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The decision to embark on the journey of parenthood is influenced by a myriad of factors that significantly impact a couple’s choice. In the digital landscape of online forums, a young woman becomes enveloped in a conflicting sea of opinions originating from her social network. In this contemporary era, her surroundings are saturated with conversations revolving around the trials and triumphs of parenthood, leading her to oscillate in her desire for children and ponder the allure of that specific life path.
She asks for advice and wonders if being a parent is actually that bad? The answers are insightful and quite helpful.
1. Do You Want the Title or the Actual Job?
A user shared a comment that many agreed with, “Ask yourself if you want to have a child or if you want to be a Parent.
It’s the same sort of question people need to ask themselves about pushing to tie the knot: do they want a wedding or a Marriage?”
2. Realize Children Cannot Be Molded
Someone shares some great insight about letting go of expectations when it comes to being a parent and raising children, as this can lead to a lot of frustration.
“18 years in, I’ll say this. Don’t have kids just because it’s what you think you’re supposed to do next. Ask yourself if you want a baby or a child or a teenager. I witness so many people who love babies, but seem to merely tolerate children. You have to be prepared for the works. They’re not pets or creatures to mold to your specifications, they are tiny humans with their own wants and needs. If you can’t detach your expectations and your reality it can be very challenging,” she shares.
3. Be Prepared for Anything
Raising a child can be much more enjoyable if a parent keeps an open mind. One parent shares, “As long as you understand going in that anything can happen. What if the child is disabled? Can you handle that? Are you prepared to not sleep more than a few hours at a time when they’re born? Everyone talks about the terrible 2s but no one warns you about the threenager. A toddler with a teens attitude. Or how many why questions you will be asked.”
4. Be Ready to Provide with No Expectations
A user shares, “Only do [become a parent] so if you’re prepared to spend the next 20+ years providing for them, while accepting that they owe you nothing for raising and providing for them, because they were your choice and they didn’t ask to be brought into this world.” The writer goes on to say that people that expect too much from their kids end up miserable- and make their kids miserable too.
5. Set Partner Expectations From the Beginning
A mom shares, “Especially if you are a woman, be very aware of how your partner is with sharing the adulting responsibilities. If you are basically a b***maid [friend with benefits], you will become basically a single mother.” Many parents agreed, saying they had a hard time keeping their work equal with so much weighing on the mom’s shoulders.
Someone else adds that miserable parents are often moms with horrible partners that aren’t picking up the slack.
6. Remeber It’s Not All Bad
Perhaps, negativity gets more attention than all the good parts of parenting. This is summed up well by one user’s comment: “It is f*****g brutal at times. It is also completely and utterly amazing at times. Best decision I ever made.”
Someone adds, “Everyone seems too enthralled with telling the war stories and skips over the wonder of having small children discovering new things daily.”
7. Get Off Online Forums
Similar to the last piece of advice, a writer brings up a great point. “Keep in mind that Reddit is more negative than the average person. Plus, happy parents rarely talk about it on Reddit, because holy cow this site has some serious anti-kid vibes.
So happy parents, which are the vast majority, tend to keep our traps shut.”
8. Make Sure You Can Afford It
A British mom brings up a point that finances can add major stress and make parents miserable.
“The main issue with having children, particularly in the US, is how unaffordable it is for the majority of the population. I don’t think it’s inherently bad from the perspective of having the child itself but there is something totally exhausting about being expected to work full time to provide basic necessities, being paid a mediocre wage, having to pay for childcare, and then anything unexpected basically threatens to make you and a child homeless. Even a moderate healthcare issue while insured. It’s becoming unaffordable to have kids.”
9. Can You Give Up Your Current Lifestyle?
A little visualization can help with making a decision. Someone shares, “It’s the hardest but most rewarding thing you will probably ever do. Having a kid does mean you sacrifice the person you were before and some people can’t get over that. So think about your life just now and if you’re willing to give up a lot of your independence, cause that little human will determines a lot of your choices, then start really thinking about it. You’ll feel it in your gut when you’re ready, don’t let other’s pressure you. And if you do have a kid just take it day by day and don’t compare yourself to other people, especially online.”
10. Try It Out
While watching other people’s kids is never the same as having your own, some “shadowing” can be helpful for a glimpse into parenthood. “If you can, go and see if you can take care of and be around children, maybe babysit for friends, siblings, cousins etc. or work at a daycare center or as a volunteer at a summer camp. Find out if you love it or hate it.”
11. Don’t Be Afraid
While it’s good to have realistic expectations, don’t be afraid to have kids just because other people like to complain. Most parents would agree you’ll never feel fully ready, just ready enough to jump into the unknown.
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