Becoming Parents and New Beginnings

by Dr. Punita Rice Life

New Beginnings - Our New Nursery

We’re a few weeks away from becoming parents! Here are some thoughts and musings as we prepare for this new chapter in life…

Things I’ve been doing to get “ready”

We have felt “ready” to become parents (in an abstract sense) for some time, but here are some things we’ve been doing to get ready for this new beginning:

  • We’ve taken all the pregnancy and labor classes
  • We did the hospital tour and class
  • We read a handful of pregnancy books
  • I’ve been finishing as much coursework
  • I’ve worked out a plan to notify my adviser when I’m starting leave from my program (I’ll probably be taking about a month off from coursework)
  • My husband has figured out his family leave
  • I’m most excited about this white noise machine from my sister-in-law… which I’ve already been using even though baby isn’t here yet!
  • I’ve set up our car seat (the “Mesa” from UPPAbaby)
  • We got our newborn dipes, our dirty diaper holder, and gentle baby wash
  • I’ve been nesting aggressively…

But in another sense, is becoming parents something you’re ever really ready for?

The last decade has been full of new beginnings. I met my husband, we both graduated from college, we both started our careers, we moved multiple times (suburbs to the city and now back to the suburbs), we got married, we decided to start a family, we moved to a new home… these are all pretty big changes!

But going back to the starting-a-family thing… Getting a new family member is a completely different kind of beginning than all the others. I know we’ve taken the classes and read the books. I know I’ve figured out the logistics for my program. I know we’ve bought all the things (including the super-weird ones).

But I can’t help but wonder… are these things really how you get ready for this new chapter? Is becoming parents and having your first baby something anyone can ever really be ready for? Maybe not. I get the sense that you don’t really learn how to be parents until you are parents, right? Maybe the best you can hope for as you prepare is that you’re “ready enough.”

Also, if you’re interested, here are some of the items we’ve collected and stocked up on to prepare for our new arrival:

So parents, when did you really know you were ready to become parents?

(Photo from my Instagram – add me if you haven’t already!)

About the Author

Dr. Punita Rice

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Dr. Punita Rice is a wife and mama, an education researcher, a writer, the founder and director of ISAASE, and an advisor with Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Doctor of Education program. Her work centers around multicultural education and equity, and South Asian American experiences in school. You can read more about Punita and her work here. Punita also writes about life, culture, education, and motherhood here on her blog. She works from home in Maryland, and drinks a great deal of coffee.