The Parenthood Journey: Things We Learn Only After Becoming A Parent

The Parenthood Journey: Things We Learn Only After Becoming A Parent

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IN THIS ARTICLE

Welcoming a child into our lives is probably one of the most joyful and memorable things that can happen to us. Often new parents find it quite overwhelming at the beginning with the sudden lifestyle change. However, as they move forward, taking care of the responsibilities becomes second nature, and they start enjoying the process. After all, the time spent with our little ones is precious and something to cherish for a lifetime. In this journey of parenthood, we discover a lot about ourselves and the world around us. We start developing a unique perspective of things and start viewing the world with a new outlook altogether.

In this post, let’s look at some of these things which you will discover and understand only after becoming a parent:

1. The Bonding Between The Child And The Parents Is A Gradual Process

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Research has shown that many new parents, especially mothers, are surprised that they don’t feel as much affection for their baby as they expected before childbirth (1). This comes as a shock to them and results in a feeling of guilt. After all, isn’t the love for one’s child supposed to be unconditional and should be there the first moment you set your eyes on your little one? However, reality can be slightly different than such grand expectations. Parents should understand that forming an intimate bond, even with your own child, is a gradual process. As new parents spend more time with their children, they will become familiar with the unique personality of their little ones and eventually form a strong and lasting bond with them.

2. Patience Is A Virtue, More So In Parenthood

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With the joy of parenthood, challenges appear too. Many of these challenges might be things you would not have even considered before having a child. Your days and nights will be spent tending to your baby — from cleaning their poop and changing their diapers to putting them to sleep and feeding them. Cajoling your baby to sleep is also no mean feat, as you would discover. All this would require patience and perseverance. Our advice would be not to panic and take it one step at a time. As you go through the challenges of parenthood, at some point you would start enjoying the process and also feel proud of how well you have managed it all.

3. You Are Surprised At Your Ability To Function Even With Very Less Sleep

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Your baby will require your undivided attention during the initial months after childbirth. From cleaning poop to bathing your child, every baby duty will take up all your time. These responsibilities will hardly allow you to catch a good night’s sleep. According to research, having a baby disrupts the normal sleep cycle of parents for up to six years on average (2). However, our bodies are good at adapting to circumstances, and parental hormones help us cope in this challenging situation.

4. You Have To Be Prudent With Your Expenses

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Raising a child can prove to be financially challenging for many. In addition to expected costs like hospital bills and essentials like food and clothing, many other hidden costs can emerge that might put a financial strain on you. As such, you have to plan out your finances carefully. Many mobile apps make it possible to track your expenses and make a monthly or weekly budget. It is also advisable to set aside a sum for future needs or exigencies.

5. You Have To Be Efficient In Managing Your Time

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Tending to your baby is going to be pretty time-consuming. Between work and taking care of your little one, you will hardly get any time for yourself. This can leave you pretty exhausted and set you behind in other areas of your life. Now, this is where good time management or routine will make things easier. Carefully plan out your days and weeks, fairly dividing the hours with your partner. You can take the help of some mobile app or a digital calendar for this task.

6. Friends And Relatives Can Be Of Great Help

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Taking care of little ones can be a daunting task for new parents, especially when juggling it with work. This is a great time to reach out to your relatives and friends to help you out. It will send out the signal that you value them and want them to spend time with your little one. You will be surprised at how much people love taking care of little babies. You will probably also end up bonding more with your friends and family in the process.

7. You Have To Think More In Terms Of ‘Us’ Than ‘I’

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As you start your parenthood journey, decision-making becomes more of a collective process than an individual one. Whether it’s a trip or just planning a party at home, you have to factor in your child and their choices too. Even simple activities like what food to eat or clothes to buy are now more of a family decision.

8. You Feel An Overwhelming Appreciation For Your Own Parents

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As we go from being children to becoming parents ourselves, life comes a full circle. Only then do we start appreciating the sacrifices our parents have made for our happiness. From the little whims and demands we had as children to throwing temper tantrums, our parents always took care of us. And for those of us who felt our parents invaded our freedom by being too concerned about our safety all the time, we realize that it is but a natural parental instinct.

If you are a new parent, you must have already experienced some of the things listed above. For those planning on starting a family, we hope your fears are allayed, and you feel enthusiastic for the coming days. We can tell you for sure that there is no need to worry nonstop about whether you will be able to handle the task of being a parent. With preparedness and the right attitude, you will enjoy the highs and the lows of being a parent.

Did the article resonate with you? Are there other things that you have experienced that you would like to share with us? Feel free to comment below and let us know!

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. The Mother-infant Bond: A Systematic Review Of Research That Includes Mothers’ Subjective Experience Of The Relationship
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328531490_The_mother-infant_bond_A_systematic_review_of_research_that_includes_mothers\’_subjective_experience_of_the_relationship
  2. Long-term Effects Of Pregnancy And Childbirth On Sleep Satisfaction And Duration Of First-time And Experienced Mothers And Fathers
    https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/42/4/zsz015/5289255?login=true
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Tikendrajit Pegu

Tikendrajit Pegu is a content contributor at MomJunction. An engineering graduate, he also holds a postgraduate degree in management. He gravitates towards writing articles related to parenting and health, and also has a good understanding of topics related to finance and economics.  Tikendrajit has over five years of corporate experience working on digital projects. Currently, he is based in Guwahati,... more