Having a child changes your life, especially if it’s your first child. Your priorities, social life, daily routine, even the way you see things all change … one could say even for the better! Your life molds itself naturally around baby.

So everything is different, but it can also be the most wonderful thing you’ll ever experience. To help you to prepare for it and to avoid any unexpected surprises, we thought we’d make a short list of some of the things that happen when you become a mom or a dad.

First of all, sleep will become a privilege — no more eight hours straight — but your body will get you through it, drawing on energy reserves you didn’t know you had. Some children may be calmer than others, but the new family member’s many needs and your new responsibilities will nevertheless affect the quantity and quality of your rest.

Next, you’re going to have less time for yourself. It goes without saying that the many new tasks will be split between family members and kind helpers, but it will still never be like before you became a parent. Without realizing it, you’ll be focusing all your attention on your child which is great, but don’t forget that you need to leave a little space for yourself as well (it can be short, but it will be sweet!)

Another thing that will happen is that you will discover new things. For example, a new kind of love you’ve never felt before. You’ll discover you’re more sensitive. You’ll suddenly know that you’d do anything for your child, whatever it takes, even if that means becoming a better person.

You will also begin to understand your parents, appreciate them in a way you never did before. You’ll understand why they sometimes said “No”! or scolded you, and the reasons for some of their behavior towards you or decisions they made.

If you’ve decided to have your own family, it’s because you expect it to be the best experience of your life. And after all these changes, you’ll also know that it was 100% worth it.

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