Parenthood is a major responsibility and a life changer. Bringing a new life into the world comes with tremendous responsibility and a huge change in your daily routine. With these changes also comes a joy that is unlike any other in life.
Not surprisingly, you may start to feel nervous as the responsibility approaches. This is perfectly normal and should be expected as the birthday draws nearer.
Follow these tips to prepare yourself for the challenges that await you when you become a parent:
1. Communicate first. If you’re in a relationship and are considering having a child, talk with your spouse about it openly. If your spouse isn’t ready, then put it off. Parenting is a team effort. If you go into such an endeavor with team members on opposite pages of the playbook, it can complicate an already challenging aspect of your life.
2. Care for a pet. Owning and caring for a pet provides real-world experience in caring for a living creature without the pressure and intensity of having a child. On a much smaller scale, caring for pets allows you to experience the joy of developing a relationship and the responsibility of providing for its happiness and health.
* Pets can simulate some of the responsibilities of being a parent. Pets need attention, they need to be fed, and they’ll wake you up in the middle of the night for random reasons. They’re even moody and cranky sometimes.
3. Carry around a bag of powder or an egg. This is a common preparation exercise for helping people understand the time investment and attention required in having a child. Take an inanimate object and treat it like you would a child: getting up to feed it, taking it around with you all day, and making sure nothing bad happens to it.
4. Research. Many books have been written that go into great detail on how you can prepare yourself for the upcoming life change. These books can provide a great education that shortens the learning curve and helps you benefit from the experiences of others who’ve been there.
* Books can also prepare you for the common pitfalls new parents face and even give you ideas of things to try that you haven’t thought of. You can make decisions based on a wealth of experience, even if you’re brand-new to parenting, through the education that books provide.
* You can also find a plethora of pertinent information on the Internet. Visit informational websites, blogs of new parents, and parenting forums.
5. Babysit. One of the best ways to find out if you’re ready for children is to use the real thing as a test. Try babysitting the child of a neighbor or friend. While babysitting and raising children are quite different, the experience of babysitting will give you a taste of what’s to come when you have a child. Babysitting other kids is the closest simulation to parenting that you’ll find.
Bringing a baby into the world can be one of the greatest joys you’ll ever experience. But it’s important to ensure that you’re ready. Prepare yourself as much as possible and communicate with your partner throughout the process. You may feel anxiety as the big day approaches, but you can ease these nervous feelings with thorough preparation.