Becoming a Parent

Choosing Parenthood

Becoming a Parent
Becoming a Parent. Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Facing An Unplanned Pregnancy and Not Sure What to Do?

Any time that you decide to have sex (even if you use birth control), there is a chance that you can end up having an unplanned pregnancy. If you are in this situation, know that it is completely normal to have a ton of emotions running through your mind. When facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be feeling overjoyed -- or you may be feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do.

Becoming a parent is a life-changing event. So it is a very important decision. You may base the decision about continuing with your pregnancy on what you believe is best for you at this particular time in your life. Before you decide to choose parenthood, it is super important that you have reliable information about all of your pregnancy options.

Becoming a Parent

One of your pregnancy options is to continue with your pregnancy. Becoming a parent is often described as one of the most difficult but rewarding experiences a person can have. The more that you know about pregnancy, labor, and the responsibilities of becoming a parent, the more prepared you will be if you choose this option.

The Role of a Parent

Becoming a parent means that you will need to provide a loving environment where your child can learn and grow. Part of your responsibilities is to help guide your child to reach his/her potential.

Becoming a parent means that you:

  • Will need to have patience.
  • Must be able to handle pain and conflict.
  • Can provide proper discipline. 
  • Are prepared incase your child is born with medical issues.
  • Can handle frustration.
  • Will need to be flexible.

Parenthood can also bring you great happiness, pride, and joy.

But, you must be willing to put your needs aside and focus your attention on your baby. Becoming a parent is hard because every child is unique. You will need to be able to provide unconditional love -- are be ready to have somebody who completely depends on you.

The Costs of Raising a Child

Becoming a parent is also expensive . You will need to pay for food, diapers, clothing, baby items, medical bills, and a place to live. You may also need to be able to afford reliable child care. Many parents also have to start saving for their child's future education.

Even before you will have to finically support your child, you will first need to deal with the costs associated with being pregnant. These expenses include:

  • Maternity clothes.
  • Prenatal care. 
  • Hospital costs (when it is time to give birth or if you have pregnancy complications).

If you are currently working, do you know if your company will provide maternity leave? Other financial things to consider:

  • Do you have a plan in case you may need to be on bed rest due to a high-risk pregnancy?
  • Will earning a living for you and your child be a challenge?
  • Do you have a financial plan to cover the expenses of becoming a parent?

Pregnancy

becoming a parent also means that you are ready to go through a pregnancy. Pregnancy can be an exciting time. Some women have wonderful pregnancies -- but others have morning sickness, fatigue, and many other symptoms. During pregnancy, you will have to take care of your body. You must also be prepared for the chances of complications --  for you (like gestational diabetes, placenta previa, preeclampsia, or being put on bed rest) or for your baby (like birth defects or medical issues). You will also need to find a doctor and go for regular prenatal care check-ups. As you can see, the responsibilities of becoming a parent begin way before your baby even arrives.

Labor and Delivery

Before you can officially become a parent, you will need to give birth. You will find that preparing for labor and delivery may help to you feel less anxious. But, you will need to make decisions -- such as where to deliver your baby, do you want to write a birth plan, who you may want with you at this time, and whether or not you feel comfortable using pain medication during your delivery. Ask yourself, do I have a reliable person who can get me to a hospital? It is important to understand the birthing process, so you know what to expect -- that you realize that there's the possibility that you may need a C-section or that complications may happen.

Becoming a Single Parent or Co-parenting?

Are you planning to stay with your partner to raise tour baby together? Or are you prepared to be a single parent? Being a single parent may leave you with very little time for yourself. Even if you have help, single parenting is not easy. You will be the main person that your child will turn to (every day) for love and attention. There are no "vacations" from motherhood. Becoming a parent means that you are in it for the long-haul. Your child will need a lot from you -- would you feel comfortable needing to rely on other people? You may need their help with child care, their emotional support, and maybe even some financial assistance.

Choosing To Become A Parent - Consider these questions:

Becoming a Good Parent

As they say, babies don't come with instructions. Your child’s needs will constantly be changing. To be a good parent, you must really want to be in this role. It will also be helpful if you have a good understanding of what parenting is all about -- and to learn about children, the stages they go through, and how to meet the demands of motherhood. If you are not sure if you are ready to become a parent, read about parenthood, talk to other moms, and have a realistic expectation of the challenges that parents face. It is a rewarding experience, but you need to realistically figure out if you are ready to make this lifelong commitment.

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