Scott & Denise
We feel so blessed to have been matched with our birthmother through ParentProfiles. After only being with the site a week, we were contacted by our birthmother. A month later our daughter was born. She has been a wonderful addition to our family and we can't imagine not having her or her birthmother as a part of our family. more ...
Preparing to parent isn't easy, but it is worthwhile. For many people, preparation is the key to maintaining sanity and developing confidence. And the same is true for preparing to parent. Each person's preparation will be different, but many items on the list will be similar. The important thing is that you find the best route for your situation and your needs. Below is a list of ways to prepare for becoming a parent--from the necessary to the helpful.
Employment and Money: The first thing to consider is your income, as it does take money to raise a child. If you'll be a single parent, you'll need to work out how to have a stable, steady, and reliable income while making sure your child is taken care of. Daycare is always an option to consider if you work outside the home. Also, consider asking family members and close friends to help with some of your daycare needs. Throughout the parenting journey, remember that there are local and federal assistance programs available to you. These programs were created to help those in need and to help them get back on their feet. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. Remember that.
Food, Shelter, Clothing: These essentials are important to plan for. You'll soon have a little person completely dependent on you and your ability to care for him/her. So, in order to be a prepared parent, consider your ability to provide food, shelter, and clothing. As mentioned earlier, there are assistance programs to consider. Some are for low-income families and can help with groceries and weather-appropriate clothing, like jackets and warm clothing for the winter. If you're ever in need, check in with local charities and see how they can help.
Discipline: If you're co-parenting with someone, whether s/he is your spouse, significant other, or the other parent of your child, it can be beneficial to come to a common agreement about discipline. Because disciplining beliefs can vary so greatly, it's important to make sure you're on the same page. Some parents believe in corporal punishment and other are vehemently against it. However, there are other ways to discipline other than corporal punishment. Consider time-outs, chores or home assignments, and grounding. And remember that the discipline always needs to be age-appropriate.
Baby-Proofing: Baby-proofing your home is crucial to the health and wellbeing of your child. Lock all cabinets that the baby could get into, especially the ones that contain cleaners or anything toxic. Keep in mind that you don't have to baby-proof your home all at once. Do what is appropriate for the age and the level of development of your child. For example, once your child starts to crawl and walk, make sure all the sharp edges in your home--like coffee tables--are padded.
Nursery: One of the best parts of preparing to parent is getting the nursery in order. You can paint, decorate, and rearrange it however you want. You can pick colors and themes and have a closet full of cute baby clothing. Have fun with it. And consider inviting the other parent of your child to help you, or even your family and friends; it can be a great bonding experience.
While these are just a few ways to prepare to parent, it's a good place to start. If it feels overwhelming, take it one step at a time. Remember that parenting is a process. You won't know everything right away, but you'll get to where you need to be. It's ok to make mistakes; it's how you learn. Soon, you'll be comfortable and confident in your role as a parent.