Being a parent is something you can’t explain. A lot of us have this “idea” of what it would be like, but until you’ve actually experienced it, our thoughts don’t even come close. Between waking up in the middle of the night every few hours, adding more expenses to our monthly budget, and trying our best to raise a good kid, it is hard, yet worth every minute of it.
I never realized how much my life would change until my son actually arrived. It is no longer about you anymore, but your child. You can’t just leave the house the way you used to, or have a nice, quiet evening with your spouse like old times. Every minute of your life will change. If you’re expecting a child sometime in your future, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. To better prepare yourself here are a few things to consider.
1. Physically: Before you try to take care of anyone but yourself, you need to first make sure you’re taken care of. By saying this I mean you want to eat a healthy and well balanced diet, exercise regularly, and you want to make sure you don’t have any bad habits like excessive drinking or smoking. Parenthood begins with pregnancy, so make sure you have a healthy one!
2. Mentally: You also want to make sure you’re prepared mentally. Just because you’re “a good age” to have kids, doesn’t mean you’re ready. Make sure you’re ready to settle down and you’re a responsible adult, and parent.
3. Financially: Children aren’t cheap. I say this because I know first-hand. Between the cost of diapers, formula, new clothes every few months, and other things like doctor’s visits and the unexpected, we can easily spend a few hundred each month!
4. Different lifestyle: By understanding the different lifestyle you’ll have as a parent, you can better prepare yourself. Just know that your life each day will be different. There will be nights when you won’t get hardly any sleep, times you’ll be frustrated, and other times you wish you could just get up and go without having an added responsibility. Understanding that your life will be different in every way is one of the best ways to prepare yourself.
5. See children regularly: By spending time with children on a regular basis, you can see what it’s like each day. Whether you play with them, change a few diapers here and there, feed them or you babysit on a regular basis, you can see what it’s like to be around them.
Although you can read about preparing for parenthood, you will never be 100% prepared. I had an image of what it would be like to be a mother, but I was far from reality. Being a stay at home mom is a full-time job in itself!
This is a guest post written by Lauren Dzuris. Lauren runs FindMyCarSeat, a child car seat website that is dedicated to helping soon to be parents find the perfect car seat for their child. It also has several tips and advice on everything from pregnancy to caring for your baby.
Miz Leslie says
Parenting will definitely change your life, but one thing I have learned along the way is not to forget to slow down and enjoy the ride! When your first child is little you may be in such a rush for them to learn to walk and talk or read and write that you’ll miss all the fun stuff in between. It’s the second one that teaches you maybe you don’t need to be is such a hurry.
Great column and great advice. Every person I know who’s welcomed a baby, even the most prepared among them, has said the same thing. Read all the books you want, absorb the info you can and then enjoy your moments of solace as they’ll soon be gone. But babies are the best thing ever. Being a parent is the best thing ever. Worth every single minute and more. 🙂