An Impossible Task
So the title of this brief writing is a bit misleading: you can’t really prepare to be a parent. Sure, you can get resources, you can get advice, you can surround yourself with medical experts, and you can take the lessons of both friends and family to heart.
These things will not prepare you emotionally or psychologically when your 2-year-old burps up on gramma at the family reunion. Babies are little humans. You were in your mother’s womb once. Don’t you remember how you stressed out your parents?
Yet, simultaneously, don’t you remember how deeply they cared for you, and how happy you made them even collaterally? So the woes and triumphs of parenthood come like night and day. Nothing can prepare you for them except going through them. That said, there are things you can do to make things a bit easier on you. Consider the following.
- Get Health Professionals You Can Trust
You’ll want an OB/GYN before, during, and after your pregnancy. But you’ll also want a pediatrician and a lactation specialist. Sometimes breastfeeding isn’t going as it should; maybe you’re losing milk. A lot can contribute to a milk supply drop, the lactation specialists in the link have best practices you might want to consider as a means of overcoming this issue.
- Daycare and Parental Support Alternatives
Friends and family are one of your most important resources as a new parent, but they won’t be around every second of every day. You need a third alternative, and that comes in the form of parental support groups.
Such groups can let you know about local daycare alternatives, give you advice, and generally help you avoid mistakes you wouldn’t even know were possible otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know.
- Constantly Seek Additional Means of Income
Parental support groups can save you money on daycare, and help you find government programs that may help underwrite the costs of parenthood. Ideally, you want about an extra $60 per workday per child. Call it $1,300 a month. Government programs, additional shifts at work, online gig economy jobs you can do while at home, and more options are available.
Find ways of saving money by not eating out, by driving less, by buying used, and by using your own mettle and sweat to fix things around the house rather than outsourcing to contractors when possible. Between being frugal and increasing monthly income, you’ll be able to add $1,300 in buying power every month; it’ll just take some time.
Being Ready to be a Mom
Look into additional means of income, as well as cutting monthly costs. Seek out daycare and other support alternatives. Surround yourself with healthcare professionals such as lactation specialists.
Steps like these will help you be a more effective, emotionally stable parent over the long run. Nothing can really prepare you for parenthood, but you can help yourself succeed in the midst of it.