Ask Kat: Becoming a Parent
As the mum of three small boys, an expert in baby products and a no-nonsense parent, resident blogger Kat Armstrong always seems to be called upon by friends, family and strangers to answer tough parenting questions. We thought it was high time she shared this knowledge with you, and her series Ask Kat was born. If you have questions for Kat, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m not quite ready to have kids yet, but I’m already overwhelmed with the idea of it all! How do you deal with the anticipation? What happens if you have a hard time getting pregnant? Do you loose all the joy of your relationship to try to have a baby? Just the idea of all this extra work in case of makes me nervous.
There’s really a lot to think about, isn’t there? Obviously, even just the idea of having kids is a tough one to wrap your head around – just when you think you have a handle on being an adult, you throw a monkey wrench into it and have to take care of this little squalling baby who doesn’t sleep and makes you basically a walking zombie!
That being said, you can’t exactly plan for how your parenting journey is going to pan out, and much like actually having a child, the best laid plans are going to go out the window anyways because planning life around baby is an exercise in futility.
Ideally, you should be planning on how you want your future family to look – big, small, adopted, fostered etc. and start working towards those goals. Allow for variables in case of fertility issues and set boundaries for yourself, especially emotionally. Long term IVF and fertility treatments can be emotionally draining and cause rifts in relationships. My husband and I set a goal that if we could not get pregnant on our own within one year, and six further months of more intense monitoring, that we would not go down the IVF route but explore adoption options instead. Just having that mental picture helped us greatly.
Most of all, don’t worry about things you can’t control! Trying to herd cats is probably easier than trying to plan for every aspect of your potential future parenthood!