No parent is going to be perfect, and there’s no way of telling what kind of parent you’re going to be when the baby comes. Life changes when you become a parent, and you think about things differently. You take on a whole new purpose, and you have to act a lot more responsibly in your daily life. It can really change how you see the world, and you’re not just thinking about yourself and your needs anymore, you have a whole other person to consider every step of the way. It’s going to be a long and stressful journey, but it’s incredibly rewarding.
Only you can understand your baby
Babies cry all of the time, it’s the only way for them to communicate their needs and wants, and it’s up to you to figure out what that is. As you’re the only one that can care for them, you need to be ready and patient with them to figure out what the problem is. It could be that they’re hungry, it could be that they’re thirsty – it can be difficult, as even if they’re hungry they might still refuse food. It’s one of the bigger tasks of being a parent, so be prepared for hours of trying to solve that mystery. Of course, not all babies are the same, but it’s something you should take into consideration as a likely occurrence.
Consider their vulnerability
Your baby isn’t going to be like you or your partner, they’ve just been brought into the world, anything can be harmful to them. Things that you’re completely used to as part of your daily life, can be difficult for them to adapt to. Loud noises, smells, sensations – it’s all new to them, and they can find it upsetting while their bodies are still adjusting. Not only that, but they’re going to be physically fragile too. You may have seen children falling over, and that’s a normal part of growing up; but when they’re that young, a fall can be dangerous for them.
Your house can be dangerous for them
You could have the cleanest and tidiest home in the world, that doesn’t make it child-proofed. Anything can be dangerous for a baby, and it’s up to you to make sure that you’ve taken the extra effort of making your home safe for when the baby arrives. It’s time to be more aware of your surroundings, and all of the things that might cause harm to them. Covering sharp corners of your furniture, gating doorways to stop them from getting out of where they’re supposed to be – it’s important until they’re old enough to do things for themselves. While you might not need to put the childproofing up straight away, it’s best to have it ready for when the time comes.
You no longer have time to yourself
While you might be used to doing your own thing in your free time, you have to consider that you’re going to be spending that time with your baby instead. It’s something that all parents have to come to terms with, that your life is about your baby now, and you must see to them getting everything they need. If you want your baby to develop properly, you have to make sure they’re properly taken care of, and none of their needs are neglected.
Any hobbies that you have, or ongoing plans that you’re used to taking part in will most likely have to go on hold until your baby has grown up a little. You can’t expect to leave everything to your partner, and it will be much easier if you’re able to tackle things together. If you’re planning a baby, clearing your schedule for when the baby comes is a must.
Your life will be different from now on
Freeing up your time to take care of your newborn is one thing, but your life is going to change beyond those years. You’re a parent now, and you’re going to be a parent for the rest of your life. It’s a person that you’re responsible for, and are going to be caring for from now on, so things are inevitably going to change. It’s no small difference in your life, and your priorities are going to be different regardless.
It’s okay to feel overwhelmed
Being a parent is one of the most stressful titles to take on, and you’re going to be feeling stressed nearly every day. Your baby won’t give you a break, and you’ll be on your toes all throughout the day, even when you’re trying to sleep. It’s not uncommon for parents to start to feel overwhelmed by this responsibility, and it’s totally fine to feel like you weren’t ready for it. No parent is ever ready to have a baby, not fully, and it’s unfair on yourself to have that kind of expectation.
You may even feel guilty, that you’re not good enough to be a parent, but that’s not usually the case. It’s due to a build-up of stress, and a lack of sleep, that causes your emotions to get the better of you. Take the time to remind yourself now and then that you’re doing well – you should also remember to treat yourself, don’t forget that your needs are important too.
It’s okay to ask for help
As much as you might feel ashamed for not being able to cope with things on your own, it is totally fine to ask someone else for help. Having someone look after your baby for an evening here and there while you take some time to yourself can be everything that you need, and can help you be a better parent. If you can find ways to unwind from time to time, it helps to destress and allows you to think about things again. You’ll have a much easier time with parenting if you know that you can get a time out here and there.
Health issues to look out for
No matter how careful you are with your baby, it’s impossible to protect them from everything. Sometimes it’s natural reactions of the body that causes them to appear sick, and you’ll need to be ready to deal with that. Whether they’re visibly ill, experiencing baby cradle cap, or you’re unable to figure out why they’re crying – you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got the right things prepared for the situation. Having an assortment of medication and treatments can give you the peace of mind that you need if your baby becomes ill.
Babies are expensive
One of the most important things you should be considering is how much it costs to raise a child. Not only is it going to cost you a fortune when preparing for your baby that’s on the way, but there’s also going to be a lot of money and investment going towards that baby throughout their whole life until they’re old enough to pay their own way. Depending on the household, and the wants and needs of your child, you could be looking at close to a cost of around $100,000 or more to raise them until they are 18. Not every household will pay the same amount, and it will depend on your lifestyle, but it’s by no means cheap to raise a child until they can support themselves. You should consider if you’re ready for that kind of investment, not just financial, but emotional and timewise too.