Preparing for a baby – The role you cannot plan

Becoming a parent is without a doubt the most challenging role you are ever likely to have. Not only is every day different, but you will almost certainly face challenges that you feel entirely unprepared for, even when trying to be prepared for a world of possibilities. Expecting parents go through several stages of preparation, from looking for and buying nursery furniture online, to reading up on baby books and watching YouTube parenting vlogs. Even the most prepared parents often find themselves amid chaotic circumstances leading up to and after the birth of their baby, and knowing that it is okay not to have all the answers is an important thing to remember.

Knowing how to budget for your new arrival can be a massive strain as well. Items like car seats, soft toys, nappies should obviously be bought brand new, but you can save money on items like cots, baby clothes, books, and hard toy by hosting a baby shower or getting these items second-hand from friends or family. Getting some items cheaper (or even for free) can make the financial challenge of preparing for a new baby far less strenuous than it can be – in a time of constant change, this is often a welcome concept.

The simple fact is that parenting is a role that you cannot perfectly prepare for. There will always be unforeseen circumstances and challenges that you do not see coming. Children bring perfect (sometime purely insane) chaos, and the draw back from that is that you can never be entirely sure that you will be able to handle every situation perfectly. While you can plan aspects of preparation, like the items you buy in preparation for your new arrival, there are other things that you have no control over. Part of being a parent is understanding and learning to have peace with this fact – all you can do, is do your best.

What you can do, is simply do your best to bring your child up in an environment where you have tried your hardest to give them a full life. Bringing a new addition into the family is an adjustment (an exciting one, but an adjustment nonetheless), particularly if this coming baby is not your first. When a new child is brought into a family that already has one (or more) children, it is not uncommon that the older children feel a sense of dislodgement, or even resentment.

Easy ways to remedy these (sometimes) inevitable feelings in your older children, are to give them more attention leading up to the birth, to read books on being an older sibling to them, and even to give them a gift from the baby. This makes them feel included in the decision to extend the family, as well as making them feel especially loved during what is a time of immense change for them.

Bringing a new life into the world and a new addition into the family brings about a time of chaos. Even when that chaos is beautiful and exciting, it is likely quite overwhelming as well. Throughout the process, it is important to remember the advice and lessons that helped you shape the experience as it happens. Being a parent is the most exciting job in the world, but it is also the one job you cannot fully prepare for.


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