17 Stories That Should Be Required Reading For New Parents

Abigail Williams

Congratulations! You have a baby. You’re now stuck on a roller coaster of emotion that goes from deeply overwhelmed to absolutely amazed and back again. But in those moments when you feel your most stressed and fatigued, it helps to know there are other parents out there going through the same thing.

To that end, we’ve compiled 17 stories to turn to when you need a boost of empathy, support, advice or regular old humor. Take a look below.

1. Child Therapist Gives Gorgeous Explanation Of What Good Parenting Looks Like

(Constance Hall)

“Deep breaths, you’re doing a good job.”

2. 18 Undeniable, Hilarious Truths About Fatherhood

(Twitter and Getty Images)

Fatherhood is a complex and wonderful experience — and it can also be the fodder for some laugh-out-loud observations.

We’d like to tip our hats to all the funny dads out there whose tweets are undeniably true. If you’re unfamiliar with what being a dad is like, these hilarious tweets say it all.

3. 21 Parenting Conundrums That Are All Too Real

Parenting is full of conundrums. When you’re dealing with tiny humans who are inconsistent about what they want (or how to get it), some truly puzzling situations are bound to arise.

4. 15 Things All Dads Of Daughters Should Know

(Justin Ricklefts)

“Having daughters is one of the greatest joys I could imagine. We have a saying at our house that goes like this, ‘I love you more today than I did yesterday.’ Raising girls is a privilege, not a burden.

I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I have learned 15 things about raising girls these last 11 years.”

5. 4 Tangible Things I Do Every Day To Raise A Feminist Son

“Toxic masculinity teaches my son that boys don’t cry, that he can’t be vulnerable or sad, and that he can’t express his feelings out loud. 

As a future man, my son needs to know how to sit with a feeling, express one, and let it go. I try not to ever say ‘Don’t cry,’ or ‘Everything’s OK.’”

6. The Parenting Secret That Is Destroying Us

“A lot of us parents have a secret. We joke about this secret. Casually laugh it off as if we don’t mean it.

We’re inadequate. We’re exhausted. Some days we’re fucking broken.” 

7. 19 Quotes From Single Parents To Remind You That You’re Not Alone

“We single parents are physically alone with our kid(s) a lot of the time, without a partner to carry some of the burden or even just have an adult conversation with. And on an emotional level, we’re constantly seeing two-parent families held up as the ideal situation.

But one thing that helps lance my boil of single parent bitterness is seeing people in the public eye going through the same things I am.” 

8. 30 Men Share What Terrified Them Most About Becoming Dads

“Is she sleeping too little? Is she sleeping too much? Am I being paranoid? Am I being not paranoid enough? ... My daughter is 8 months old. Every day is a new fear, every day I love her more than the day before.”

9. Mom Of 5 Beautifully Explains Why Parents Should Take Time For Themselves

“Being a parent is hard and exhausting,” Nicole Snyder explained. “It’s impossible to pour from an empty cup, so we have to be sure to fill ours before giving everything to everyone else.”

10. 28 Hilarious Parenting Hacks From Crafty Moms And Dads

(Twitter)

Parenthood has a way of bringing out people’s crafty sides. Many parents like to share the clever hacks they come up with to ease the stress of caring for tiny humans (or just to find some comic relief).

We’ve rounded up the best (and funniest) “parenting hacks” that moms and dads have tweeted.

11. I Think I Have ‘Imposter Syndrome’ But For Parents

“Here I am, pretending to be an adult capable of managing the care and development of another human being. And yet internally, I’m the emotional equivalent of a pair of toddlers stacked up underneath a trench coat. Despite the evidence that I am doing this parenting thing, day by day, I feel barely capable of taking care of myself, much less a child.”

12. Babies Can Learn Perseverance By Watching Their Parents Struggle

A new study finds that babies as young as 13 months old can learn perseverance by watching you muddle through failure and repeatedly attempt to reach a goal. The researchers hope that “the study reassures parents that they don’t have to make everything look like it comes easily,” said lead study author Julia Leonard, a graduate student at MIT.

13. How Mindfulness Can Help Women With Postpartum Depression 

Mindfulness may offer a much-needed alternative to traditional treatments for the roughly 15 percent of pregnant women who experience prenatal or postpartum depression.

14. Mom Asks Two Simple Questions To Determine If You’re Doing OK As A Parent

(Her View From Home)

Whether you breastfeed, bottle feed, homeschool, buy phones for your 7-year-olds, feed them Cheetos or prepare organic food, you’re doing just fine.

15. Mom Reflects On ‘The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’ Of Motherhood

“This is for trying, for dedicating, for working hard and for putting myself last just so I could put her first,” she wrote in her caption. “This is for motherhood ― the good, the bad and the ugly. And I embrace it.”

16. Why We Need To Be Talking About Postpartum Depression In Dads

(Getty Images)

Although studies estimate that as many as one in 10 fathers suffers from postpartum depression, many dads go overlooked and untreated because such little research has been done on the issue.

17. The Viral Facebook Post Struggling Moms Will Relate To Instantly

Hall salutes strong mothers coping with postpartum depression, moms with piles of unwashed dishes and laundry piling up at home and moms struggling to lose their “baby weight.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.