Child-rearing is not an easy task. No matter how many parenting books you read or parenting forums you attend, you can never have a downright easy time when raising your child because it is full of surprises. Nothing can prepare you completely for parenthood. If I could go back to the time that I had my first child, the following are the 8 things I wish I knew as a first time parent.
- Some parenting skills come naturally, for instance changing diapers. When my first child was born, I had never changed a diaper before. A few days after he was born, I was somehow an expert when it comes to changing diapers.
- There are times you will feel overwhelmed, but that is totally okay. When a baby is born, they do not come with instructions on how to take care of them. But one thing is for sure: the moment you step out of the hospital, it really sinks in your mind that that beautiful little person is your responsibility. Whether he/she cries a lot, gives you a hard time to feed and so on, you have to make sure that he/she is well taken care of.
- It does not hurt to ask for help, and you will seriously need it! Taking care of the little one on your own is not easy task, so do not hesitate to welcome friends and relatives that can offer you some help.
- It is important to sleep while you are able to. When you have a little child, your regular sleeping pattern will be interfered with because there will be times when you will have to stay up during the night to look after the baby. So take advantage of any extra sleeping time you can get.
- You do not need a lot of baby stuff. When some parents are expecting a child, they would go on a shopping spree to buy things such as car seats, strollers, swings, play mats, bouncy chairs, burp cloths and other things that are meant to keep the baby constantly stimulated in order to develop super brains. But I came to realize that all these things are not that important because babies pretty much just sleep and cry to be fed. Even when they have reached toddling stage, you still do not need all these stuff to stimulate them because everything is entertaining to them.
- There will be a lot of surprise costs. In the first couple of years, there is one thing that you will need a lot, and that is diapers. You should never underestimate how many diapers you will end up buying. There will be other expenses that will just come out of the blue, for instance babysitting costs, medical fees, class trip costs, music lessons and so on.
- You will be doing laundry every day of the week. If you were used to doing laundry only once a week, be ready to switch to a new routine once you welcome the little one. Baby’s clothes cannot stay dirty for long because they will look nasty, so you have to wash them and keep them clean all the time.
- There is no other job in the world that is as awesome and rewarding as being a parent. Despite the challenges that parenthood comes with, and no matter how exhausted you will be, it still remains the best job in the world according to me. It is a very rewarding experience to see your little one grow up every day.