Post # 1
While we are not TTC right now, I want to work on being emotionally, relationship, and physically ready to have kids when FH finishes his education. I know once I get pregnant and have kids, I will have a lot less time to read books and work on things. What can I do now to be a better parent later? What did you do that helped you? Were there books you read? What do you wish you had done?
Post # 3
my friends would ask me this same question all of the time. my answer; you just can’t be 100% prepared for a child. you can have the nursery ready, you can read all of the books, you can buy all of the diapers but nothing will truly prepare you for the real sensation of being a parent. it’s the difference between theory and practical. think of a doctor studying in school vs being in the operating room with a scalpel in their hand.
that being said, i would say patience is probably the most import thing that will be tested with children (of all ages).
Post # 4
I had my baby last year ( 1st ) and let me tell you things will just come naturally, the only thing i always said was i need to learn how to have patience but once you have em you’ll see that you really don’t need instruction. Everything came naturally to me i had a bood about baby’s first year but never got to it, i just have family that can suggest things and i learn most of it. Take it easy and relax things will come naturally and you will be ready.:)
Post # 5
Honestly, the most important thing you can do is spend time strengthening your relationship with your partner. Parenting is a stressful, full-time thing, but a strong supportive relationship can make it a lot easier. Work out all those little kinks now, and when you do have children together, it will go a lot more smoothly.
Post # 6
I second Mrs. Spring. There’s no way to really prepare you to be a ‘better parent’ but it’s definitely smart to take the time to focus on your relationship with your husband. Make sure you figure out how to best communicate, how to best argue (it happens), how to make sure your relationship is #1. I know part of our ‘resolutions’ are to pick a book each year to read. Like 5 love languages or 7 habits of highly effective relationship etc. Anything that you guys can read together and talk about how you can continue to improve your relationship. Once you have kids they do take up a lot of time (especially when they are younger) and if you guys are working some days can feel like it’s a struggle just to get dinner on the table – and you are both TIRED. It’s very easy to fall into a ‘rut’ of life and forget to focus on you guys.
Another big struggle couples can face with kids is the wife feeling like she does most of the ‘work’ with the kids and house. So making sure you have a good balance in your relationship (whatever that balance is for you guys) is important.
As for parenting my husband and I would often come home from hanging out with our friends with kids and discuss situations that happened. From what they let their kids eat at 10pm (and that they were still awake!) to how the parents handle a specific discipline situation. We’d talk about how we thought we might handle the same situation. It was good to find out that we were both on the same page before we actually had kids. Or if we weren’t on the same page to fully discuss the ‘whys’ before we were in the moment. Granted things are always different when you are the parent – but it’s still really good conversations to have 🙂
I’ve been around babies/kids much more than my husband so I really had no ‘fears’ about being a parent. I know having some nieces/nephews in the picture really helped my hubby to get more comfortable with babies (seriously with the first one he didn’t even want to hold her and I made him!). By the time our little one came around he was still nervous – but way more comfortable than he had been before. This is common for lots of people though – and it doesn’t take long for moms or dads to be adjust 🙂
Ok this is a book – but final thing. Of course keeping yourself healthy is big step before getting pregnant. Being in a workout routine BEFRORE getting pregnant can make it easy to do while pregnant and lead to an easier pregnancy and birth. This doesn’t mean olympic athlete – just consistent healthy exercise – from walking a couple times a week to running marathons – whatever works for you!
Post # 7
I’m not a parent yet (well I am… but we aren’t really talking about angel babies… :(), but I took a class at my local community college on childhood development and I found it to be a fantastic class that really got my husband and I thinking about things. I’m going to be taking a 2nd class during the 2nd semester and am hoping that it will be just as enlightening.
A co-worker of mine has a degree in childhood dev and she’s a mother of several kids. She’d be the first to agree with the prior posters in that there isn’t a way to be 100% prepared for having a child, but she did tell me that she found out a ton about how to parent from the classes she took.
Post # 8
@mypinkshoes: it’s the difference between theory and practical.
That’s it in a nutshell. You can study all you want, but until it’s in front of you, you really have no idea.
It will come naturally though.
Post # 9
While I think most of my friends and family with infants and small children would say there isn’t anything you can do to be 100% prepared, I would try to spend more time with people you know who have infants. I’ve stayed with my sisters and nieces and nephews, which gives me a better idea of what a normal day would look like with a newborn vs. a 3-month-old, etc.
How comfortable do you feel around babies under 3 months? If you feel like you need a good deal of practice with their practical care, see if you can find a few families with small infants who would allow you to babysit.