March 04, 2016

5 Tips For Future Parents

“Babies are such a nice way to start people.” 
                                                                                        ― Don Herold

If you're thinking of starting a family soon and have no clue where to start in the minefield that is parenthood, then this post may just be for you.

Having been through the process now twice (all be it on a wing and a prayer) I think I can safely try and make some recommendations that may help get you in the right direction.

Of course we are all different and babies certainly are, but there are some things I can offer that may be some kind of food for thought. My top five tips;

1. Don't plan too much

As much as it's nice to have a plan in life, when it comes to mother nature, she does what she likes. It could take months if not years to get pregnant, you might not want to leave your baby to return to work and it may seem a nice idea now to leave baby with that lady down the road, but when it comes to it - who knows. Go with the flow and try not to get too hung up on the details.

Everything changes when you see those two lines on the stick, and even more so when that tiny ball of rosy cheeks and fluff is placed in your arms for the very first time.

Life as you know it will change, you can't plan the unknown, so don't. Relax.

2. Move house

If you aren't sure how family friendly your current home is, make the move before you start.

The years soon fly by, so as weird as it seems and however young you may feel now, it's well worth considering things like schools in the area and numbers of bedrooms; your family may grow quicker than you think.

It's a lot easier and far FAR less stressful to move pre children. Another thing to consider if you own your home, is that to move would mean applying for a new mortgage, but if like me you end up opting to stay at home and leave your job (or take fewer hours), you may be a little stuck where you are.

Knowing your house has the room and surroundings for a growing family will save a lot of time and effort in the long run. Don't rush, think these things through as once the children come along, the years fly past in the blink of an eye!

3. See the world

If you have the urge to travel and see the world,  do as much as you can before you have children.

There is no reason you can't explore the world with children, but it is a lot more difficult and VERY different.

Financially, when you have a family there always seems to be something more urgent to pay for. I regret not doing more travelling when we were younger and just hope we are lucky, wealthy and healthy enough to be able to do it all when we retire. It's all about the grey hair and flip flops.

Have the adventures, then share them with your children again in later years.

4. Sleep

We all know parents are pretty much just caffeine fueled people, seriously lacking in the sleep department, but it's not until you experience it for yourself that you wish you could go back and have a bit more sleep.

One way or another, your sleep will never be the same again, you can't fully rest with little lives to take care of, which is something I don't think ever gets easier whatever age they are.

So before you have children, savour those lay ins, enjoy those afternoon naps or early nights without interruption, one day they will be gone!

It's amazing how little sleep you can survive on, and you really will get to find out too.

5. Go with your instincts

From family planning, pregnancy, birth and beyond, nobody quite knows your body or your baby better than you as parents.

Every step of the way it is important to voice your concerns, listen to any instincts good or bad and have no regrets on not answering to anybody.

If you feel strongly about something where your children are concerned, you just have to listen to that inner voice, even when they are still just a mere twinkle in your eye.

Good luck and enjoy your journey into parenthood - it's the most exciting, scary, amazing, terrifying, tiring, beautiful thing you will do. Relax and go with the flow!

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