Assignment 21 - Responsibilities of Pregnancy and Parenting

Have you ever babysat or looked after a younger sibling? Think about your answers to the following questions:

  • What time of day do you usually babysit?
  • How many children do you look after? How old are they?
  • Are the children already fed? If not, what do you make them to eat?
  • How long do you baby-sit? Do you have to put them to bed? Bath?
  • What kind of things do you do with them for fun?
  • What are the responsibilities of a babysitter?

If you are a parent, you have to fulfill all of these duties - and more - every single day. Babysitting is a temporary role, but parenting is a full-time job.

Parents are legally responsible for their child until their child becomes an adult. When the child is a baby, there is obviously a lot of responsibility on you as a parent. The baby is completely dependent on you for everything - food, clothing, shelter, safety, etc. As the child gets older the responsibilities may seem to get easier, but they aren't. They just change. Toddlers may be able to keep themselves safe and feed themselves, but you need to be around to supervise them to ensure they don't get hurt. Young children can dress themselves, but they can't stay alone in a house while you go out. Think about the things that your parents do for you now? If you have a child, you will have to provide those things for them.

Having a baby is a joyful and happy experience, there is no arguing against that. But if you are still a young person who is growing into an adult yourself, having a child can change the entire course of your life. Your life now needs to centre around taking care of the child instead of your own needs.

  • Your schooling options are limited.
    • If you are a woman, you may need to take time off of school near the end of your pregnancy and just after the baby is born. If you miss that much school, your graduation from high school will be delayed or may not happen.
    • If you are a man, you may need to help the mother of your child take care of yourself. You may need to take on part-time or full-time work to help pay for medical expenses and baby supplies.
  • Your job prospects are limited.
    • If you are a woman, mostly the responsibility of child care falls on you. Your family members may be able to look after the baby while you go to work, but sometimes that's not an option. If you can't afford to pay a day home or day care service, then you won't be able to work at all.
    • If you are a man it's possible you will be the person taking care of the baby and small child, but it's not as common. Usually a man will take on a full time job. It needs to pay well because there are a lot of expenses for babies and small children that need to be covered.
  • Your social life is limited.
    • Sometimes you can depend on family or friends to babysit your child if you want a night off, but sometimes that's not always possible. You may find that your friends don't want to hang out with you anymore because the baby has to be around too. They may not invite you to parties or events because they know you will be busy. If your friends don't have children, you may even find that you don't have things in common anymore because their lives are very different than yours now.

Assignment 4 - Responsibilities of Pregnancy and Parenting

For this assignment you will be reflecting on "A Day in The Life": in your life as it is now, and what your life might be if you had a baby to take care of.

Part 1

Create a daily schedule for yourself. Set out a 24 hour schedule. Book in time for all the things you do in the run of an average day. You can use today as an example, or just create a hypothetical average day to describe.

Part 2

Look at this schedule below. This is an average schedule for a newborn baby (around 1 month old). Every baby is different, but this is what you could expect. It is colour-coded based on the activity you'll be doing and the time you're doing it.

It may seem like babies sleep for a lot of the day. They do, especially young ones. That seems like an easy day just watching a baby sleep all the time! Don't be fooled. Putting a baby down for a nap is usually a long process of making them calm and restful, rocking them until they get tired, and trying to put them down into their bed. Also, just because the baby is scheduled to sleep at a certain time doesn't mean that they will. They may feel sick or have too much energy to sleep and if they don't sleep when they should, the baby will be cranky!

When a baby is asleep, you can sleep too sometimes, but if you're the only adult in the house you should try to be awake in case an emergency happens. When a baby is asleep remember that you'll have other duties to do: lots of laundry (babies are messy), cleaning up baby toys, laundry, cooking your own meals, etc.

Part 3

Compare your schedule with the average daily baby schedule here. Reflect on how your life would change if you were responsible for looking after a baby.

What changes would you have to make in your life?

What things would you have to give up?

What could you do to cope with these challenges?

Write a paragraph of at least 8 sentences that summarizes your thoughts.

Your completed assignment should include: your daily schedule (from Part 1) and your paragraph (from Part 3).