10 Things Prepared Parents Often Take for Granted

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Caring parents sometimes take the circumstances of their lives for granted. When parents do all the responsible things expected of them to protect their families, those prepared parents may feel entitled to expect things to remain as they are. However, nothing in life is guaranteed. Here are ten things prepared parents may sometimes take for granted:

1. Keeping Your Marriage Strong

A stable marriage is a wonderful thing. If a couple with children demonstrates consistent love and respect for each other despite challenges, it will be a blessing for them and an example and encouragement to their children. According to Xonecole, visible signs of respect are among the best investments in a lasting marriage. For example, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to each other carries a lot of emotional weight.

It may seem cliché to say that one of the secrets of a stable marriage is good communication – but it’s true. Good communication is more than words, although words are essential when they reveal the truth to each other. To communicate honestly, prepared parents must stop assuming they know how the other family members will respond. Just as we have the right to change our minds or preferences, we must extend that right to our partners and children.

If we reach a point in our marriage where we decide on divorce, our responsibility to model respectful communication doesn’t end. We can provide an example for our children of working with people with opposing positions – an increasing probability in today’s political climate. Custody issues can become very contentious. However, if we do our best to honor our ex-spouse as a co-parent, we can provide a valuable demonstration of grace under fire.

2. Taking a Family Vacation

As a family, our planned trips together may be something we look forward to all year. However, because family members are human, we shouldn’t assume our vacation plans will go perfectly. Even prepared parents can have their plans disrupted, disliked, or detoured. We can make careful vacation plans and pray they will turn out well.

According to Real Simple, part of enjoying your vacation will begin with planning it together. Months before vacation, gather the family and agree on the destination. After the place is set, determine which activities each person would like to do in that area. Check the route, if you’re driving, to see if there are points of interest your family members may enjoy along the way.

While on your vacation, keep your expectations flexible. Each family member will experience the vacation in their own way. At the beginning of the journey, encourage each family member to express their creativity through photography and capture the moments that are significant to them.

3. Securing an Intact Roof

Part of being prepared parents is keeping your home safe and comfortable. When planning to care for your home, it’s sometimes good to start at the top – with the roof. Homeowners can take simple steps to keep their roofs in top shape. Look at your roof whenever you can and check for missing shingles, broken gutters, branches, or other issues.

Homeowners must clean their gutters at least twice a year. When gutters aren’t cleaned, water can back up and ruin the integrity of your exterior walls or flow underneath the shingles and rot the roof’s sheathing. You’ll need to climb a ladder, but according to House Logic, taking a few hours twice a year to clean the gutters will be essential in protecting your home.

If your roof is flat, you must be vigilant about removing leaves. If leaves are left on your roof, they will trap moisture and break down. Proper roof maintenance does take effort. If you recognize that you need help, develop a relationship with a team of reliable roofers who can visit you twice a year.

4. Maintaining a Comfortable Home

You’ll want everyone to feel comfortable when you’re at home with your family. You’ll want your home to be cozy and warm in the winter and refreshingly cool in the summer. Maintaining your HVAC system and its components must be one of your priorities. If you don’t already have one, finding an HVAC contractor to provide air conditioning and heating service when repairs are needed is essential.

Your HVAC contractor should also perform an annual inspection to check the functioning of all the system’s components. Between HVAC contractor visits, you can keep your systems running smoothly with simple maintenance tasks. For example, you should change your air filters quarterly to prevent debris buildup. If the air filters accumulate too much debris, the appliances must work too hard to deliver heat or cool air.

Clear away any debris near your HVAC appliances. According to HVAC, the space around your appliances should be two feet to ensure maximum airflow. The same website recommends leaving all your vents open to ensure optimal airflow. These maintenance tasks will allow prepared parents to feel they’ve done their best to maintain a comfortable temperature.

5. Helping Your Family Stay Healthy

Keeping yourself and your family healthy isn’t something you can take for granted. Parents must set an example by providing nutritious food choices and opportunities for moderate exercise. They also need to ensure everyone visits a doctor and dentist when needed. Prepared parents will also cover their family’s medical expenses by maintaining medical and dental insurance.

Feed your family plenty of lean protein, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. While it’s okay to occasionally allow the family to enjoy a sweet or fried treat, keep most of their meals as healthy as possible. Fill your pantry with healthy snacks, including fruits, yogurt, and granola bars. Begin a family fitness program that includes walking or working out together.

Encourage your family to visit a doctor and a dentist at least once a year. To afford the visits and medical tests, you must keep current with your medical and dental insurance and pay any dental or medical bills. You may be surprised to learn some bills may be sent by a medical billing outsourcing company instead of medical professionals’ offices.

