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Prepare for Parenthood in 10 Easy Steps

Prepare for Parenthood in 10 Easy Steps

So, you are toying with the thought of having children or you have a child on the way? Congratulations! While this is a magical time in any man’s and woman’s life and you should be joyful, the whole thing might not be as fairy-tale-like as you were led to believe by popular culture. Sugar, rainbows and unicorns are nowhere to be found and you will soon realize how easily you had it when you were just a couple with no progeny.

Surprised baby

    You want to prepare for parenthood? Well, here are a few effective ways of doing this – you are not going to like them, but here they are anyway.

    1. Say goodbye to your friends

    Since you are going to be a parent and a provider at the same time, you are going to have to cut down on some things in your life in order to save time.  Going out and spending time with friends will be the first thing to go. Don’t worry, this will happen rather naturally. You won’t have to restrain yourself from going out; you will be too busy running around doing all kinds of important things like changing dippers and not sleeping. You can keep friends that have kids though. After all, there is strength in numbers!

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    2. Get used to irregular sleeping patterns

    The first year of being a parent will be known as the year of no sleep. The child will demand constant attention and it will not care about the fact that you need your beauty sleep. You can economize on your sleep by dividing the duty with your spouse, but this will not guarantee you a good night’s sleep.

    Baby monitor

      3. Prepare for high stress levels

      Most childhood-s tend to be carefree – it only makes sense that most parenthood-s are stressful times. Kids have a tendency to fall, bleed, get lost, get sick and do all this with magnificent carelessness. You have to think for them and this doesn’t do well by your nerves and anxiety levels.

      4. Prepare your feet for stepping on small objects

      There is no such thing as a tidy toddler. No matter how much effort your put into clearing away the clutter in your home, the kids will always find a way to set traps for you and you should get used to the pain or get that ninja caution going. No move is safe!

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      5. Learn that being stain free isn’t always possible

      If you have a favorite shirt, lock it up somewhere and don’t pull it out until your child is at least 10 if you want to keep it safe. Cleanliness is next to godliness, but even God won’t save you from the stains a kid can pull off.  After all, it is a thin line between food and throwing ammunition to a child.

      6. Say farewell to your privacy

      You thought work didn’t leave you and your spouse with enough time for each other? Think again! A child demands a lot of attention and peace and quiet when it’s sleeping time. They also have a sixth sense to anticipate your intimacy time and interrupt it in new and funny ways, every damn time.

      Mommy daddy and baby

        After a while, it stops being funny. It is a good idea to prepare for this by learning to be fast and effective when it comes to the bedroom pleasures, since you won’t have hours to enjoy yourselves once the baby comes.

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        7. Learn to have constant companionship and one less arm

        Have you ever felt lonely before? Well, you will be craving some alone time after the baby comes, not to mention when it starts walking and following you everywhere. The skill of holding a child’s hand while buying groceries, tidying up your home or whatever else is an art form you will have to master. It’s not that the child will be clingy. They will protest loudly about being forced to follow you wherever you go finishing errands. Your kid would be more than happy to go running around on its own, but you and I know that’s not a very good idea.

        8. Realize that your salary is very small

        How’s your bank account? Steadily growing? Well, growth time is now officially over. Congratulations, you now are officially broke! You need to setup a nursery, buy baby clothes (and buy some more every month since babies tend to grow), get all the necessary baby stuff, start thinking about a college fund (it is never too early) and loads more. You wanted to go on a vacation? Sure, you can do that as soon as your child is off to college!

        9. Realize that your home just got a whole lot smaller

        Baby hands on the carpet

          If you two lovebirds thought that your love shack is just the right size, think again! Children need their own room and, on top of that, they have a tendency to shrink the rooms they spend time in on a daily basis. They work this magic by throwing toys around, spilling things on floors and carpets, toppling over laps, vases and other ornaments. A studio apartment just won’t cut it anymore.

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          10. Get used to watching children’s’ programs

          This won’t take long to get used to, since after a whole day’s work around the child and no sleep, you will not have the mental capacity to deal with anything more complex than a children’s show. You will be thankful for its numbingly anesthetic effects and the fact that it is keeping your kid firmly rooted in one place.

          You scared yet? Well, you should be. Bringing a child into this world isn’t a decision you should take lightly and you should be aware that it comes with a set of difficulties you need to be prepared for. Don’t let this discourage you though. Parenting is deeply set into your genetic code and the instincts will kick in when a child is born. Read up on the subject during pregnancy and plan out your future well to avoid more stress and you should be fine. Once again, congratulations and may you have great moments with your family.

          More by this author

          Ivan Dimitrijevic

          Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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          Last Updated on September 16, 2019

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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          • (1) Research
          • (2) Deciding the topic
          • (3) Creating the outline
          • (4) Drafting the content
          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
          • (6) Revision
          • (7) etc.

          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

          2. Change Your Environment

          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

          6. Get a Buddy

          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

          Reality check:

          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

          More About Procrastination

          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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