Even if parents think they’re prepared, there will still be something that they will not be able to anticipate during the first year of parenthood. This is, if not the most challenging job in the world. There are tons of books, articles, and advice that will help parents get through their first year, but chances are they’ll never truly be prepared. Of course, that doesn’t mean it hurts to try. Here are a few things you can expect in the first year of parenthood.
It’s More Expensive Than You Think
One of the biggest factors that parents face when it comes to dealing with kids is their unpredictable behavior. For instance, they may love a certain type of food you give them one day, but refuse to eat it the next. Chances are they’ll outgrow their clothes quicker than you anticipated, or destroy the clothes that do fit, and you’ll have to go and get new clothes almost regularly. And let’s not forget about diapers. All of these things can lead to unexpected expenses that are hard to anticipate. While we usually assume our children will be expensive, it’s safe to assume they’ll be even more expensive than that, so it’s a good idea to have an emergency fund for when you have to make purchases you never would have imagined.
You’re Going To Lose A Lot Of Sleep
Similar to baby expenses, most parents assume that they’re going to lose out on a lot of sleep in the first year of raising their baby. The fact of the matter though is that these things tend to be far worse in practice than our brains thought they would be. You thought you wouldn’t get much sleep? You’re somehow going to get even less than that. As kids get older, this doesn’t change much. They’ll still have issues falling asleep, wetting the bed, causing noise, or staying up late. Expecting parents should try to get as much sleep as they can now, as they’re not likely to get much more for a long time.
Mistakes Will Happen
Most parents struggle with the fear of making mistakes during the first year of parenting. There are many obvious errors that parents make, such as forgetting to feed or dropping the baby, but chances are there will be someone in your life who may try to micromanage all of your parenting decisions. This can make it easy to feel like you’re doing something wrong. Although it’s always possible to make mistakes, it’s also important to remember that these are learning experiences and that they should not happen again. Accept that you won’t always get things right and that you will grow from those experiences, and everything will turn out fine.