: How should we go about choosing the kinds of schooling for my 3-year-old son? He is our oldest so we are new at this. I didn’t think I would have to think about it for another year or so, but I was met with gasps when I told people that I had not yet reserved his spot in preschool. Additionally, everyone has an opinion on public school vs private or homeschool or Montessori. I am truly so confused by all the options and don’t know where to start. How do I choose what’s best for us?

Karen’s Answer: Take a deep breathe, it will all work out I promise! 😉 Usually you sign up for preschool in February/March. There can be a waiting list, but there are so many great preschools out there, that you will surely get into one.  IF not, it is okay, not the end of the world. All schools have pros and cons, and you have to find the right one for your family. I wouldn’t listen to too many opinions, it just confuses you more.  Also, if you make a choice and end up not liking it you can always change. It’s not a forever thing.

Well, we’ve done private, public but never home schooled bc I would be terrible at that.  I didn’t even know what Montessori was until I came to GA. Both public and private had pros and cons. There is no perfect school. Talk with your husband and decide what you want, what you can afford, what are your non-negotiables, what are things that you would live with, but that you aren’t crazy about.

Resources Mentioned This Episode:

Letters to Moms (Written for young moms!)

Soar 2016 audio download

Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God. Thank you moms, have a great day!

Because of people like you, we can have an even greater impact!