If you are a parent, with at least a 2-year old, you may have asked yourself if there is a child’s manual out there. Unfortunately, there isn’t.
Parenting is not easy; it fills you with doubts and unanswered questions. It is also a very fulfilling and humbling experience. I have two boys, a four-year old and an 18 month old. They are both very energetic and they wear me out. I am a working mother, which compounds the effect of the toll they take on me. I still love them dearly and like every parent out there, must consider the following:
- Their well-being: From the day a child is born, the child has to at least eat and be clothed. Unless you decide to use cloth diapers, you also have to consider diapers in your budget. While you might spend about $30 in cloth diapers, you will spend an average of $500-$800 in diapers for the first year of your baby. If you choose to breastfeed only, you will reduce the cost of formula. You can also combine breastfeeding and formula feeding to bring down cost. There is also a cost associated with toys. There are some toys that can be done away with if you have a tight budget. Better still, you can get creative and hand-make toys for your child.
- Education: This is a strong consideration as soon as a child is born. If you are a working mother, you will budget the cost of daycare till preschool. Then you have to decide if your child will attend a public/charter school or a private school. Regardless of what type of school your child attends in their early life, a college education is what most parents wish for and this is rising yearly. “The average cost of a bachelor’s degree is $25,143 per year at a private college and $6,585 at a public college or university, according to the 2008-09 reports released by the College Board. About 56 percent of students pay less than $9,000 in tuition and fees per year, the board found, while only 9 percent pay more than $33,000. These averages do not include room and board.” Source: The Average Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree on Ehow.com.
- Raising the child right: This is the one part that has little or no monetary value and in my opinion the hardest. Depending on what you consider a “good” kid, every parent has different parenting skills to raise a well-mannered and respectful child. Some resort to spanking, others to time outs, and others to both. One thing is certain; you are the role model of your children. They will learn a lot more from you than any other person. Based on this, regardless of whatever disciplining methods you choose for your child, maintaining a consistent and constant positive behavior in front of them is imperative to their well-being.
While being a parent may seem difficult and daunting, it is fulfilling and shouldn’t be disparaged. When you become a parent, do know that you have a good task ahead of you.
Ebele Agu is a mom to two energetic and adorable boys ages 4 and 19mths. I am always searching for ways to improve the lives of my family and those around me.
She is a teacher, who wants the best for the kids she teaches. I have a passion for education and to do what is right for everyone.
To read my musings, find me at http://www.beibeslife.blogspot.com
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