Top three things you would do to prepare for parenthood if you had 5 years

You must be logged in to create new topics.

Top three things you would do to prepare for parenthood if you had 5 years

  • Miles Williams

    What lesions have you learned which you wish you could have known and practiced before become a parent and why? How would you practice?

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • Sally Cole

    Okay, five years is a lot of time. If it were less time, I’d have a different answer. With five whole years, here’s what I would do to prepare for parenthood:

    1. Build a career where you can work from home and still earn a good wage. Once you’re a parent it’s really nice to work from home.

    2. Transition to a low carb, mostly sugar-free diet. Once you have kids, they’ll naturally want the foods in the house with the most sugar and carbs. You can save yourself the pain of being the gatekeeper to unhealthy foods by simply not having them in your house. And that requires not wanting them yourself.

    3. Take financial risks that could set you up with a nice nest egg to use in raising your kids. Pre-kids, you can live on the cheap and funnel the savings into investments. Before I had kids, that would have been Apple stock. Now, it would be Bitcoin.

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    Ashley

    We did Sally’s number 3 and I am so thankful!  I didn’t want to at the time and I’m so glad my husband didn’t listen to all my gloom and doom scenarios.  I think Sally’s suggestions are great, the only thing I’m find myself wishing I had done was read more on early childhood development.  Specifically, Montessori.  All those “what to expect when your expecting” type books really didn’t help anything, but learning to deal with young children would have.  (I’m the youngest in my family and never really got into the babysitting scene.  I had NO idea what to do with these little people.)

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    Sarah Meyer

    Just one – and it’s going to come off like I’m not being serious, but I’m dead serious.

    Get used to disappointment.

    If you are seriously going to plan something, and “practice” it for 5 years – having children is not really conducive to that. Why? Because these little humans are completely individual from birth. There is, generally speaking, going to be eating, sleeping, and pooping. They may cry. They may not. They may be chubby. They may be skinny. They may love being held by strangers. They may cry every time you set them down. You might not even “bond” with them. You might suffer depression. You might not. The probability is actually quite high that nothing is going to happen in any way remotely resembling what you were expecting, and you would sure hate to resent your little bundle for not being how you expected and planned him/her to be.

    You are going to be sorely disappointed if you think any aspect of it can be predicted in advance. I remember feeling incredibly disappointed when my daughter was born – minutes after birth my mom all smiles and crazy grandma glow said “You’re a mom!” and I was like… Uhhh… I don’t feel any different. Shit. I’m already doing it wrong. Mixed with this weird disappointment that some magical thing didn’t actually happen inside me.

    So, in all seriousness – if there is a way to “practice” rolling with the punches and expecting the unexpected, that’s what you should do 🙂 You grow as a parent with your baby. There’s no escaping that. You cannot do anything now to prepare yourself for a  6 year old. Or a 13 year old… TRUST that you WILL grow as a parent as your baby grows.

    I am going to second Sally on number 2! The one regret I’m still struggling with is trying to get this family healthy now, after a decade of chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese! The kids won’t touch vegetables with a 10-ft. pole – yet I’ve got friends who did a much better job at health food introduction very early in their kids’ lives. Their kids prefer the veggies and dislike carbs! I’m astounded every time I see it.

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    Dawn Hoff

    The nest egg is a great idea!

    Read about Attachment Parenting, read Alfie Kohn, John Taylor Gatto and John Holt.

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    Mike Reid

    I did #1, and my wife and I are both very glad for it.

    @katy0shae is 100% right that kids are wildly individual and that can be disappointing. Our firstborn was very cheerful and independent, but hated to be cuddled and read to (we were DISAPPOINTED!). our secondborn is very touchy and flies into a fit of rage thrice a day, but loves to be cuddled and read to (we were DISAPPOINTED!). Every kid is crazy unique.

    But nonetheless, building up your financial and emotional resilience so that you can handle the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune is a great starting point.

    I found the “Baby Whisperer” books very helpful, because I had zero experience with babies. My wife, who has worked in a daycare for over a decade, found “Baby Whisperer” useless.

    The big #4 that I’d add to @totriton ‘s list is to strengthen your relationship with your spouse, any close friends who have kids or are interested in them, and your extended family. That will further prepare you to handle the emotional and financial shocks of parenthood, and will give your child an expanded natural community in which to learn and grow.

    The #5 I’d add is to move to a place where you want to raise the kids. For us, that meant getting out of the city and into the countryside (but staying close enough to our city-living relations to keep #4 viable).

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    Marsha Familaro Enright

    Lots of great ideas here. I would add: read Maria Montessori’s works to understand your individual children especially: The Secret of Childhood, The Discovery of the Child, The Absorbent Mind, From Childhood to Adolescence. Here’s a link to a study guide on Montessori: http://www.atlassociety.org/guide-montessori

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    Chip Marce

    I would suggest first and foremost that you don’t put off having kids for 5 years. Fertility isn’t a given and the longer you wait, the more you risk losing the baby lotto.

    The second thing I would do is agree with Mike and say that you should get yourself where you want to be physically and with friends and family. Commuting and kids just doesn’t work.

    Third and with deference to the opinion of my darlimg spouse, there isn’t a darn thing you can do 5 years out. So stop worrying about it.

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    Mike Reid

    @marcerr brings a fine dose of reality. 🙂

    After spending a large part of the last 48 hours carrying my 20-pound infant son around the house, I would like to submit for your consideration item #6:

    Improve your core strength. It’s very hard to be a functional parent if you put your back out getting your kid out of the crib.

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Dawn Hoff

      And that is where the baby-wearing device (which you should learn about in the Attachment Parenting books), should come in handy 🙂

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.