Preparation is the key to entering any role and playing it successfully. Parenting is a role that demands a lot of 'You' and your time. Yes I put the emphasis on 'You' rather than your time, because its a signature role. You are preparing to enter the most creative role of your life where your creation literally comes 'alive'.
It is immensely useful if we can plan ahead before we enter parenthood. As once you become a parent, the work-loads at hand can be overwhelming. You may not be able to go out for a movie, or shopping, or visit friends for few months. But that's normal so don't get upset if you are not able to.
Get yourself ready for trying to figure out why your baby is crying. Newborns can not speak in words, so you have to pay attention to what they are trying to convey. But luckily there isn't much that you need to figure out through this whole process as the crying list options are few. It is usually the basic instincts of hunger, excretion, sleep, pain or fever. This will be more intense in first 3 months after the birth of the child. This is also a time when you will be struggling with the post delivery recovery of your own body and all the usual chores. So plan ahead with your partner.
Here's how you can:
- List the essentials you think there should be around in the household once your baby is there.This will include some basic things like a loaf of bread; as you might not find time to cook on some days. A carton of milk, some fruit and veggie supplies, plus some infant formula. Plan to have your groceries delivered or stock up for a month.
- Keep Baby supplies especially diapers in stock. An electric kettle can be a useful aid as warm water will be often in use.
- Post delivery work distribution should be planned ahead. Couples should sit down and imagine what a typical day with a baby will be like for them, and take up roles and duties as per their capacity and inclination.
- Visits to the doctor for vaccinations can also be planned, but be prepared for emergencies too.
- Get your nutrition well. This is going to be the most demanding period of your life, so do not forget to nourish yourself. Take a good healthy diet and relax well to take on the challenges of parenthood.
- Exercise mildly. A mild exercise to maintain a healthy routine is good to keep you balanced. But no worries if you are not able to maintain a routine after delivery. Your baby will keep you on your toes to give you more of exercise. Try breathing exercises and mild physical ones, do not stress out as your body is still in post-delivery recovery phase.
- Create a sleep plan for yourself. You need about 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep to get a full cycle, so plan on splitting the night-shift in half. Some couples prefer to alternate nights. Consider co-sleeping. Having the baby close to you means you don't have to fully wake up to nurse.
- Prepare siblings and pets for the new arrival, and arrange for someone to take care of them while you go for delivery and are busy with your new arrival
Planning for parenthood should mean you should keep aside personal agenda for few months. But this will keep popping up as the baby keeps you engaged and before you end up in the tussle of these two pulling ends, keep reminding yourself of your priorities and your decision to enter parenthood and enjoy the joys that your baby is bringing you. With this little life, you'll learn to live in the Present.
And above all enjoy time with your babies as they soon grow up and you'll long for those cute little moments again. Have fun, take them outdoors, play with them, and feel the joy of creating a live handicraft! This is precious- Happy Parenting.