Well let’s just face it, as much as you love your bundle of joy, parenting…. it is a bit of a pain really. There are many joyful times, but be prepared for more painful times. These are the ten things I wished I knew before my baby’s arrival, to lessen the pain of it.
1. Get some sleep while you still can
I really wished I knew this before our baby’s arrival. When you decide to sleep later to do anything stupid like catching up on Korean drama (like myself) or have a pillow talk with the spouse, just stop that and go to sleep. You will have plenty of time to watch drama on your phone while breastfeeding / rocking your baby to sleep in the wee hours when they are born. You’ll thank me later on.
2. Discuss parenting style with your partner
Instead of spending your time to discuss unimportant things like which stroller to go for, discuss what really matters. Read and agree on a set of parenting styles such as do we let him cry it out? When should we introduce solid food and how? What’s the daily routine of a baby should be like? This will save you a lot of drama later on. Don’t wait until the baby’s arrival to do it. Do your homework prior. This is one of the things I really wished I knew before our baby’s arrival.
3. Your relationship with your partner will be on the rocks.
There is bound to be a lot of disagreements especially when the spouse is of interracial marriage and two different religion beliefs. The fatigue and stress of taking care of a baby will often lead to unspoken frustrations which may bubble up. But hang in there, remember both of you want the best for the baby. The arguments will only create negative emotions and our babies are very sensitive creatures. They will be able to sense it and will be affected emotionally by the negative emotions of the parents.
4.You will lose all privacy, so enjoy your “me” time now.
Be prepared for it, because your baby will be so passionately attached to you. They cannot stand to not see you for even five minutes. So take some time off for yourself now, do whatever you have always wanted to do alone beforehand. Once your baby is here, you will lose your privacy until your baby is old enough to go to school, so that’s a minimum of a few years down the road. Go ahead and treat yourself to a nice spa. Make some time for your hobbies, whatever that might be dancing or drawing.
5. Go on dates with your partner.
After the baby’s arrival, going out will never be the same again. You will have to carefully plan your way and logistics around the baby. Often you will have to carry a big bag of stuff around including diaper change, snacks, water, toys and toiletries. There will be some places which are off limit with a baby like a cinema or a rooftop bar. So go freely on a date with your partner while you still can. Enjoy your sweet couple time. Sweet honeymoon world will not be there anymore once the baby arrives. Trust me, you will barely feel like leaving the comfort of the house.
6. Be a smart buyer
Know when to invest in new baby stuff and when you can get away with second hand items or hand me downs. Babies are expensive, so make your research and decide when you will invest in brand new items. You will realize that many things you can buy second hand. I will suggest you invest in quality items that will not compromise on baby’s safety such as car seats or baby cot. Things that babies will not use for a long time such as newborn clothes or even toys, you are better off to save the money and buy second hands instead, or better some free hand me downs. Save all the money you can and use it wisely on your baby. Spend it on things that matter most which is their health and education in future.
7. The first 6 months is going to be really tough, but this too shall pass.
I don’t think someone would expect parenting is actually this tough. From severe sleep deprivation due to the baby waking up almost every 1 – 2 hours to constantly rocking a crying / wailing baby. Breastfeeding on demand is definitely not easy, so join a support group or talk to someone with previous experience. Don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t be shy to ask for help. Don’t Google too much, there are so many contradictory articles out there so it will only make you feel even more confused. Instead, choose one trustworthy friend where his / her kids are growing up really well and ask her to be your buddy.
8. Every baby is different.
The articles on the internet don’t fit all babies. I wished I knew this before our baby’s arrival. I kept adding to my worries unnecessarily. There are no one size fits all when it comes to babies. So, don’t fuss if they are not achieving key milestones. Sometimes your baby is very advanced compared to other babies too. Don’t create unnecessary stress for yourself. There is going to be a lot of unsolicited advice. You don’t have to listen to all of that. You know what is best for your baby. Trust your daddy / mommy guts. Most importantly, keep an open mind and learn from your baby. My little one has taught me so many things.
9. Don’t try too hard to be perfect.
To your baby, you are the perfect parent she needs. Babies are born into this world so helplessly without anything. You are providing them with everything they need. So remember this, you are your baby’s world. Sometimes, mishap happens. Things go wrong. That’s OK. Learn from it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up. Embrace the journey and learn together with your partner & your baby.
10. Love will never be the same.
You have never felt the kind of love, when you hold your child for the first time. That kind of love is a strange feeling. It’s the kind of love where you will jump in front of the train for your baby. Where you will so selflessly do anything to protect the little ones. It’s amazing. It gave us the strength we never thought we had. It gave us courage. You will be able to experience this kind of unconditional love that not everyone is blessed with. You are going to look at your own parents in a new light, and learn to appreciate them more. It will change your life.
So there, these are the things I really wished I knew before the baby’s arrival!
Got some to add? Leave me a comment below! Parenting is a magical journey. The joy of awaiting for your baby’s arrival and then discovering new surprises everyday from your child. Today she can sit by herself. Tomorrow she can stand. You wake up everyday without knowing what your child can achieve today. How amazing is that? Hopefully this list will help you to prepare better when you are going to be a parent!
Apart from the mental preparation, there are also a bunch of things that you need to buy to prepare for the baby’s arrival. Don’t forget to read about what to prepare for baby’s arrival here. Good luck!
Parenting Pain : Wish I read these before becoming a parent myself….oh well, too late!