Making Room in Your Life for a Child
If you decide that you do want to bring a child into your life, you already realize that you'll have to make some changes. Pregnancy brings many physical changes that immediately impact your life. Caring for a baby, toddler, preschooler, and child of any age brings its own challenges, rewards, and needs. You will always be changing and growing with your child throughout the years to come.
Here is a small snapshot of some of the changes you might find yourself making as you raise a child:
Pregnancy: You may find yourself to be extremely tired at times and unable to do some of things you enjoy, like jogging or rock climbing. You'll surrender to the physical changes and buy a new wardrobe. Alcohol, cigarettes, certain fish and cheeses, and many medications will be off limits.
Newborn: As you work to get your body back, you may find that it won't be entirely yours for quite a long time as you nurse, get up for nighttime feedings, and feel completely physically attached to your baby. Leaving her may be difficult, and you'll find that your living space explodes into a complete baby world.
Older baby: You'll be shocked at how quickly your little one outgrows each size. You'll need a sitter if you want to head out to a movie. If you're back to work, planning for day care alone is not enough. You'll also need backup day care in case baby gets sick.
Toddler: The days of spending an afternoon at the mall are long gone, since naptime cuts into the day. If you thought you were tired carrying a baby around, you'll soon find that toddlers require just as much energy and even more patience. Mealtimes can be complicated with picky eaters.
Preschool: Play dates are a big part of your life and by now you know the theme songs to many children's television shows by heart. Your living area is probably overflowing with toys made up of many little pieces. Staying out late with your little one isn't an option since any bedtime later than 8 p.m. throws everything out of whack.
What are the Mommy Wars?
The Mommy Wars are a difference of opinion among some women about the best way to raise children. Some mothers firmly believe that it is wrong for mothers to work and that all mothers should stay home with their children. Other mothers firmly believe that working while mothering is the best option. There is no right answer; each woman must make a decision about what is best for her and her family.