Are you excited because you are a new parent? Thrilled to start the journey of parenthood? Did anyone tell you that parenthood is a life-changing event? There are a lot of ups and downs in this journey but if you are prepared then parenthood will seem less daunting!
Parenthood brings a variety of life changes. If you are aware of these changes, you will be prepared. I was once a new parent and after a few years of parenthood, I can say these are the top changes which impacts new parents.
Lack Of Sleep
Once a baby is born, there is no time to sleep. Both my kids had kept me awake at night. Most babies do. This happens because the baby has no concept of day and night. The good news is that as time goes, the baby will learn this difference and your night duties will reduce gradually. The first few months were tough for me as a new parent as my baby always wanted to be held throughout the night! That is why at the age of 3 months, I feel a parent should start establishing a routine with their kids. Then at least you would know when you would be able to have a nap and catch up on the sleep which you missed during the night.
Now my kids are in school so they hardly wake up at night (unless they are sick) and I can get 8 hours of sleep every night.
Lack Of Time
The first year is the hardest. Parents will have absolutely no time for themselves especially if they have no help from family or friends. The whole day is just consumed by nappy changes, feeds, cooking and cleaning and had no help with my kids so time was limited to evenings and weekends but things start to get better as your child gets older Especially, when they start preschool or kindergarten (roughly 3 years of age). Even though time is scarce for parents, they should take small breaks, if possible. This will refresh and recharge them. You need breaks because parenthood is a lifetime journey. If you take breaks at reasonable intervals you will be better equipped to deal with your kids. Parents are humans, one must not forget. In my experience, taking breaks has helped me become a better parent.
Parents, I know you must be wondering how one is supposed to take a break if one has limited or no help. The reason being, I put my kids into a routine from a very young age. Therefore, I know what they would require at what time of the day or night. Routines will buy you a little time for yourself at least which will help you have some sanity and control over your life. Parenting is still a time-consuming job but at least you will have a chance of a break.
Parenthood will curtail your freedom big time. You cannot go and come as you would like to. A lot of parents might also have to quit their jobs to look after their child. Once the child starts going to school, you will get part of your freedom back.
When I became a mother for the first time, I felt more confident. Parenthood brings the responsibility of another human being and this automatically increases your confidence. It is as if you have gained another set of skills. You would be doing things that you would have never done before. Trust me, there will be plenty of such occasions.
Parents are one of the best problem solvers. As your child will get older, you will encounter various experiences. Some good and some not so good. You will have to find a way around these situations. It could be a behavior problem or some issues at school. Your child could be losing things at school or having a problem reading at the required standard. Unfortunately, parents have to find a solution to their child’s every problem. There is no escape from this. Some problems will challenge you, some will frustrate you and some might make you very very angry. I take every parenting problem in my stride and deal with it to the best of my ability.
After embarking on a parenting journey, a parent learns to be efficient. As you are juggling a lot of things, it is hard to keep up at times. Especially if you are working as well. There will be a lot of multi-tasking required in parenting. Multi-tasking requires efficiency. One thing which has helped me immensely is meditation. Meditation not only keeps us calm but also increases our efficiency and productivity.
Once you become a parent, you also learn how to make the best use of your time. Since time is scarce in a parent’s life, the time has to be managed well. I do cleaning and laundry on particular days of the week. I work on my blog and freelance writing during the day when my son is in school and while my little one takes a nap. Parenting is about juggling your life and your parenting duties. Ever since I have become a parent, I can finish more chores in an hour than I used to do in a day before parenthood!
Parenting is hard most of the times, especially for a single parent. I had to devise strategies that would make my children listen to me. I had to find a path that would make my parenting journey easier. I had to develop strategies and tricks that would make my kids do what I tell them to do at a certain minimum of fuss and tantrums. It’s not easy but now people come and tell me that my children are well disciplined! I wouldn’t have learnt all this had I not become a parent!
Before parenthood, I didn’t I was capable of so much love. I have learnt to love selflessly after I becoming a mom. Parenting has taught me to love without any expectations.
Naturally, priorities will change once you become a parent. Before parenthood, you would have only thought of yourself and what you need to do for yourself first. But now you would be putting your child’s needs and requirement first. In your life list, you will move down to #2. The #1 spot has been reserved for your children. This one massive change for anyone. I strongly believe that mothers should not forget themselves completely. They have got to remember the woman in them.
Mothers might find it hard to rediscover their identity after parenthood. Parenting is a full-time job. It is very easy to forget oneself in the process. If mothers undertake self-care activities (doing things they like) it will become easier to rediscover their identity. This will also give them a chance to refresh themselves from the parenting duties.
After becoming a parent, a person grows a lot (I mean mentally and not physically .. lol) parents learn patience, perseverance, how to calm down. Hard work and determination amongst other things. Parents are great role models to their children (if you choose to be) Children will learn from what the parents are doing. They will do what their parents do and not what they say. For example, if the child sees parents working hard they will learn the importance of hard work.
This is another massive change once you become a parent. Your social life will be practically non-existent. You will be so tired because of lack of sleep and doing parenting chores, you will have no energy to go partying. There is also the problem of time. If you are not earning, you will also have a problem with spending money.
As mentioned previously, moms/dads might have to quit their jobs to look after their child. This would naturally create a shortage of money due to a reduction in household income. Parents would then have to learn how to save money. How to reduce bills and how to accommodate all the costs associated with the child. A parent learns to be resourceful.
It is not all doom and gloom once you become a parent. I would say that life takes a different turn once you have a child.Having a child is a life-changing but the most enjoyable event in any parent’s life!