So, you are thinking of becoming a parent? Perhaps you are already expecting a baby? Having children is one of the most joyous and rewarding things you can do in your lifetime. However, it is also the most exhausting and demanding, so you need to be prepared for what’s in store. Being totally prepared isn’t possible, as everyone reacts to parenthood in different ways, but there are things you can do to make the transition from non-parent to parent as easy as it possibly can be.
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Prepare to Wait
If you are not yet parents but are trying to conceive, then you need to be prepared to wait for when the ‘magic’ happens. Even if both of you are healthy, there is no guarantee that you will conceive straight away. It can become a stressful time for you if you are waiting for a long time, but it is important to try and relax and not focus too much on becoming pregnant. Stress is one of the many things that can affect you trying to conceive for both the man and the woman, so do your best to take things easy. If you have been trying for a long while with no success, then you can speak to your doctor to see if there is anything they can do. However, in most cases, they like you to have been trying naturally for at least a year before they investigate.
Try to Quit Unhealthy Habits
There is never a bad time to get healthy and quit bad habits, so use the impending parenthood as a good excuse to clean up your habits. Whether it’s smoking, drinking drugs or overeating, you want to be as healthy as you can for your children. Not only will they see and pick up on your bad habits, but it can also go a long way in helping you conceive in the first place. There are now many programs and lessons that you can take to help you give up on your bad habits. It won’t be an easy thing to do, but the effort will be rewarded with the knowledge that you are doing a good thing for your children.
Take Up Regular Exercise
There are many reasons to exercise, and being a parent is one of them. From the beginning, your child will demand a lot of your energy, either by keeping you up in the night or by running around as they get older. The fitter and healthier you are, the more able you will be to cope with these demands on you physically and mentally. Many studies have shown the benefits of regular exercise on your state of mind. For both parents especially, but in particular, for mothers as this can be a time when depression and stress can be at its peak. The exercise regime doesn’t have to stop after the child is born, many parents get involved with baby exercise classes at an early age. They can help with having parent and baby time, and they can also help all of you stay healthy.
Think About Your Finances
Having a baby can become an expensive business, it isn’t just the medical bills or the formula, it’s also getting baby furniture and clothing along with diapers. Even if you have an amazing family to help you, the cost of being a parent can become difficult if you don’t plan well. Before you even conceive, you should be thinking about getting your finances in the best possible shape. That includes creating a list of your outgoings including debt and seeing how you can pay them off. You ideally want to have as little debt as possible, so you can devote some of your income to the new baby. Although you can try to budget as much as possible for the new arrival, there may be unexpected expenses that you need to be prepared for. For example, if your little one needs care at the hospital after birth, then you might need to pay for additional medical care or medication. It also helps to think about the future by considering life insurance for parents. Although you probably don’t want to think the worst, it is good to be prepared.
Volunteer to Babysit
Although babysitting doesn’t totally prepare you for becoming a parent, it can give you an insight into how children behave and react to situations. It is probably a good idea to start by babysitting in the evening, so you can get used to a bedtime routine. As with any other parenting routine, these aren’t set in stone. You may well have a totally different routine with your own children, but it gives you some practice. You should then volunteer to take one of your nephews or nieces out for a day trip. It can be a worrying experience because you won’t have had the responsibility before perhaps, but it will help you to understand the routines you might need for your children.
Try to go to Scans and Check-Ups Together
Often, when scans or check-ups come along, the dad isn’t able to be there because of work. Although working is important, the experience of attending these appointments can never be repeated. It also gives you a special bond between you and your child as well as you and your partner. If you are nervous about becoming a parent, these visits can help you to accept the impending baby and get you ready for the birth itself. As well as going to the appointments, you should also try to ask advice from your parents or others that have had children. Sometimes, they will have invaluable advice that could make a big difference when the baby arrives.
Becoming a parent can be overwhelming at first, there is a lot to do, and the tiny baby will rely on you for everything. However, if you can be as prepared as possible, then you will have a head start and hopefully less stress.