How does having a baby change peoples lives?I'm writing a paper and this is one of the questions I have to cover, I want to hear it from someone else rather than what I think.  Can someone help me...

How does having a baby change peoples lives?

I'm writing a paper and this is one of the questions I have to cover, I want to hear it from someone else rather than what I think.  Can someone help me please - Thanks Joelle

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having a baby changes a person's life in so many ways, regardless of how old you are when you have it.

For a teen or a young person, the changes are obvious.  All of a sudden you can't just go out with your friends when you want to.  You have this responsibility that totally ties you down.

It is that way for adults too, except that you are older and expect it more.  But that is still one of the major impacts.  You have to start making your life revolve around what is best for your child.  For me, for example, that meant that having a baby meant giving up full-time work to be a stay at home parent because my wife and I felt that was what was best for the family as a whole.

In addition, having a baby changes your whole outlook on life.  All of a sudden, you have this huge responsibility and this person that you care so much about.  You spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do the best job you can raising the child to be a good person and a successful person.  Just as you have to change what you do on a day-to-day basis, you also have to change your thought process to the point where you are always thinking about what is best for the child and to where you try to live your life so as to be an example to your child.

Overall, having a baby makes us so much more aware of our duty and responsibilities to others and less hung up on our own needs.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I remember when I was pregnant with our first child and everyone would say that having a baby changes everything.  I was a little irritated because I thought I understood that already.  Why did people keep telling me like I didn't know?  Then, the baby came and I suddenly understood.  Having a baby changes absolutely everything.  I don't think that's something anyone can really grasp until they have their first child.  It changes your physical life of course.  Your routine now has to revolve around and incorporate a tiny helpless baby and then it grows to include the child as he/she ages.  There are the obvious stages of development and the obvious physical changes like baby proofing the house or being up half the night. 

Really, it is the way your thinking changes as a parent that is much more significant than the physical changes.  You start to see things in a different light.  Once you are responsible for another human being, you see things differently.  The way you think about money changes.  Before I had kids, I used to think $20 wasn't a lot to spend on something frivolous like a dinner out with friends.  Now, I think in terms of how many diapers, bottle of milk, or clothes that $20 could buy.  I see the world differently because I see in terms of how it will effect my son.  Having children really changes your perspective on absolutely everything.

belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A baby is a wake-up call. You are now responsible for a life other than your own. You now must stop living for yourself and live for the baby; because you created it, you are wholly responsible for its well-being. You must take the necessary steps to ensure that it lives and is healthy. For some couples, these steps will be different than for others; some might put the baby up for adoption because they simply cannot take proper care of it. Others will change their careers to make sure the baby is supported. Every couple is changed by parenthood in a different way, but any person or persons who wilfully decide to become parent(s) must accept that they are solely responsible for their decision.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having a baby seems to make people very happy if they are prepared -- in all the practical and not so tangible ways -- to deal with this huge new responsibility.  Many of my former students are now in the process of becoming first-time (or second- or third-time) parents, and they all seem very happy with these changes in their lives (despite the obvious stresses, such as lack of sleep). On the other hand, people who are not prepared in practical ways to have children (such as unmarried students in junior high school or high school) can have their lives severely damaged by having children when they are not yet ready.

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One effect that is not spoken of by unselfish, loving parents is that at times and for some people, the arrival of a baby changes what might be called the partnership "contract" between the parents. This change may result in one (or both!) parents rejecting the child as being responsible for altering their enjoyment/attainment of all their life plans and goals and desires and images of the future (a situation captured by Hemingway is "Hills Like White Elephants"). This rejection may manifest as emotional, psychological, or physical (abuse and/or absence) rejection, or a combination of the three.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What a great question. As a parent of two teenagers, I haven't thought about how my children changed my life when they were born.

Having a child certainly changed my life. Besides the lack of sleep, I came to understand what it meant for someone to be completely dependant on another. My needs were no longer my first priority--my first priority was my child. Regardless of how tired, or hungry, or in need of a shower, my child's needs came first.

In the end, a child asks for nothing, but deserves everything. A good parent provides this.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having a baby changes everything. I always say, "it takes a life to take care of a life." If you think about this, it is completely true. Babies cannot do anything for themselves. You need to feed them, change them, soothe them, bathe them, and put them to sleep. Moreover, babies cry in the middle of the night and parents will need to take care of them. Also think about all the hospital visits. If you change the perspective a bit, think of the finances that will be involved. In short, it is realistic to say that babies will change your life.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I may have once heard it said, or actually I may have made it up myself, that getting married or having a long-term partner shows you how selfish you are. Having a baby makes you realise how even more selfish you are. Suddenly you can't do the things that you want to do because you have this little bundle of joy that is entirely dependent on you. Your life changes dramatically as a result. Not that these are bad changes, mind you, but it does really make you think about how much free time you had before children arrived!

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having a baby means that you have just become second priority, as have all of your goals for yourself.  The baby needs and takes priority for at least the next eighteen years, and more likely, longer.  As a parent, and to be a good one, you must sacrifice your time, sleep, love, energy, money and more for the child on a daily basis until they can provide for themselves, and sometimes even then.

Having a baby is also hard on the human body, and causes some permanent changes.

user4126597 | Student

Having a baby changes your life, in every concienvable way.  You are no longer responsible for just yourself.  For the next 16 years you have a mini me, taging behind you, and you have to not only provide for all of its needs on a health basis, you also have to care for your child spiritually, mentally, physically and with tones of love and attention.

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