6. Enjoying Clean Water

The water in your home is another important part of keeping your family healthy. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, healthy adults need nine to 13 cups of water daily. In addition to drinking and preparing food, the water in your home will be used to wash your dishes. To protect everyone’s health, wash your dishes in clean water.

Your municipality will protect and control local water quality in most U.S. communities. It may be disheartening to realize that waste contamination of water is still a global problem despite our country’s best efforts. According to The Nature Conservancy, 80% of the world’s wastewater flows untreated into our environment. Untreated wastewater creates a health risk for nature and public health.

To reduce the effect of contaminated wastewater or other water contaminants on the water in their homes, prepared parents can purchase a home water filter. These devices can be installed on the faucets in their homes. Some people prefer buying water filters that can be placed in water pitchers. In addition, homeowners who are highly concerned have decided to replace old plumbing pipes with copper piping.

7. Protecting Your Family’s Safety

Homeowners are responsible for keeping their homes safe from intruders. Locking the door is the first step to protecting your belongings and family. Reolink says the ideal front door lock should have metal reinforcement plates. This addition will make it more difficult for intruders to kick the door in.

Your doors aren’t the only place intruders can enter your home. Prepared parents know they can take an extra step to secure their homes by installing security bars and grilles over the windows. Alarms can be placed on doors and windows to let you know someone is trying to break into your home. Adding a security camera will serve as a record in case you need to take an intruder to court.

If you’re in the unfortunate position of having been involved in an abusive relationship, you may have to take precautions to prevent the abuser from harming you and your family. You can get legal protection for your family by obtaining a restraining order. These legal orders forbid someone from coming near your home or family. If the abuser tries to get into your home despite the order, they can be arrested.

8. Being a Good Neighbor

One of the many enjoyable aspects of living in a community is having pleasant neighbors. It’s essential to remember that having a good neighbor typically includes being a good neighbor. When you see them outdoors, greet them and have a conversation. Prepared parents can remind their children to treat all neighbors respectfully if there are neighborhood activities.

One of the most essential parts of a good relationship with your neighbor is regulating your noise level. If your family owns a pet, keep the pet in your neighbor’s yard and pick up your pet’s waste. Apartment owners should be respectful of shared hallways. If you disagree with your neighbor, try to resolve it respectfully.

It’s your right to take a neighbor to court if they consistently abuse noise levels or purposely damage property. There may be extreme situations where your neighbor doesn’t act lawfully, such as when they harm your property or a family member. You may want to hire an attorney to advise you in those cases. When your neighbor appears in court, they will need help from a criminal defense attorney.

9. Having Money for Extras

You work hard, so wanting your paycheck to go a long way is understandable. However, it can often feel as though most of your income disappears within a few days. Prepared parents know they must prioritize payments for rent, utilities, groceries, and other essential bills. Hoping some of your earnings can go to more enjoyable sources is natural.

Look for money-saving coupons for grocery store items to keep some of your disposable income for family fun. You can also find coupons for local attractions or gasoline. If you discover you’re paying for apps you’re no longer using, cancel them. Instead of fast food, make healthy meals at home.

Take advantage of resources you already have when possible. For example, if you already have a share in a hunting retreat, you might use it for your next vacation. When you have a significant expense, you should save money instead of buying it on credit. Although credit seems attractive, buying a home or car may be necessary, so credit spending should be limited. Interest rates will eat away at your available money and prevent you from having money in an emergency.

10. Paying Your Mortgage

When you buy a home, do what it takes to keep it. Budgeting will be a good start, but you may need to take a few extra measures to have enough money when the mortgage payment comes due. Save late fees and keep your home powered by paying your bills on time – especially utility bills. Utility bills should be included in your budget as one of the first things you pay because they keep your home livable. Prepared parents know paying the electric bill is more important than getting a giant TV or the latest craze in watches.

Some utility companies offer plans for clients to save money by offering discounts on online billing (instead of paper billing) or paying their bills on time. You can reduce energy use by checking for water leaks and switching to LED bulbs. As for the mortgage, if you can pay the interest, you can save money for yourself. In other words, if you spend more than the mortgage payment each month, you’ll save/ money by reducing the total amount you will pay for your home.

Life is meant to be enjoyable for you and your family. Prepared parents have learned the measures they must take to keep their lives comfortable and affordable can pay off. Those measures will likely pay off with a life that brings your family joy most of the time. So, do what you must do to keep the things you love available for the people you love.

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