9 Things You Do In Relationships That Are Preparing You For Being A Parent One Day

I don't currently have a child. I know that I want to have a child. I don't want to have a child right now. Maybe in 3-4 years, I will have a child. Knowing what I know from years of babysitting and working with children, there are certain things that you do in relationships that prepare you for having a kid. In my relationship, I often find myself thinking, "Ah jeez, this is what it's going to be like to have a kid," especially when the dog shits all up in his crate when we're trying to have a romantic night. Kids will be even more imposing, however, because you can't hold a kids nose up to its own poop and yell "bad dog". You have to kiss the baby and give it hugs, even if it shits straight into your hand.

Maybe all this poop talk has now totally put you off ever having a kid. Or a dog. I'm sorry. I'm sure it's not all babies pooping in your hand and dogs pooping up your house. There's probably a lot of joy and laughter and the miracle of life too, I'm sure, etc. And having a relationship is basically all preparation. At first, it's preparation for falling in love. Then it's preparation for living together, which becomes preparation for getting married, which is preparation for having a baby, which is preparation for getting old, and on and on until you die. It's nice that we often do all that with another person (which is a thought that just occurred to me). Here are the things you do in a relationship that you might not realize are preparation for your future baby:

1. Caring for a pet

As mentioned, pets can be real mood killers. Double down on that with a baby. You think you're going to feel sexy when your baby won't go to sleep and is crying in its crib? Good luck.

2. Scheduling sex

When you're busy, you have to make time to have sex. At the start of a relationship, you might be able to be spontaneous, especially where you start of seeing each other only a couple of times a week, so sex is kind of a guarantee (if it's consensual, obviously). But once you see each other every day, sex might still only happen twice a week, but you have to make time for it. Like when the baby is sleeping.

3. Multi-tasking and team work

When you're in a relationship, sometimes a whole lot of shit has to get done all at once, and you need to share the load. For instance: making dinner, cleaning the bathroom, doing the laundry. Learning to multi-task and divide domestic labor in a way that works it something that you'll continue to naturally practice, adding another little responsibility to the mix.

4. Being really gross and unsexy

Having children is supposed to be exhausting, and as new parents, you'll exist on little sleep and possibly even fewer showers. When you're disgusting in your relationship, for instance, sitting in a cloud of your own farts watching Netflix, this will prepare you for what your partner is going to look and smell like some of the time when you're raising a family.

5. Making financial decisions together

Once your relationship includes the discussion of finances, and how money is spent, you're probably developing a pretty neat skill for when you start a family. Because when that happens, finances will be important, given that there will be a third or fourth or even fifth (or more, who knows!) little person who needs resources allocated to them too.

6. Putting someone else first

Once you have a kid, that's the thing that comes first. Often in a relationship, you'll put your partner first, because you can't have a successful relationship if you only have your own interests in mind.

7. Looking after someone at their worst

A baby is the most helpless kind of thing ever. When your partner is helpless, for instance, bed ridden with the flu, caring for them while still running shop on your own life will give you some practice on looking after a baby, except that the baby won't be temporary.

8. Managing conflict

Learning how to communicate when you're mad in a relationship is essential for dealing with children. Because those things are going to make you mad, and you can't just fly off the handle and throw a tantrum every time things don't go the way you want them to.

9. Always being patient

If a kid doesn't do things right the first time, or the way you like them, you can't get mad. Teaching requires patience. In your relationship, you have to be patient with another person, when they're forgetful, careless, or just different to you.

10. Sometimes just backing down

In a relationship, sometimes you have to swallow your pride. Because sometimes being right matters less than being happy. You'll likely to find that's the same when you're raising children. No one likes to hear "I told you so" either, so you should learn not to be smug while you're at it.

11. Loving unconditionally

The most important thing you'll probably learn in your relationship is how to love unconditionally. Through bouts of diarrhea, bad moods, shitty jobs, vacations, sleeplessness, happy occasions, social occasions: no matter what it is, you'll learn to love through thick and thin, and not just bail when things get tough, which is essential to nurturing a family.

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