So you want to have kids? That’s a big, amazing, and life-changing choice. And for many, well worth the endless work, hair-pulling, and zombie-like fatigue. A magical adventure for sure, but something to really think through before you commit.
At the most basic level, being a parent means you’re entirely responsible for the wellbeing and development of another human being. Their life is in your hands, so you should fully understand what goes into the job. Here are four key things to consider before you strive for that parent of the year coffee mug.
1. Prepare to Be Tested
Sleepless nights in college? The occasional late night at the office? Just a mere fraction of the intensity you’ll experience during the first few months of parenthood. It’s truly unlike anything you’ve known before (as a good friend said after a few all-night feedings, “Why do people do this”???) You’ll be on call, 24/7, wishing desperately for a 25/8 sort of world where you could have just a few quiet hours to yourself. And of course kids will push your buttons in all sorts of ways as they grow up. But like we said, it can be a priceless journey. And you’ll get through it!
2. Buying All the Things
First-time parents often feel compelled to over-prepare for their little one’s arrival. Suddenly the nursery looks like something out of a movie, with its racks and stacks of baby clothes and bibs. Then there are other assorted essentials you’re sure your baby absolutely needs, like the cutest stuffed animals in the world and toys they can’t even safely use for months.
So, real talk: Baby doesn’t need all of that stuff, although it’s wonderful of you to put so much energy into creating this world for your child. It makes sense — we only want the best for our kids. But odds are all of those objects will just end up occupying space you barely have or sitting unused in some dark corner of the basement. Kids grow fast, so there’s no need to buy tons and tons of clothes at the outset. Stick with just a few toys and don’t be surprised if they lose interest in a few of them quickly. That’s just how it goes.
3. The Cost of Stuff
Another reason to avoid filling baby's world with every cute thing you see is that the rest of their life is going to be, well … you’ll need your wallet handy. It starts early, with diapers galore (galore!), before things like daycare, medical expenses, lessons, babysitting, education, and assorted extras come into play.
Things have a way of adding up, and these are the types of things that really count. You’ll be glad you socked some cash away during their earliest years if you keep in mind that the real necessities come into play a little later in their lives.
4. Going Out Is Different
Remember those carefree days when you spent a couple of hours going all out and getting ready for an amazing night with your crew? Um… history. Especially as a single parent, your nightlife will often consist of bedtimes and wiping down counters. Sure, you’ll definitely go out again someday, but when you become a parent your priorities instantly shift.
The time you spent doing your hair is now devoted to packing snacks and diapers and toys, bundling kids up in coats, escorting them to the bathroom, and putting them in their car seats. At that point, you might have had a second or two to run a brush through your own strands. Just roll with it. This is definitely a big part of the parenting experience!
Haven’t lost you yet? Great.
One day you’ll look back on those pre-kid moments and be so grateful you decided to take the plunge. If you’re serious about your commitment to parenthood, joining a dating app like heybaby can help take some of the guesswork out of the equation. No more weeding through potentials who may not even want kids — this is a dating app for people who want kids or already have them. After all, at least one part of this experience should be easy!