Are You Prepared For Parenthood?
By bro Lee Tian Seng
Were Joseph and Mary prepared to be parents? When the angel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus, Mary was surprised because she was a virgin (Luke 1:26-38). And when her fiancé Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he must be shocked because they were just engaged at that time. He was not prepared to be a husband, much less a father (Matthew 1:18-25). Only after the angel Gabriel revealed to him that baby Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, was he prepared to be a husband and a father. Things happened very fast for this couple and the challenges before them was great.
As a young couple, you will probably look forward to having your own children. Most couples are delighted when they find out that the wife is expecting. As reality sets in, couples begin to think if they are prepared to be parents since there are many challenges. The foremost thing to do is to pray to God for wisdom and guidance.
James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
The Bible teaches that parents are to provide for and nurture their children. They are responsible for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of their children. The parents of Jesus must have contributed to His growth in all these aspects.
Luke 2:52 - And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
While waiting for the baby to arrive, couples can prepare themselves in the following practical ways:
Anticipate challenges – There will be a need to set aside a budget to pay for milk powder, diapers and child care arrangement (if the mother needs to work), etc. Couples must divide their duties and share the household responsibilities because these will definitely increase. There is a need to ask others to help so that couples have time to rest.
Balance work and family – Couples need to spend more time with the family while managing time at work. Caring for a baby is expected to be tiring. Parents of new-borns can expect to wake up in the wee hours of the night to feed and tend to the needs of their baby.
Communicate your fears and thoughts – There are things that you may be concerned about as you imagine what parenthood will be like. This is the time to share whatever is in your mind with one another. By doing this, couples can share the emotional burden and work together as a team in parenting.
Decide to keep connected – Being busy does not give couples an excuse not to be emotionally connected with one another. There is a risk of losing the intimate relationship when attention is focused only on children. So couples need to be committed to spending time with one another. It could even be a date once a month or going for a meal together, after getting someone to babysit the little one.
Parenthood is challenging but also rewarding because you will feel the joy and satisfaction of bringing up your children.