Parenting Expectations and the Reality

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Dorothy Williams
Professor Swanson
English Composition I (1010-80)
October 12, 2010
While there is nothing in the world more rewarding than becoming a parent, there is no way to completely prepare for actually being a parent. Financial planning, researching how to be a parent, and planning on how life will change give future parents some expectations about what it is like to be a parent. It is a good idea for soon-to-be parents to have a plan, but the expectations of being a parent and the reality are very different.

Before becoming a parent, many people probably think that they have their finances all figured out. They expect a baby to cost a lot of money. Saving money for a baby is a great idea since there is a considerable amount of data about how much college will cost in eighteen years, what the cost of living will be over the next twenty years, and how much raising children costs every year. So many people work hard, get a good job and save, save, save. Some people save for years to become parents. They plan out how much is needed and save until it is time to have that baby they have been dreaming about.

The reality of it is, no matter how much money is saved, or how a person plans for the future financially, it is usually not enough. While having a solid financial plan is smart, there are too many unanticipated variables that come with having children. The job that was so perfect before becoming a parent is not ideal afterwards because working that many hours or being away from home is no longer an option. Soon, that cute little house that was just the right size before is too small, so moving is inevitable. Also, preparing for the first child is always a little easier than planning for child number two or three. Children always bring unexpected costs with them. People plan for the doctor’s visits, clothes, food, etc. Then life happens. Unexpected costs happen all the time. One child gets sick and has to...
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