Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's the best way to prepare for life with a baby?

I think the key thing is to be flexible. Don't get caught up in a plan for how your life will be after the baby comes. In my experience, babies are very good at challenging the inner control freak in all of us. Develop a good social network and connect with other parents, both with kids the same age and with older kids since they've likely been through what you'll go through. I'd really encourage you to go on dates with your partner or friends. It's restorative to have some adult time and also to get some time for yourself. Find some friends, family, or sitters whom you trust with your child so you can have a few hours out. Besides that, put dimmer switches in the baby's room and God help you if you don't have a washing machine nearby.
The best preparation for life with a child is learning from your pregnancy that you're not always in control of every aspect of your life. Learn to be flexible and listen to your instincts. Babies don't expect us to know everything all at once. They grow up over time so we can learn as we go. Do enjoy the moments with your baby — they go so quickly. With my first child I was so scared all the time that I wasn't perfect, but I learned that perfection is not what our kids want from us. It's much more important to just be there to hold them, laugh with them, cry with them. They grow so quickly, but those moments are the ones you'll both remember for a lifetime.

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