Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting things that can happen to many people, but it can also be extremely scary and stressful. Having a baby may be something that you’ve wanted for a while, but actually becoming a mom or dad usually means a big lifestyle change. As a parent, you’re responsible for another human being – so it makes sense to prepare yourself as much as possible, to ensure that you are ready to give your little one everything that they need to stay healthy and happy. We’ve put together five of the best strategies to prepare yourself for parenthood.
#1. Take Care of Yourself First:
As the saying goes, if you don’t love yourself, then you’ll find it difficult to love anybody else. And, this is no different for parents. Before you bring a child into the world, it’s essential to put yourself first. After all, parenthood begins with pregnancy, so it’s important to make sure that you have a healthy one. Make positive changes to your lifestyle, such as eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, and sleeping well at night. You should also give up any unhealthy habits such as smoking, drug use, or excessive drinking before you try to conceive.
#2. Prepare Financially:
You may be physically and mentally ready to become a parent, but are you able to afford it? Children certainly don’t come cheap. According to statistics, the average cost of raising a child from birth to seventeen-years-old comes in at a whopping average of $230,000. Although nobody’s expecting you to have that amount saved up and ready, you should ensure that you’re financially stable before having a child. Consider both the cost of regular expenses such as diapers, food, toys, school fees, clothing, and emergency expenses such as medical treatment.
#3. Understand the Lifestyle Changes:
Becoming a parent often leads to a massive lifestyle change for many people. Before getting pregnant, it’s a good idea to be ready for the type of lifestyle changes that you can expect. Any parent will tell you that having a child means your life will become very different to what you are used to. There will be nights where you barely get any sleep, times when you are frustrated, upset or anxious, and even days where you feel like walking away and never coming back. Make sure that you have strong social support from family and friends to help you through; parenthood isn’t easy, so never be ashamed to ask for help! Parent.Guide has some great resources to help you get ready.
#4. Get a Pet:
Lastly, sharing ownership of a pet can be a great way to help couples prepare for parenthood. If you’re currently toying with the idea of having a baby but aren’t sure whether to commit yet, looking after another living being can be a great way to help you get used to sharing an extra responsibility. Although a dog or cat is very different, caring for an animal together can help you prepare for looking after another human.
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