You may never be able to say you’re 100% ready to become a parent, because there are so many unknowns and new experiences ahead, but you can do the work to feel emotionally prepared and clear on what kind of parent you are now, and what kind of parent you want to be.
You heard that right, I said you can get clear on the kind of parent you are now, before you have any kids! How do you work this magic? You begin to notice the ways every day that you step into the role of self-parent. When you accidently break a dish, are you more likely to curse or be gentle with yourself? Do you have an easy time taking yourself to the doctor regularly? Are you brushing your teeth, eating healthy, and living a balanced life? All of these are examples of you parenting yourself, and all can give you insights into what kind of parent you will be.
Taking a time of self reflection before becoming a parent has many rewards. Noticing your inner dialogue and reactions to frustrating situations gives you the opportunity to make mistakes now, and learn what you’d like to change before your child ever meets you. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of a more loving and gentle relationship with yourself.
Together with a coach, you can walk through your earliest childhood memories and family tree to take a look at the core beliefs and values that have been passed down through the generations of your, and your spouse’s, family. Discovering these subconscious beliefs gives you the option to choose which are worth passing on and which are false beliefs you’d like to actively stop dead in their tracks.
Here are 5 Simple Ways to Learn What Kind of Parent You Will Be:
- Listen to your self-talk: Let’s get real, going from cursing like a sailor to sounding like Mary Poppins or going from hot tempered to patient and unconditionally loving doesn’t happen overnight, and these habits aren’t a switch that can be turned on and off at will. By listening to your self-talk, you can see the potential obstacles to a smooth transition into parenthood and do something to start the necessary changes now.
- Take Time to Play: Recent research has shown that people of all ages benefit from play time as a break from daily life. According to research, play can relieve stress, boost creativity, improve brain function, and improve our relationships with other people: It’s accepted by psychologists and researchers as an essential component for childhood development—and a lack of playtime is seen as a major health obstacle. So, don’t wait, get into the habit of scheduling playtime and get excited to share the play you enjoy with your child.
- Write a list of Loving Parent Messages: There are some things we all want to hear from our parents, like “I’m proud of you” or “you’re loved and important to me”. By writing down a few and telling them to yourself regularly, you build the habit of saying them and improve the chances your child will hear what they need to hear. Be sure to include any messages you wish your parents would say to you!
- Draw Your Family Tree: Think about your family in terms of generations, and reflect on the traditions, strengths, and identity of your family you want to share with your child.
- Write a Values List: What values do you want to pass on to your children? They may seem obvious, but taking the time to get with your spouse to write them down can give you both a guide map to your parenting style, and get some disagreements settled early.
How much help you allow yourself is also telling about your parenting style. Parenting is easier for those who embrace the idea that “it takes a village!” So build a robust support system and enjoy the journey! I recommend you partner with a coach or therapist to help guide you and your partner through these exercises in the most gentle and enjoyable way possible!
What are the most helpful ways you prepared for becoming a parent? Share in the comments!