Exploring Parenting

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So, you're going to have a baby and you're interested in learning more about parenting and the changes you'll experience in your life. It's an understandable curiosity, especially if you're having your first child. The joys of parenthood are plenty, as are the sacrifices you'll make while raising your child.

If you've planned your pregnancy, then you've already ensured that you're in the place you need or want to be when bringing your child into the world, however, if you're experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you may or may not feel like you're ready to become a parent. Parenting a child can be expensive, but there are federal and state programs designed to help families be successful, such as WIC, Food Stamps and Medicaid.

Beyond the financial obligations that parents must meet when they decide to have a child, there are other obligations, such as meeting the emotional needs of your child as well as providing for their educational needs. Parenting requires a lot of sacrifices, especially if you're planning to do it alone.

Some things to think about and ask yourself might be:

  • If I am working or going to school full time, who will care for my child?
  • Have I researched the cost of child care in my area and can I afford to pay for it?
  • Do I have suitable housing for myself and my child?
  • Can I provide for the emotional needs of my child?
  • Will my child have a relationship with his or her other parent?

If you're worried about meeting the financial obligations of parenthood, then research the available services in your area. Now is a good time to start thinking about the expenses you may face as a parent, so that you can be as prepared as possible when the time comes to bring your baby home.

If you're still attending school, you might also want to start investigating the possibility of on-campus child care or alternative education which allows you to continue your education with your child on campus. These services aren't available in all areas, so knowing what is available in your area will be an important first step towards your parenting goal.

There are a lot of decisions you'll face as a new parent, such as finding a pediatrician, choosing a name and even whether or not to vaccinate your child against disease. We'll help you explore some of the more important issues you'll face as a new parent, whether you're doing it alone, co-parenting with a partner or former partner or you're married and embracing parenthood together for the first time.

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