With an unplanned pregnancy, one of your first thoughts might be, “How could I ever parent a baby? I don’t know anything about being a mom!” One of the great things about being a mother or father is that you don’t have to know everything at once. You have time to learn as you go, and you will likely have plenty of people to help teach you. Sure, parenting is tough, but there is probably nothing as rewarding in life as parenting a child. You want to give it your best.
One of the great things about being a mother or father is that you don’t have to know everything at once.
Learn, Learn, Learn
If you don’t know how to be a mom, you can learn what you need to know. There are many resources available to you.
Who is in your life that you see as being a good mom? Spend time with her, ask questions, watch her with her children. Model your mothering from your observations and learn from your conversations with her.
When you meet a mom and have an opportunity to talk with her, ask for her top three tips about parenting. Also, share your future and bring up your main concerns. What input does she have for you? Moms love to talk about parenting!
Take a parenting class. Many pregnancy care centers offer parenting classes. Enroll in one so you will gain basic parenting skills and make friends with other young moms.
You can also look on the Internet for online parenting classes and also for parenting classes in your local community. Learning with others who have similar needs can create camaraderie and sometimes life-long friendships.
Finally, with the Internet, the answer to almost any parenting question you might have is as close as Googling the question. It doesn’t get any easier or quicker than that.
If you are parenting alone, you need support. Parenting is a full-time job. Find those people in your circle of family and friends who will offer you that support and then let them be there for you. Sometimes it is hard to admit you are tired, could use a break, or just want to go to the doctor without your child along. Those who love you want to know your needs and help you. Perhaps you are part of a church who will reach out to you too. Churches often have programs to help mothers.
Being a good mom means taking care of yourself. You want to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise. That may sound tough when you are also learning to be a mom. However, taking care of you will give you the energy to be the mom you want to be, and you will be setting a great example for your child as well.
As a parent, you decide boundaries that are good for your child. As much as love and fun is part of parenting so are rules and the consequences when the rules aren’t followed. It is good if you can determine those healthy boundaries for your child in advance (maybe from a parenting class you take or watching your friend as she mothers) and then to consistently enforce the boundaries with loving firmness. Those habits will help your child be a good playmate, a student in school, and sibling.
Express your love for her over and over. Let her know you want to listen to her, even when she is little.
From the day your baby is born talk, talk, talk to her. You want to build a special relationship with her from the very day she is born. There will be plenty to tell her “no” about as she grows and begins to explore her world so always be looking for ways to praise her and build her up. Express your love for her over and over. Let her know you want to listen to her, even when she is little. Don’t be “too busy.” That might mean setting aside things you want to do in order to be there for her.
No parent gets it all right. You won’t either. That’s life, and it’s okay. What matters is that you love your child, want what’s best for her, can admit when you are wrong, and then move on from there.
A Rewarding Choice
Even though an unplanned pregnancy brings fears, doubts, and uncertainties, if you decide to parent your baby, you are investing in the most precious thing imaginable – your baby’s life. You can do it! Your love for your baby will motivate you to learn how to be the best mother you can be for her. The difficulties of mothering are significant, but so are the rewards.
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