Becoming a new parent, or welcoming another baby into the family, can be joyful, overwhelming, beautiful, exciting, intimidating, and maybe all of those at once! However you may choose to describe the experience, one thing is for certain – it is uniquely yours.
One tried and true way to remain present in these precious first days, weeks, and months with baby is through writing or documenting your experience. While studies have shown that establishing a consistent journaling practice improves both physiological and physical health, even jotting down a few thoughts from the day can serve as an emotional outlet that helps regulate stress.
Of course, there is no correct way to experience the vast array of emotions tied to being parents. But if you’re looking for an exercise to both record this important time in your life as well as engage in some self care, we invite you to use these tips and prompts to inform your own journaling!
Maybe the most important thing to reiterate is that there is no such thing as right or wrong journaling. Whether you follow prompts, have a specific routine, or just use bullet points, your journal is yours and only needs to work for you. Whatever feels the most beneficial for you is the way to go.
With that said, we recommend dating your entries. If you choose to reflect on your journals in the future, it is helpful to know the time something was occurring.
Don’t worry about perfect grammar, writing in a specific voice, or telling a story that isn’t your own. This is an opportunity to be fully honest and vulnerable with yourself. Write about anything, and everything, that comes to mind. Journaling can help us uncover thoughts that we weren’t aware we held!
If you’re needing inspiration on where to start, here are some journaling prompts for parents:
I am grateful for my family because:
I am proud of myself as a parent because:
My favorite memory as a parent so far is:
I am excited to do this with my child:
Something I value about being a parent is:
Something that scares me about being a parent is:
I take care of myself by:
Parenthood means ___ to me:
Are there prompts that have helped you explore the feelings around parenthood? Do you have other helpful emotional outlets? Feel free to share with our community below!