Raising a child isn’t the easiest thing to do. In fact, many parents will say the complete opposite. There is a real life human being who relies on you for everything. It can be scary, tiring and extremely difficult. You never really know whether you’re doing the right thing or if you’re on the completely wrong track. And every parenting blog says a different thing and every “expert” has a different approach. It’s like navigating the most complicated maze in the world in perfect darkness without a flashlight.

 

And that’s exactly why you need to prepare as best you can when you’re planning on having or adopting a child. You need to ensure you’re off to a good start before your child arrives and you realise this is going to be the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to do. So, to make this just a little bit easier for you, here are six things you should do when you plan to have children.

 

Find the right neighbourhood

Location. Location. Location. It’s not about buying the fanciest house on the fanciest street. It’s about finding a place where you want your child to grow up. A place where they will feel safe, comfortable and free. You want to live in a place where you feel comfortable letting your child ride their bicycle in the street (supervised, of course). You want to live in a place where there are parks within walking distance. You want to live in a place where they can have the best childhood possible.

 

Prepare their bedroom

It’s called nesting and it’s something you should definitely do. It will emotionally prepare you for your child’s arrival and make you feel like your home is ready to receive them. Plus, it can be a really fun project to do with your partner. You can paint the room in a happy colour, put together the crib and choose the sweetest decorations imaginable. It’ll drive home the fact that you are expecting a child and your family will soon have another member. You’ll also feel better knowing that your child already has a room.

 

Childproof the house

Safety first. Little ones can get anywhere very quickly. One second they’ll be right in front of you and the next thing you know they’ll have crawled into the kitchen and started opening drawers. That’s why it’s important you put childproof mechanisms on all the drawers and cupboards your child could possibly reach. And keep all sharp objects out of reach of little hands. When you start to think you may be going overboard, don’t stop because you’re not. Your child’s safety is the most important thing in the world and you need to ensure you’ve done the best you can.  

 

Get the cover you need

You will need insurance. That’s a given. You will need to make sure that you and your family have peace of mind should anything happen. This includes having a good medical insurance plan, life cover and funeral cover in South Africa. If you end up in an accident and are badly hurt and unable to work, will your family be financially sound? And, even worse, if you fall ill and pass away, will your family be able to survive without you? You need to make sure that no matter what happens in the future, everyone in your family is cared for. That should be your number one priority. After all, you never know what might happen in the future. The world is an unpredictable place and you need to prepare for anything that may happen.

 

Be informed

Although parenting blogs differ in opinion and every expert has a different approach, it can’t hurt to find out what they have to say. Don’t simply read one book, blog or magazine and think you’re informed. That’s not the way this works. You need to read and understand a variety of opinions and approaches so that you can decide what will work best for you and your family. And if you are having a child through pregnancy, you should know as much as you can about pregnancy and the child birthing process.  

 

Start thinking about their schooling

This is something that can’t be stressed enough, you need to think about schooling from the very beginning. Are you located near a good school that your child will be able to attend? Or will you have to take them out of the neighbourhood for a good education? And are you interested in sending them to private or public school? Would you consider a private school? It’s important you think about these things right now as if you choose a prestigious school, you’ll have to start preparing your application as soon as possible as these are extremely difficult to get into.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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