Speaking as a parent, I think I’m in a pretty good place to comment on how much life changes when you have a child. It’s a real blessing, a moment where your life is changed forever, for the better. But, I also know that it can be difficult to come to terms with how certain parts of your life are after having a baby. There are elements of your lifestyle that will be remarkably different once you become a parent.
Personally, I think it helps if you’re more aware of how your life changes, so you can start trying to adapt to these things before your child is born. It should help you cope with your new life, and focus more on all the positives, rather than the negatives. So, here are the most significant ways your life changes when you become a parent:
Everything Is More Expensive
Having a child means there’s another mouth to feed, another person to dress, and just generally more money leaving your account every month. The stats are there for everyone to see; life gets more expensive when you bring kids into your world!
In my eyes, this is an element of life that people struggle to cope with more than most. It can be so hard to adapt when a child comes along, as you’re used to spending money on certain things, but now you can’t. Thus, the best way to try and get ready for this is to begin saving money and reducing your spending before your child is born.
I have a few suggestions here, but I’ll try and keep them brief. Firstly, turn your attention to certain bills that you can definitely reduce. For me, the TV, internet, and phone bill was a really big one. If you pay for each service separately, it can cost a fortune. But, nowadays, there are internet service providers that add cable tv to their packages, helping you save money. Try and bundle things up where possible, as it makes everything more affordable. The same applies to gas and electric as well – it’s generally cheaper to pay for both as part of a bundle. Basically, look at all your bills, and then run price comparisons on each service to find the most affordable deals, this will save you a fortune as you get ready for a child.
Your Social Life Can Dwindle
For a lot of young parents, having a child can be a massive shock to the system as it completely changes your social life. You may be used to going out on the weekends and letting your hair down as a couple. Or, you could enjoy eating out a couple of nights per week as a little treat. This changes when you have a child, as they become your primary responsibility and your social life takes a back seat.
Again, you will struggle to cope with this if you’re not prepared for it. The good news is, it’s not something that will permanently be affected. The time will come when your child grows up and can look after themselves, which frees up your spare time and lets you be more social. But, in those early years, you need to adjust.
The best thing you can do is try and get used to having a less active social life in the lead up to your child arrives. Go out less – which can actually help you save money anyway, so it’s not a bad thing! Also, try and expand your friendships and meet people in similar positions to you. Making friends with other young parents or people expecting a baby can be beneficial. It means you can set up play dates when your children are young, which allows you to still have a social life by meeting with your fellow parent friends!
Life At Home Can Get Harder
There’s no denying that every parent goes through a rough patch when they have their first child. Life at home can get much harder for you; your home is no longer a place for you to relax. If you work during the day, with your partner looking after the child while you’re gone, then you return home after work and immediately go into parent-mode. There’s so much to worry about as you always need to look after your kid.
This is a change that affects a lot of new parents. It’s difficult to cope with things when you feel stressed in the comfort of your home. Again, this is something that should get better as your child grows older and becomes independent. But, for those years where they’re young and need taking care of, it can be pretty tough.
Being aware of this change is probably the best way to cope with it. If you don’t know it’s coming, then it really hits you in the face. But, now that you know what to expect, you can maybe start preparing for it. Try and figure out how you’ll balance work & life, so you’re not completely stressed when you’re in the home or out at work. For me, it’s all about working with your partner to ensure you both have time to relax every day. Even if it means one of you looks after the child on their own for a couple of hours while the other can lay in bed and relax, or watch some TV. Create a bit of relaxation time for one another, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
In general, every parent experiences dramatic changes when they have their first child. The good news is that you won’t have to worry about these massive changes when additional children come along! It’s easy to view all three of the things mentioned as negative aspects of being a parent because in many ways they are. But, that’s kind of the point I want to make here; being a parent has its ups and downs. Most parents go through rough patches when they have their first child, it’s totally normal. All you can do is focus on all the little things that make you smile when you’re a parent. Focus on the positives, and work on making the negatives easier to deal with!