Preparing for Baby

So you think you want to have a baby? Bringing a baby into your life is a huge decision. It can be scary and often times you’ll find yourself wondering if you’re ready to have a baby. Once you have weighed the pros and cons and come to the decision that now is the right time there are things you can do to prepare yourself for your new addition.

Take everything you think you know about having a baby and toss it to the side: It will be nothing like you thought it would be. Period.

Save: We all know that babies are expensive but in all honesty that first year doesn’t cost as much as I thought it would. Yes diapers can add up and if you formula feed that’s an added expense but baby clothes are quite inexpensive and your first baby usually is showered with so many wonderful gifts. The biggest hit to the finances is in what you aren’t bringing in. Maternity leave only gives you a small portion of your income and adjusting to that type of cut can be tricky. Add in child care expenses and it can be a rocky financial path. If you put away some money when you start thinking about having a baby it will give you a little extra cushion when the time comes.

Don’t wait for the perfect time: There really is no perfect time to have a baby. Sometimes it can feel like you just need to wait until you a certain amount saved up or until you have the perfect house or the perfect job, but the truth is there never is a perfect time. When your heart knows your ready sometimes you just have to follow it.

Date your spouse: Go to the movies, out to dinner or coffee dates; spend time with each other. A new baby does not at all mean an end to romantic dates however your time alone will never be the same. Once you become a parent you will talk about your kids when you go out to dinner, even if you make a promise that you won’t. Movie nights will mean the earlier show because you’ll have to make it home in time to relieve the babysitter. Your time alone will change. It will be beautiful and you will relish in the quiet moments alone with your partner but will be different.

Enjoy the ride: Deciding to expand your family is truly one of the most beautiful times of life. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, scary and exhilarating all at the same time. It can bring you so much joy and cause you so much stress. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and pat yourself on the back when you get something right. Take it all in. Feel it with your entire being. Enjoy the magic of the ride.

If you make the decision to have a baby your life will change in the most drastic way. All the preparing in the world still isn’t enough. No matter what you do beforehand, once that new baby arrives life has a funny way of working itself out.

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