Before Conception

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There are many things to take into consideration before becoming a parent. Having had my first child about 4 months after my 16th birthday, and now being 25 with my 5th on the way and 2 miscarriages as well, I can tell this from very personal experience. Being a parent is an experience that will break your heart time and time again, it will cause you more physical pain than you have ever imagined could come from something so small, more emotional pain than could come from anyone other than a child, and more mental anguish than you have ever experienced in your life.
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Some of the things to take into consideration immediately are: 1, If something happens between you and the person that you are with right now, will you be able to get along and work with each other for the sake of your child even if you are dating other people 2, do you have the physical space where you are living to accommodate an infant and all of their belongings 3, do you have the financial ability to provide all of the beginning necessities for a newborn IE: crib, crib sheets, play pen, bassinette, basinette sheets, baby swing, bouncy seat, car seat, formula and bottles if not breastfeeding and a little just incase the baby or the mother doesn’t take to breastfeeding, diapers, wipes, bathing products, etc. because there are still more that just aren’t coming to mind right now. 4, are you able to wake in the middle of the night several times and still perform your responsibilities otherwise. These are just the things that will or can come into play immediately.
The next step to think about is 1, can you handle being scare to death more times than you will be willing to count IE: the baby nearly chokes on their food, the baby has recently began bathing in the tub without a baby bath seat and nearly drowns, your toddler refuses to sit down in the bath and falls and hits their head under the water, your toddler climbs onto your kitchen table while you are in the bathroom, your baby is learning to walk and falls on their head, your child is learning to ride a bike and falls on the pavement, your child has been at a friends house playing and comes home with blood everywhere they have fallen out of a tree, your baby has recently began crawling and managed to find the one electrical outlet that you forgot to plug and they have found it with their tongue, your younger teen or pre-teen has gone to the first dance and is late getting home, you find drugs in an older child/teens room, you find out that your driving aged teen has been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, etc. There are many things that are bound to happen throughout the life of a child that are going to cost money, be scary, test your patience, or step all over your nerves, the biggest question is this: can you handle it?
If you think that you can handle all of this, then my next suggestion would be to become good friends with a single parent and visit with them often both in their home and in yours. I am talking a single parent of small children, infants and toddlers. This will first of all give you an idea of how to childproof your own home. Secondly it will give you an idea of some of the challenges that parents face especially when the relationship with the co-parent didn’t work out and one parent is left doing most of the child rearing. In this process I also ask that you don’t judge the techniques that other parents use or try to decide your parenting style before you even have children, this will not work. Everything is different when the child is yours and not someone elses. It is very easy to tell someone elses child no about something, but when it comes to your own it is much more difficult because you are more emotionally attached. Not only that, but what may work for you won’t necessarily work for everyone, different parents and different children require different approaches.

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