No matter how many books you read, suggestions you get, or online forums you sign up for; any parent can tell you there are things you can never completely prepare for when you become a parent. Parenting is full of surprises and each child is different. So just because something works for one child, doesn’t mean it will work on the next. Whether you’re a first time parent or soon to be one, remember these three things about parenthood.
1. Say Good-bye to a Good Night’s Sleep
How much your child will sleep varies. For some parents, a child may begin sleeping through the night quite early; while other parents tend to have various sleep issues to combat with over the years. Each stage of childhood comes with new sleep issues. Infancy has feeding times; toddlers throughout childhood can have nightmares; the list goes on and on. Not to mention, if you want to get anything accomplished, part of the time you have to wait until your child is asleep.
2. Going out Will Never Be the Same Again
Whether you’re going out to eat, shopping, or to go visit a friend, once you become a parent it’s a whole new experience. You have to think about a variety of details, such as ‘do you have enough diapers?’ or “do you have enough snacks?” Plus what used to take five minutes to go pick something up from the store, will now take 30 or more due to the extra work involved. (Think bundling up the child, packing the diaper bag, messing with the car seat, etc.)
3. You Will Change
Parenthood not only changes how you go about your daily life, but it changes you as a person too. You values, what becomes important, and your day to day habits adjust to fit your new life. Eating habits can get better, relationships can change for the better or worse, and you will NEVER again take your free time for granted. Most of all, you will get to experience a bond and love that you couldn’t ever of dreamed of.
Although some aspects can seem negative, in the end parenting is worth it all. You discover more new things every day and you may miss out on a lot of sleep; but in the end, it helps you to grow as a person and a parent. Even though having a child may seem scary, once you become a parent, you couldn’t (and wouldn’t) dream of life any other way.
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