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Some people choose to parent. They go off birth control because they want children. Others have accidental pregnancies, and they then decide they’ll have the child and raise it.

How Parenting Presents Both Challenges and Unexpected Joys

Whether you plan a pregnancy or not, you can find joy and challenges as a parent. We’ll talk about that a bit more now.

When the Baby Arrives

If you and a partner expect a child, that’s an exciting but nerve-wracking time. Exploring the popularity of names with a trending search tool might reveal some names you can choose. You must name the child, and perhaps you’ll pick something trendy. Maybe a classic, better-established name suits you better.

You can look around for cribs, onesies, baby formula, strollers, and paint for the child’s room. Maybe you’ll pick out some new wallpaper instead.

You’ll need prenatal care, and you must discuss what you’ll do when the child arrives. Maybe one parent stays home while the other works full-time.

When the child arrives, it’s amazing. If it’s your first, you may look at the newborn in your arms and wonder how you created this brand-new human being.

The First Days

The first days sometimes present more challenges than any others. The child might cry a lot, and you likely won’t sleep much. You’ll both feel frazzled, but eventually, you’ll learn the new routine.

You can experience joy when the baby takes their first steps and says their first word. Maybe you didn’t realize you’d feel such pride, but now you do. 

You can show the child the outside world. You’ll show them flowers, trees, dogs, and birds. They’ll marvel when they see these things, and it’s like you’re experiencing them anew.

Later Challenges and Joys

Later on, you will make sure the child gets their education. You can pick a school and ensure you like the curriculum. You can meet your kid’s friends. They might have sleepovers and playdates.

You might worry later when they’re playing outside, and you tell them about traffic and other dangers. Maybe you’re a helicopter parent, and you can’t help staying close by while they play in the neighborhood.

Eventually, you might loosen up a little. If you see your child has intelligence, strength, and spirit, they’re probably okay without you hovering nearby at all times.

You’ll teach them about driving, and maybe you’ll discuss serious topics like drugs or sex. Perhaps they have questions, and you can share your life experiences.

Leaving the House

When the kids leave the house as young adults, you’ll feel even more emotions. You might feel tremendous pride but also sadness. This moment comes quickly, and now you might have empty nest syndrome.

Hopefully, you will remain close. You can still give your adult children advice when they need it. They might want encouragement when they’re job hunting, when they marry someone, or when they have their own kids.

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You can handle it all. The challenges and joys both wait for you in equal measure.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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