- Get as much sleep as you can before your baby arrives. Being pregnant makes you super tired anyways, so take advantage of it! Getting the right amount of sleep is easy when you aren’t a parent. When it’s the big day and you finally meet your little one, immediately you will regret not getting more sleep when you could. So if you’re expecting; sleep, sleep, sleep!
- Check your language! If you’re prone to swearing, stop! It’s better to stop now rather than to try while your child’s in the “parrot stage.” This is the time when everything is fair game for a toddler to repeat, including swear words. I know it sounds of little importance right now but trust me, when your two year old says “F$%!” in the middle of the grocery store. You will agree.
- Children grow fast, like super fast! They eventually grow out of that intoxicating fresh baby smell, soft velvet skin, and those adorable cues.. When I say this I obviously don’t mean your child becomes less cute, but they do grow up. So enjoy it while they are tiny. I know you’re stressed and this is all brand new, but really enjoy the early years.
- Smoking. It’s a terrible habit, expensive, and stinks. It’s ideal to wash you’re hands and mouth prior to touching a baby after smoking tobacco. If you are a heavy smoker, just take a second to think of how many times you’d have to wash your hands every day. Most importantly, kids look up to us and learn everything they know from adults. Do you want your child to smoke? No. So it’s simple just quit.
- There will be endless dishes and laundry. Whether you breast or formula feed there will be lots of bottles to wash. Laundry is a must to keep up on. Babies spit up a lot, and sometimes can be just…well messy. This leaves behind countless dirty receiving blankets and onesies to wash. If you want good advice, keep up on these two chores. It’s better to spend 10 minutes each day on it, rather than say 5 hours in one day.
- It’s nerve wracking! After that life changing day of giving birth, nothing will be the same as it was before. Every action, decision, and precaution made will revolve around your baby. You are constantly playing out the worse case scenarios in your head, and thinking every choice over thoroughly. Rest assured, this is a good thing! This just makes you a great mother. If not you, who else is to make these choices and take these precautions when needed for this child?
- Getting sick is 10x worse when you are a parent. Don’t get me wrong getting sick sucks in general, but when you are a parent you have to be tough. You can’t sleep it off and be a baby about it. Even worse in most cases your child catches whatever you have or has given it to you. Now you have to take care of yourself and your little one. If it’s the common cold, manageable. The flu, well then you’re in for a stressful few days of vomit clean up.
- Get used to watching G rated movies. We all know that television and movies influence our children, so we limit what they watch to kid friendly choices. That’s great and all, until you realize this is what you’ll be watching for the next 12 + years, during the day anyways. So sit down, enjoy, maybe even sing along and just “let it go.”
- Your sex life changes. Yes we’re going to discuss that! Because quite frankly more women should be warned. Showers become a delicacy, and hard work becomes the norm. Free time as adults starts to become limited, so it’s hard to find quality time for each other. As long as you actually make time for each other. It’s very important to remind your significant other you’re still interested. It’s not only good for him/her, it’s good for your relationship and in turn leads to being good parents.
- Eating healthy becomes important. Not only for you but for your child, a well balanced meal is crucial. You start to really embrace this way of life once you become a parent. All meals should consist of at least one portion from each food group. Pork chops, mashed potatoes, and peas with a glass of milk is a perfect example of a well balanced dinner. It’s easy to construct a good meal once you grasp the fundamentals like protein, starch/grain, vegetables, and dairy.
Becoming a parent is exciting, nerve wracking, heart warming, eye opening, and sometimes can be down right terrifying. The most important part to remember is you are not alone and there are lots of support outlets to discover. We’re all taking this day by day, and sometimes a little heads up can make a worlds difference. Happy parenting!