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7 Things You Wish You Knew Before Becoming a Parent

by Nathan Zachary

Whether you’ve got a bun in the oven or are considering bringing a child into the world, life looks intensely different before and after having a child. The world has a lot of resources for people who are about to become parents. From all the mommy blogs, parenting books, and conversations between friends and family, so much information can leave you overwhelmed or with more questions than you started. While parenthood looks different for everyone, a couple of realities apply to any parent. If you’re looking for some of the hard truths behind becoming a parent, read on. 

Having a baby is easier said than done

Having a baby sounds a little too easy when you’re young. However, many adults find it quite difficult to make a baby. Many couples may have trouble conceiving due to fertility issues, and those with a uterus already have a small window of time when ovulating, making it even more challenging to have a baby. While some couples may be able to make babies like rabbits, others have a difficult time and find that they need medical intervention. 

Luckily, technology and medicine have advanced, helping couples with fertility issues to have a baby. With the advent of things like IVF, surrogacy, and medical research, more parents may achieve their dreams of bringing a new addition to their family. While this technology makes having a baby possible for many families, it’s expensive. So if you need medical assistance to become pregnant, it will take time, resources, funds, and dedication. 

Say goodbye to sleep

One of the most preached sayings amongst new parents is to say goodbye to your sleep. Many parents joke that they never knew the meaning of tired until they became parents, and it’s true, you’ll be missing a lot of sleep depending on your baby and parenting style. While you could end up lucky with a baby who sleeps through the night, it’s important to prepare for the fact that you may be exhausted a majority of the time, especially in the first few months of bringing your newborn home. 

Not only are parents reportedly more tired than the rest of the population, but that exhaustion can also affect your health. As your child joins daycare, you may subject yourself to lots of new germs and may find that you’re sick more frequently than you did before becoming a parent. You may need the help of some immune support supplements, in addition to healthy lifestyle habits to keep you healthy. 

You don’t need all the baby tech

Many companies have made it their mission to be the world’s leader in baby technology. From baby cameras to bottle warmers, breast pumps, high-tech thermometers, electronic baby swings, and more, you may get overwhelmed with how many things you think you need to buy for your baby. While a lot of this technology is state-of-the-art, you won’t necessarily need all of the latest and greatest baby technology the world has to offer. As long as you cover the basics, you should have everything you need. If you want to invest in high-tech options, just ensure the items and their features can improve your life, instead of getting swept away by promises and features you won’t necessarily need. 

They’re expensive

We all know how expensive having a baby can be. From the hospital stay to the delivery, all the supplies you need for your nursery, and more, expenses can rack up quickly. Aside from the obvious costs, there are some unexpected ones as well. 

For example, if you plan on buying a fixer-upper house for your family to grow into, you might spend a pretty penny remodeling your kitchen, family rooms, and bedrooms. In addition, if you plan on doing any activities with your baby, like signing up for a baby music class or enrolling in a baby group, those will also cost you. As your child grows older, you may want to enroll them in a private school to support their development, and those private schools come with some hefty tuition fees. If you plan on traveling or having someone watch your child while you work, nanny and daycare fees will also quickly rack up. 

Baby clothes don’t last

Infants grow at a faster rate than at any other point in our lives. A baby’s development begins in utero and continues after the child is born. With so much physical (and mental) development, you may find your baby grows in the blink of an eye. The piles of clothes you bought to bring your baby home from the hospital likely won’t fit months or even weeks after they’re born. 

Babies aren’t a one-size-fits-all, and even newborn clothes may not fit your baby who was just born. Instead of buying clothes that you think are adorable, keep in mind how quickly your child will grow. Buying a few items in various sizes is the best way to ensure you’ll always have clothes for your baby to wear. If the cost of constantly buying new clothes for your baby is hurting your budget, consider purchasing previously owned infant clothing and donating the items your baby has outgrown. 

Developmental milestones aren’t a competition

After having a baby, you may be surprised to find how much discourse surrounds baby milestones, making it feel like a competition. However, no baby is the same, and we shouldn’t shame parents for the milestones their baby is or isn’t reaching. Every baby develops differently, and even doing all that you can do to engage and teach your baby how to crawl, walk and talk, they may still need some extra time developing those skills, and that’s okay. 

Don’t compare the progress of your baby to other children, and avoid feeling like developmental milestones are a reflection of your parenting skill. As long as you’re discussing your baby’s growth with your doctor, they’ll let you know when something is cause for concern. 

Your life won’t be the same

Life after becoming a parent will never be the same. Even if you think you’ve done all you can to prepare for a new member of your family, nothing will prepare you for the reality of becoming a parent. Parenthood looks different for everyone and how you raise your children is a very subjective process. As long as the realities of becoming a parent have set in, you’re already on your way to becoming the best parent you can be. With some of these points in mind, remember to not put too much pressure on yourself and know that you’re doing the best you can.

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