We all respond to a pregnancy announcement differently. Soon-to-be parents start googling and reading everything they can find on pregnancy, trimesters and cravings. Some couples attend pregnancy sessions together and make space in their lives to learn all they can about the coming changes, and this is all good.
But as soon as the baby is born, you realize (like the songwriter Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. said), that every finish line is the beginning of a new race. Nothing prepares for being a new parent like being a new parent.
As the baby grows, your daily lives change almost immediately, and you welcome the new normal (with all its sleeplessness and stress). Here are 5 things you can relate with if you are a new mummy or daddy:
Nothing prepares you
With all the books you have read, and all the sessions you’ve attended, you quickly realize that nothing prepares you for having a new family member who won’t stop crying and suckling.
As you go along, you will begin to understand what each cry means, and what your baby needs at each point, but this takes a while. The other part is he/she does not yet sleep in regular sleeping patterns, so you will be up most nights cooing and making funny faces to get him/her to go back to sleep. Welcome to stage one.
New babies and account balances
The coming of the baby may spell an end to much of your free (and alone) time, but more than that, your monthly budgeting will be radically transformed. All unnecessary purchases will stop, and you will find yourself paying for large tins of baby food that are quite expensive and seem to run out too fast.
Yes. That is the new parent’s life. Even a baby stroller can cost as much as 90k. And we are not even talking about clothes, skincare and diapers yet. So yes, a new baby is cute and all, but prepare your bank accounts for the raid.
Babies make a ton of laundry
Welcome to stage three of the new parent life. You don’t have a washing machine? Don’t even bother. For their tiny size, babies sure make a tremendous mess. Between pooping and throwing up, peeing, and spitting, you’ll have a heap of blankets, bibs, diapers and soiled clothes to handle.
If you can afford to outsource all this laundry, please do. It will help to keep you sane. But then again, outsourcing the laundry may mean a bigger hole in your account balances. Can you afford it? Oh well.
Let’s talk some more about sleep deprivation
Good news: newborn babies sleep up to 18 hours per day. And yet their parents complain about being sleep-deprived all the time. How come? It turns out that even though they sleep 18 hours daily, they’re awake every 2 to 3 hours to eat, and eating can take one hour, easily.
That means you have one or two hours at most to sleep before they’re up again to eat. So essentially you can only sleep one or two hours at a time from when the baby comes back home till they grow up a little. It’s next to impossible to fit anything into this kind of schedule. It’s like you work for this new, extremely demanding boss, and there’s no pay.
New parents are never early for anything
If a new parent tells you they’ll be there at 11 am, recognize that they’re a new parent and 11 can very easily become 3 pm. And don’t blame them. If you’re a new parent, don’t bother scheduling appointments because your baby almost always has other plans for you.
It’s hard enough to get your sleepy self to the bathroom and get the baby ready as well, but there’s always an unknown event waiting to happen. Your baby may decide to throw everything up just as you step out, or poop, or just start crying inconsolably. This is parenting. Get used to it.
But it’s all worth it in the end
You’ll be surprised how quickly you can forgive the messy clothes, soiled diapers, lack of sleep and everything else when you see your baby smile at you. Most of you can never forget the first time you got your baby to laugh out loud. It is for these precious moments that new parents crave. The smile of your newborn can very well count as sufficient payment for all the stress.
Now can you imagine what that baby’s life would be if for any reason you just walked out of the house and didn’t return? As your baby learns to smile, laugh, sit, crawl and walk, it is important to begin to build a financial hedge for him/her, a trust that can take care of the other needs your child will have as they grow: tuition, healthcare, travel, etc.
By doing this, you make sure that nothing ever leaves your child stranded, whether you’re available or in a different country. A trust fund will fund your child’s dreams and welfare autonomously. The Heritage Trust offers a secure and reliable trust fund for your child from day one. It has loads of great benefits too, both now and at every stage of your child’s growth.