The joy of having your first child is not comparable to anything in the world. You get a new purpose in life and add another role of taking care of not only yourself but also another being. My husband and I were overjoyed by the birth of our first child as we always looked forward to the day. The birth of a child not only changes you but also the people around you, and almost your whole lifestyle. It is considered a blessing from God and hence every parent has a role to raise his /her child in the best way he can.
As the case with most families, the first child will always bring several changes in the house and at home in general. I was previously used to dedicating all my time to work but upon birth I had to split time between running some errands and looking after my child. Most people prefer to employ nannies to watch their kids, but a child needs time to bond with the parent. A parent also gets to know the child better and the child gets used to having the parent around which makes him/her more comfortable in sharing issues as he grows up.
Mostly the first thing that changes is the house arrangement immediately after the baby arrives home. The baby needs some accessories to make him comfortable and also to entertain him and still leave enough space for him to crawl and play around. As it was my first child, it took some time for me to adapt to all the changes in the house arrangement. You have to get space in the living room to accommodate a cot and also leave enough space around it to keep the toys and where the baby can crawl as he grows up. The bedroom arrangement also changes as you need the baby close enough where you can hear him/her any time he cries at whatever time of the night.
You need to be financially ready when the child finally comes. This is a process that begins when you learn you are expecting a child but most people prefer to prepare for it much more before that. You will need to purchase clothes, toys, diapers, and other accessories which come at a fairly high price from the exhibitions and stores. Children grow fast and often spoil their toys as they play with them and hence you will need to constantly buy and replace their toys and clothes. The diet given to babies is also much different from what we take as he needs a balanced diet to enable him grow healthy and strong. You visit the grocery store often and try to change the diet every day which proves a bit expensive considering you go through the process everyday.
Mentally, one also needs to get prepared as the kid will almost completely change your schedule of doing things. I had to get used to the child crying incase he needed anything and also waking me at night to maybe feed him or change his diapers. He also needs full time attention and to make sure he is comfortable in the way he sleeps and plays. You may also have to lure him to sleep incase his sleeping habit is not constant each and every day. This involves being there every time he normally takes a nap and if he seems not to be sleepy you will have to sing him a lullaby. The baby needs to be with you almost wherever you go and needs every attention it can get and this calls for a lot of mental preparation. By setting your mind right, one is able to handle almost all challenges that come up.
The baby also changes the social life one is used to as most of the time is dedicated to it. One is limited on the distance and time you can leave the baby and you may find yourself not into any social circles any more. If someone needs to see you personally he/she may have to come to your house as you may not get time to travel around and maybe meet people as you were used to. In a way the kid makes one to be more responsible than before as one is accorded the task of taking care of another human being. This makes a person to concentrate more on raising the child other than the things she was used to doing like visiting the gym, going out with friends and so on. This also takes us back to the financial point because most procreative activities will involve spending and one needs to spend very wisely at this time.
As the child grows up, you may find the intimacy between a couple also changing. Children learn very fast and will want to do and say what the see their parents doing. The child may have to be with you in every place you go making it harder to enjoy the intimate moments between couples as they may be used to. It gets even more difficult as the child needs most of your time and you cannot spare some to go maybe to retreat and enjoy a moment with your spouse. One gets used to it with time and by discussing it with the spouse you get to know how to maneuver around it and find some time to yourself. You also get to have more time as the child grows up and goes to school where you can go for picnics and retreats without a worry.
Priorities also get to change once the baby comes and all the attention is focused to him/her. Before that, one is mostly dedicated to work and maybe house chores which all changes after birth. The child needs all the attention he can get so as to ensure he/she is comfortable and also to create a bond. The priorities also apply in shopping where the child’s needs come first before the parent can do shopping maybe for her own clothes. Almost every decision made has to give priority on what is preferred to be good to the baby and its healthy growth. Unnecessary spending and expenses need to be cut and replaced with what is necessary for the baby to grow both physically and mentally. That is the main reason why employers give maternity leaves as they also know at that time the baby needs the number one priority among all parents.
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A baby brings lots of joy not only to family and relatives but also to the whole community. It is considered a gift from God to ensure continuity of a family and life in general. It is therefore every parents responsibility to take good care of the child and ensure he/she brigs him up in the best way possible. It is the joy of every parent to have a baby and even more joy if the kid gets to grow up in the manner they expected. The experience changes one’s perception of life and teaches a lesson on responsibility. Parenting is also a learning experience and we have to make sure we learn every bit from it.