A baby doesn’t come with an instruction manual to prepare you for the right kind of parenting. No ancient philosophy or parenting techniques can work a hundred percent for your child. Every child is different and full of surprises. So it all depends on what is best for them and best for you as well. No matter how tough raising a child gets, you will figure it out through trial and error.
From the time we were kids ourselves and grew up into adults, we had a tendency to focus on our own lives the most. Be it high school, college or your job, you always thought about yourself only when making these decisions, but once you have a family, not only will your priorities change, but you will also miss having that blissful solitude and alone time with your spouse and friends. Having children will not only affect your relationship but it might also change your whole outlook on life!
Being prepared for what lies ahead of you can have a profound effect on how you deal with it. Even though you can never be prepared for each and everything that happens, you can surely develop patience and avoid confusion when facing those challenges head on.
Here are 5 things that parents usually wish they knew before having kids:
Newborns can be very demanding
Newborns are extremely sensitive and delicate. They cry when sleepy, hungry, irritated, itchy or maybe for reasons you can never figure out. Even if you’re lucky to have a happy easy baby, you will still be overwhelmed by the new experience.
Some parents might say that newborns are very easy because all they do is eat, sleep, and poop but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Many experienced parents claim that if you can keep yourself together for the first few months of having a baby, without going berserk, you can survive anything. All hell can break loose for people in the first few months, if they are not flexible enough to sacrifice their daily routines.
But remember even when you feel like the worst has happened to you, you will get through it. In fact, you will think back and regret being so worried about it and might even be willing to go through it all over again.
All those months going through pregnancy, eagerly waiting for your baby to arrive, and yet when the baby’s finally here, you don’t feel good about it. You don’t feel anything, that motherly bond doesn’t exist for you. You’re just numb and you get irritated and angry easily. You can’t explain this chaotic feeling to anyone in fear of being judged. You are shocked and surprised about the way you feel. A voice inside you says that “you can’t do this” and now you feel guilty and blame yourself for having such thoughts about your child.
Postpartum depression is real and much common than we think it is. Latest studies from the American Psychological Association reveals that, 1 out of 7 new mothers experience it. It can manifest differently in every woman. Some mothers get very afraid, some may get angry or anxious, while some may have no idea that it’s postpartum depression.
Make yourself aware of postpartum depression (PPD), as it is a serious condition, and symptoms may include hopelessness, having hard time bonding with the baby, withdrawal from family and friends, stressing over being alone with the baby, and in severe cases having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
The treatment for postpartum depression is not just medication. It requires immense support, understanding and encouragement from family members, especially from the significant other. Don’t be afraid to talk about it to your loved ones and share how you feel. It might be tough but discussing it will help you overcome it.
Expect the Unexpected
If you’re the kind of person who always does things in an organized way, following schedules and plans, then rest assured you’re not going to be the same person. It is always easier if you have planned for a situation but no matter how prepared you are, plans will change when you have kids. You will have to learn to be flexible and creative when it comes to kids. Evaluate the circumstances and modify your expectations accordingly.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there will be a lot of unexpected expenses coming your way. Starting from needing a boatload of diapers every week to high priced day care services, babysitting costs, medicines, vaccinations and medical fees can all take you by surprise.
Try to spend as less as possible before the baby comes. Avoid buying things before the baby arrives just because other parents have it, as your baby may not even need it. Strollers, car seats, toys, baby hammocks, bouncy chairs, burp cloths, teething rings and play mats can all add up to huge amount of money.
Buy things only when you feel the need to. Babies don’t need the latest technology toys and entertainment to occupy them even when they’ve started toddling. Every new thing is an interesting toy for a child and they are more likely to get bored and discard them in a few days’ time.
Sleep will be a luxury
Sleep is one thing that may drive you nuts even if you handle all other things well. Children need 13 or more hours of sleep at night, and their sleeping patterns keep changing as they grow up. If you want to get things done, try becoming an early riser before the baby comes, but also make sure you enjoy your sleep time as much as you can before it.
It’s a well-known fact that an average person needs at least 6 hours of sleep every day to function properly, but parents defy these facts all the time. For the first few months of having a newborn, a good sleep for parents will be just 3 to 4 hours. Even when kids cross the infant and toddler stages, insufficient sleep can still be a problem. Stressing too much about kids, getting them up for school or kids crawling into your bed at night, could all add up to lack of sleep. But don’t worry, as slow as it may seem, it does get better as they grow up.
Cherish it as much as you can because it’s all going to be worth it!
Yes, it’s hard but kids are a huge blessing. All hardships and sacrifice will certainly pay off. Raising a human being is a big contribution to the world. Your input can make future world leaders, CEOs, engineers and doctors. Realize what you’re doing is worth a lot and feel proud to be a parent.
Your children will only be little for some years and once they grow up to be independent individuals, you will crave spending time with them. Make sure you create amazing memories with them and cherish every moment. Build a strong relationship with them before they start going to school and start getting busier as each day passes.
People believe that having children means making peace with your dreams and just settling in life. But this is not entirely true. Priorities will definitely change but that’s no reason to stop achieving your goals. In fact, your kids can serve as an inspiration to work even harder and become a much better person. Don’t think of yours kids as blockers of your dreams, rather think of them as your motivation to keep aiming higher.
About The Author
Lisa Brown has been helping her readers in successful business and entrepreneurial strategies for the past 3 years. She currently works with uae.ekuep.com, which is the answer to UAE’s growing restaurant industry. Ekuep is the brand that restaurants, bakeries, cafes, juice bars, and more turn to when they want to stock their kitchens with only the best restaurant equipment.