Different people have different milestones. The most common ones are finishing school, buying a car on your own, or buying a house. Others treat having a family as a milestone- and it is one. Some people look forward to being family people, hoping that one day they’ll be a parent, but parenting isn’t something that you just stumble upon. Not everyone aspires to have a child, and for those who do, planning and preparation are necessary.
We all hear the saying that goes “you can’t prepare for being a parent”, exemplifying the difficulty of being a parent. It’s a job that’s full of twists and turns, pleasant and unpleasant surprises, and subversion of expectations. There will be moments filled with joy and happiness, and there will be times where you’re sad and disappointed. Despite this, you can still prepare for it so the whole experience is happier.
To minimize the bad things and maximize the good, you need to know what you’re getting into. You need to prepare everything beforehand- before you even start a family. Here are some tips to help you prepare for becoming a parent
Set the Right Expectations
Parenting often has a set of expectations that comes with it. That’s natural, as it’s something that humans have had since the dawn of time. However, it’s important not to fall into unrealistic expectations that are often self-inflicted. Especially with how life-changing raising a child is, unrealistic expectations and impossible standards are far too common. Instead, approach it with a sense of accessibility.
Lower the expectations of your performance. Don’t hold yourself to an impossible standard, and neither should you expect that your child will be able to fit a high standard. Be realistic at all times: your child will be sick, or struggle at school, or will be sad or angry- and it’s not always your fault. Always temper your projections, and you’ll be fine.
Financially Prepare Yourself
Even from afar, you should be able to realize that parenting involves a lot of money. It’s just as much of a financial commitment as it is an emotional one- so start preparing yourself now! Arm yourself with personal finance knowledge to make sure you and your family will live comfortably. Learn how to invest in real estate or the stock market, as it’s a great way to significantly grow your money over some time. Learn budgeting tactics such as expense monitoring and the 50-30-20 salary plan.
Start Unlearning Unhealthy Habits Now
Because the very act of parenting is highly physically involving, it’s critical that you start unlearning healthy habits as soon as you can, and replacing them with good ones. It will also set a precedent for your family. A healthy mother or father often bears healthy children, so your health is just as critical as theirs. Here are healthy habits that you can start with.
Quit Your Vices
Not only will your children mimic what they see you do, but your vices will also negatively contribute to your energy and health. You’ll be far less energetic when dealing with your kids, so as early as now, stop your vices. Wean yourself off cigarettes, start drinking less alcohol, or even visit a health professional to help you quit your bad habits.
Just as you need to quit your vices, you also need to start developing good habits. Among the most important ones is eating healthy food. Teach yourself to eat veggies, and unlearn the habit of going for junk food for snacks. There are many healthy alternatives to common “comfort food”, and learning how to enjoy them and cook them will benefit you in the long run.
You want to be able to play with your kids, bring them to places, and spend as much time as you can with them. You won’t be able to do that if you’re always tired, and that’s why exercising is critical. It builds your muscles and your body to be able to move as much as your child does.
Finally, Learn the Necessary Skills
Being practical is an important virtue, and as such, you must learn practical skills. Cooking, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and more, are all responsibilities of parents. You won’t just be doing yours, you’ll be doing your kids’ and most likely your spouse’ as well. So make it a point to learn house skills, and not just learn them, but learn how to be efficient at them. This will make the entire ordeal easier and you’ll have a better experience overall.