So, you are brave enough to bring a human being into this world, good for you. Let me be completely honest with you. It won’t be easy. But, it isn’t rocket science either. You can do it. All you have to do is be prepared and be ready.
As a disclaimer before a movie, these are mandatory points that you shouldn’t ignore (but still mostly do). But before you rush away to plan a baby, there are some things you need to know. So, here are the things you should know before you plan a baby if there is still time to think (if you know what I mean).
Your lifestyle will completely change.
If you love going to parties, going on unplanned trips, and in general having a good time, then I have some news, not happening anymore. There is nothing ‘unplanned’ about having to pack an entire kit bag, seeing if the place you are going is baby-friendly, is the commute going to be too harsh on the child, and the list is endless.
Your priorities are going to be different now. Your other friends are going to think you aren’t cool anymore. So, before you plan to have a baby, you should be prepared for this. Your phone is going to have thousands of pictures of your little one.
But that is okay. You start loving this stuff too. You are not going to become dull, just different. Yes, you will talk a lot about you-know-who. But that is what new parents do. You will get used to this lifestyle too. And once you settle into this lifestyle, you will find out ways to have fun yourself.
Thinking, “what have I done to myself.”
Let me tell you it is perfectly alright to think this way. And, you are not the only one who thinks so. Understandably, you are worried and panicky about the whole situation, as you haven’t done this before.
All you have to do is keep telling yourself that ‘everything is going to be just fine.’ You prepare the best you can, and then you stop worrying. It is easier said than done. So here is a revised plan, you keep telling yourself all this, keep your worrying to a limit, and not let it affect your health.
Another common problem with first-time parents is they think, ‘I am not capable of taking care of a child.’ Just because someone could get your tot to sleep or make them stop crying doesn’t mean that you have failed as a parent (there is plenty of time in the future to think that).
You are still settling in your new role. You can’t expect to be a master at it in a matter of a few hours or days.
People are not kidding when they say ‘no sleep.’
Okay, let us solve a mathematics problem here. You have a baby. This newborn needs food every few hours (the rule of thumb is 2-3 hours), you are supposed to provide the food. They eat every few hours and will make a lot of mess.
A lot of ‘mess’ requires a lot of cleaning. This cleaning is also your responsibility. And you cannot close your eyes even for a second when the baby is awake. You have to clean up after them when they are asleep because you cannot leave their side when they are awake.
Calculate yourself, when will you sleep? If the answer is never, then you are good at mathematics. If not, then ignorance is bliss.
It is not the time to be proud. Get as much help as you can. Call in as many favors as you have in your arsenal (being a nice person will finally pay off!). If you are wondering whether you will ever not be a zombie again, then the answer is also yes. It is not a permanent situation. They will start sleeping for a longer time. And that is when you shall get your rest. Hang in there.
Everyone, I repeat, everyone will have advice.
When the topic is ‘raising a baby,’ everyone is an expert. Everyone has their own ‘100% works’ solution. Everybody has their own ‘tips and tricks’ to make them eat, sleep, poop, and whatnot.
But everything doesn’t need to work. It also necessarily does not mean that the advice is wrong. It is just that everybody has their own experiences, and they are just trying to help, and others are just boasting. You may be overwhelmed by all of this, but you have to learn how to filter through it.
God has gifted every one of us with a brain of our own. Use it. Do what feels right. Take the advice that is best suited for your situation and block the rest. It will take some time, but you will master it.
Babies are more resilient than you think.
Yes, you have to take extra care of your babies. But that does not mean every little scratch or scrape is catastrophic. Babies move around, and babies may get hurt. That does not make you bad parents. A small bump (keyword ‘small’) with the table or a small scrape is not a calamity. Don’t panic too much. They start crying if they see that you are making a big deal out of it.
Don’t compare your baby’s milestones with fellow babies.
Every child is unique. Everyone learns at a different pace, but that doesn’t make your child smarter or dumber. Your kid has a different story than others. Just because another baby started walking earlier than yours, there isn’t a cause for alarm.
Enjoy your baby time- it doesn’t last long.
It is the same thing as wanting to become an adult when you were a kid. We know what came of that wish. Now, all we want is to go back in time and enjoy our non-adult tension-free life a little more. So, believe me when I say you will miss these days when your child was a baby.
It is not a party ahead (you will know soon enough). So enjoy this time to the fullest. Live in the moment. And be careful of what you wish for because one moment you are playing with your little one and the next moment you are in a ‘rage battle’ with your teenager or even further when they go to college and away from you.
When you plan to have a child, be prepared for these rough parts too.