Becoming a first-time parent is nerve-wracking. Whether you’re debating whether to have a child or expecting to be a new parent soon, it’s a lot to take in, and there are plenty of things you’ll need to learn.
You have to worry about where the baby will sleep, if you’re capable of providing for your family financially and emotionally, and how to manage the changing needs of a growing child as they move through their teenage years.
While there are other factors at play, the great responsibility of raising a child can delay or deter people from having children. The birth rates in 2020 show that women from the ages of 30-35 had higher birth rates compared to those under the age of 25.
Pre-parenting jitters can cause a lot of stress and make you question if you’re fit to be a parent. However, that type of stress can be normal, and pre-parenting jitters don’t have to stop you from having a family. Here are six ways you can overcome pre-parenting jitters.
Talk to people who already have children
It helps to seek advice and thoughts from experienced parents or those raising kids close to your age range about the parenting process. You should ask questions about the financial support needed to raise a child, how your relationship with your partner changed, and how they handled time management.
Talking with someone who has gone through the same thing will help you better understand and prepare for the changes you’ll experience. The more information you can gather, the better equipped you’ll feel when tackling parenting woes.
Take a class
Taking an online or in-person course specifically designed for first-time parents can help you understand what being a new parent will be like. You will learn things like how to create a safe environment for your baby, change diapers correctly, and choose quality daycare options.
A class can also help you gain the confidence to make parenting decisions and provide a judgment-free space to ask questions. You’ll feel more prepared when it comes time to take on your new role.
Talk to a therapist or wellness coach
As a first-time parent, you will be full of internal worries and emotions that can be hard to process. If needed, it’s essential to seek help from a mental health professional. A therapist or wellness coach can help you learn how to manage stress and anxiety before parenting begins. They can also provide support through this major life transition so that you can confidently make decisions.
Additionally, if you’re uncertain you want to have kids, a therapist can help you and your partner decide what is best for your family. They can help you explore if you’re both emotionally ready to have a child, how having a child can affect your relationship, and other factors that play into the decision to start a family.
Create a plan
Draw up a plan for how you’ll manage the financials, the schedule, and other important aspects of parenting before your little one arrives so that you can ease into the role of a parent. Having a plan will help you feel more secure and confident as you take responsibility.
A plan can also help you identify areas of concern you must work on, such as saving money or making time for yourself and your partner for date nights. You don’t have to follow it perfectly, but having a plan in place will give you a sense of control in the face of your pre-parenting jitters.
Be kind to yourself
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information about parenting and all that comes with it. Remember to take time for yourself and practice self-care during this transition. Know that you don’t have to know all the answers right away and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Be kind and forgive yourself if things don’t go according to plan. It’s part of the process of learning how to be an effective parent. With a little self-love and care, you’ll find things will work out.
Stay in the present
Don’t let your worries about the future overwhelm you – take it one day at a time and focus on what’s happening in the present moment. The more mindful you are of what is going on now, the more capable you will be of taking care of your family in the future.
It’s also important to be in the moment as a couple, too. Enjoy the time you have together before your little one arrives. Nurturing your relationship now will make it easier to adjust once you’re parents and help ensure that both of you are on the same parenting page.
Having pre-parenting jitters is natural and expected, but that doesn’t mean you should let it hold you back from taking the next step in life. Be brave, follow these steps, and take on parenting with confidence.
Remember, being a parent is a great privilege and an even better responsibility. And with the right preparation, you can enter parenthood feeling ready and prepared for whatever comes your way.