Parenting 101: Expectations vs. Reality in Raising Kids


As the world we live in continues to change, parenting techniques also adapt to change along with it. From changing diapers, slowly guiding your little one to achieve learning milestones, to creating a loving home, parents in our current generation are facing the common things that exist with parenthood. However, modern parents are also struggling despite the rise of digital technology and smart devices. 

There are many expectations and realities that encompass the world of parenting. So, what does parenting really look like? In this article, we will discuss the recent reports about parenting, and the expectations and realities behind parenting.

Recent Reports about Parenting

One of the most altering, challenging, and fulfilling life events is parenthood. However, balancing parenting and working can be extremely difficult due to adjustments and accomplishing work-related roles and goals while meeting the demands of the whole family. Here are some recent reports about parenting:

  • A 2020 survey reported that only about 12% of parents feel prepared when they first have children. Almost half of all parents agree that they tend to turn to family members before looking for answers elsewhere. Also, 42% of new parents tend to turn to their partner and 41% consult their mother before seeking information from other sources.
  • Statistical studies have shown that about 64% of parents prefer to see the overscheduling of children fall by the wayside in 2020 because more activities for children become financially draining on the family’s financial budgets. 
  • 65% of parents worry that they provide their children with too much screen time as they are having difficulties in assessing their kids’ digital habits.
  • 7% of fathers were stay-at-home dads, being high from just 4% in 1989 as they represent about 17% of all stay-at-home parents in 2016.
  • There has been a rise in awareness about gender-neutral parenting as modern parents tend to raise their kids outside of the bounds of traditional “boy” and “girl” categories. 
  • A 2019 report revealed that only about 10% of parents discuss race with their children, with only 6% of those who are being white and 22% of those who are being black. 
  • Based on a 2019 schooling survey, there is an all-time high interest in at-home schooling as 13% of parents would choose homeschooling in 2019, being high from 5% in 2012 because of its safer environment. 

Expectations and Realities Behind Parenting

Despite the recommendations of many parenting experts out there, there will always be good and bad days while bringing up a child. Parenting is like riding a rollercoaster: You will feel calm at first but you will eventually feel ups and downs in your way. Yes, it is an adventurous ride because you are likely to have expectations of how things are supposed to happen. However, there are numerous expectations that are actually far from reality. Below are some expectations and realities behind parenting:

Expectation #1: I knew everything after reading many parenting articles and books, and my experience in taking care of babies and kids can be a huge factor. Raising a child will be as easy as ABC.

Reality: Although we have preconceived notions of parenting after reading tons of parenting articles and books plus having some experience in taking care of those little humans, there will be times that things can go in a different direction. Every child has their own uniqueness. You can have a simple routine with a calm baby but it’s different when the other one keeps on crying and having tantrums without any reason. 

Expectation #2: Transitioning from being a simple career woman into a mom is a natural and wonderful process.

Reality: Actually, this is a drastic lifestyle change and a very tough time of transition. There will be times that you are feeling an identity crisis because you are gaining a new personality of being a mother. Still, your growth as a mother can be a rewarding experience.

Expectation #3: It is easy to breastfeed a baby and it is a calming and relaxing moment for moms as they intimately bond with their children.

Reality: Well, there will be times that breastfeeding would hurt so much. Maybe your baby has difficulties in latching properly as he or she keeps on screaming incessantly because of hunger.

Expectation #4: Our married lives will be fun and exciting after having kids. So, our relationship with each other will not change.

Reality: You and your husband will encounter numerous challenges as you learn to become parents. So, it is important that both of you must nurture your relationship from the beginning. Set a time to bond with each other without your children regularly. This will help you to reconnect with each other.

Expectation #5: When the kids get older, things will get easier.

Reality: Growing kids mean less frequent tantrums, reducing amounts of diapers, and getting better sleep than ever before. Still, you will enter and face another stage of challenges when your kids undergo different development stages: toddler, preschool, early childhood, middle childhood, puberty or adolescence, and adulthood. 


Being a formidable task, there are many expectations and realities in parenting. Parents need to strengthen their relationship with their children because when children feel connected and nurtured while their parents can meet their needs, they calm down and overcome problems more easily. Indeed, parenting gives couples with new kids the most profound opportunity to grow as human beings, especially showing their best effort in raising children to be good adults. 

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