10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Become A Parent

Parents around the world will all agree that there is no parenting magazine or ancient philosophy that can fully prepare you for what it’s like to become a parent. Babies are not brought to this word with a list of instructions on how to raise them, nor your parents can give you one formula to triumph in this overwhelming, but blissful journey we call parenting.

Hence, we asked parents online what they wish they knew before they become parents and here are the top 10 answers.

1. Postpartum depression is real.

You look at your baby and heard a voice in your head saying “You can’t do this. You will not make it.” You feel guilty and you wish can do better than this.  You don’t feel the bond, you’re irritated and you get angry. You feel numb, you feel nothing, you are anxious and you don’t even know how to explain how chaotic it feels like.

Postpartum depression is not only real but also prevalent. In fact, studies show that 1 out of 7 Mothers can suffer from it. PPD can look different in every woman. Some Mothers cry, some are afraid, some are angry, some are anxious, while some don’t even know they’re having postpartum depression. Our society views depression as something you have to overcome by just optimism, but it doesn’t work that way. What women with PPD needs is not only medication but also understanding and encouragement from her family.

 Also Read: PPD Triggers: Coming Back to Reality

 

2. Sleep becomes a luxury.

Science said that an adult needs at least 8 hours of sleep every day, but parents have to defy even science. For the first months when your baby comes, the meaning of a good sleep is around 3 to 4 hours. Pee time and shower time will become your only me-time, but don’t worry this will not be the case forever.

 

3. A perfect parent is a myth.

Your goal is not to become a “SuperwoMOM” or become a “SuperDad” so do not be discouraged because of a wrong decision or be paralyzed because of the thought that you could have done it better. When you scroll down your social media and you see a parent who looks like they got things together, be inspired and learn from them instead of comparing yourself and concluding that you are a failure.

As long as you are willing to learn, the door of development is always open for you.  Take for example the story of Handsocks. The idea was born when a Mom forgot to pack mittens and layers for her daughter so she used a pair of ski socks to keep her warm. See, ideas can be born in unlikely situations, especially if you know that parenting is not an exam you have to perfect, but a beautiful journey to take.

 

4. Your marriage will be challenged.

­Finding alone time with your spouse when you have a baby can be a challenge. In fact, you’ll see your relationship change. But remember that a successful marriage is not a one-man team. You have to understand, forgive and cheer each other every single day.

 

5. Know and invest in quality baby items.

Babies are sensitive and delicate. They will cry when they’re sleepy, when hungry, when irritated, when something is itchy and sometimes for some reasons you don’t know.

There will be times when you will stop in the department store and ask yourself “What crib should I buy?”, “All breast pumps look the same, which one should I get?” and so on and so forth. It is daunting and may look insignificant, but you have to educate yourself on these. A good breast pump can save you if you end up having low milk supply and a sturdy crib is your pal when your kid started to climb its walls.

 

6. “Your Dreams stop when you have kids” is a hoax.

Contrary to popular belief, starting your own family and having children doesn’t equate to settling in life. Yes, your priorities and lifestyle will change, but it doesn’t mean you can no longer achieve your life goals. In fact, raising kids inspires parents to work harder and be a better person. Do not look at your kids as roadblocks; instead look at them as your motivation and be a role model.

 

7. You need good people around you.

You do not know everything about parenting, but thankfully, asking questions and getting help is not a crime. Perhaps, some of your relationships will drift apart as you have a new lifestyle, but remember that it is about quality, not quantity. Make sure to surround yourself with people that will encourage and supports your current season. It could be your own parents, siblings, relatives, friends or an older couple you look up to.

As you ask for help and questions, see to it that you are not looking for it in the wrong places. Listen to their guidance, but be a filter of these pieces of advice and not a sponge.

 Also read: "Tips for Finding Other Mom Friends

8. Appreciate Mom and Dad more.

Parenting has its ups and downs and we all wonder how our own parents survived it. Some days you just want to lock yourself in the CR and shout at the top of your lungs. Yet, most days, when your kids give you a hug and a kiss, everything seems to brighten up.

Our parents are not perfect either and we may at some point wish they could have done this or that for us. Now, that you are in their shoes, you already know that it’s not easy being a parent. So take every chance to appreciate them because while we are all busy growing up, they are also growing old.

 

9. Enjoy it because it will be fast.

Your children will only be 6 years old once so make sure that you will make out of the most of their childhood. Make time for them and build a strong relationship with them before school keeps them busy and before they face peer pressure. Remember that nothing substitutes dinner time and a conversation where kids can pour their hearts out.

 

10. It will be worth it.

Raising kids is a gift and a blessing. You are not just raising a human being here, but you are guiding the next generation where future leaders, CEO, teachers, artists, architects, engineers, doctors, musicians, and innovators can come from. If that idea doesn’t amaze you with the beauty of parenthood, I don’t what will.

 

How about you? What are the things you wish you knew? Let us know by commenting below and don’t forget to tag your friends whom you believe are bound to become great parents.

Casey Bunn

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