However you go about starting a family, a few facts remain true. Babies and older children alike take a lot of work—you’ll be their caregiver for a lifetime, through good times and bad. On some days they’ll seem like angels, on others, it will be like a hurricane has taken hold of your home.
Through behavioral issues, physical or mental health concerns, and the constant stressors of everyday life, your job as a parent is to prioritize your child’s needs, which typically involves reprioritizing facets of your own life as you adjust to becoming a mom or dad.
You might need to start relying on professionals to help with tasks you used to have time to handle or even be content with letting some to-dos go undone. Here are some things to know before you take that next time into parenthood.
1. You’ll have less time in a day.
Or at least it will feel like it. Sure, you’ll still have the universally allotted 24 hours, 7 days a week. But a bulk of that time will now be devoted to making sure your child’s needs are met, from the most basic requirements of sustenance and shelter to more involved concerns, like health and behavioral needs.
When naptime finally rolls around, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is clearing debris from your gutters or pressure washing the exterior of your house. After all, their naptime gives you a chance to catch up on sleep, too! If you’re able, hiring professionals to tackle the tasks that need to be done can make sure you’re raising your child in a clean, safe home while still letting you make the most of each day.
Lean on Wilmington’s best window cleaning experts, not just for window cleaning, but pressure washing, gutter cleaning, and otherwise doing a great job keeping the exterior of your house in the best shape possible.
2. You’ll be painfully aware of all that can go wrong.
Before becoming a parent, especially as a young adult, you were undoubtedly aware of emergencies like natural disasters, but you may have felt a sense of invulnerability as if they couldn’t affect you personally. As a caregiver, though, you become all too aware of everything from hurricanes and tropical storms to tornadoes and floodwaters. More than ever before, you’re aware of dangerous situations that could impact you and your family.
Take some time to prepare yourself for an emergency well before you need to to help calm your fears. Research hurricane survival advice long before a hurricane warning is announced, prepare an evacuation plan long before a fire starts to spark, and take precautions against intruders long before anyone tries to cross the property line. By preparing yourself in advance, you’ll be able to stay calmer in the face of an emergency, giving you space to not just calm your child, but care for them throughout the stress of the situation.
3. You’ll take your child’s struggles personally.
As a parent, it’s hard not to be involved in your child’s life. You’ve painstakingly raised them so, regardless how many years of age they are, you’ll feel responsible for their wellbeing, be it emotional, physical, or social.
To some degree, this helps you do a good job of being there for them—if you’re caring for a child with behavioral needs, for example, the best parents will create a safe space at home, putting work in alongside therapies and medications to support their child through these behavioral health concerns.
But an equally important thing to remember is that whether or not your child is exhibiting good behavior isn’t an indicator of whether you’re a good parent. Behavioral health concerns and other issues require a good parent to help the child through—they don’t mean you’ve failed at parenting because they’ve occurred.
Even if you truly feel ready to start a family, the responsibilities and adjustments that come with parenting can be daunting, especially when faced with not having time to keep your home to the same standards you’re used to and the challenges that can come up throughout your child’s lifetime.
Through it all, remember: you’re doing a fantastic job! Let the professionals take care of tasks like window cleaning, and be ready in case of an emergency. But, more importantly, focus on being the best possible caregiver for your child, and letting them bring you all the joys of parenting in the process.