How to Baby-Proof Your Relationship
A lot of fuss is made about how parents should prepare themselves for the arrival of their baby: from baby-proofing the home, to decorating the nursery, to choosing the name of their little one – even saving for their future education makes it onto the list of priorities for many parents-to-be. But what about preparing the relationship for the adjustments of parenthood?
For example, once the baby arrives, who’s planning on doing the housework? Changing diapers? There are a lot of things couples need to discuss during pregnancy to avoid any unnecessary stress after their baby is born. Here is our top five list of things to do to get your relationship ready for baby.
5. Discuss Parenting Styles
Although you and your partner may have been brought together by a common sense of humor and interests, you may be surprised to find out you both have drastically different ideas about how to be a good parent. Because each of us is raised in a unique way by our parents, we each tend to have varying opinions on how best to parent our children.
That is why it so important to discuss openly with your partner your opinions on such things as disciplining techniques, education, and how to handle changes in your child’s life such as puberty and teenagehood. In addition, you will need to discuss what role you each expect to play in your relationship with your child, and how that will translate into your division of labor in the home.
4. Accept That Things Will Change
Many experts say that the best relationship advice is to be realistic in your views of what parenthood will be like, and more importantly, how you want it to be. For example, have you and your partner discussed how you will manage financially once your baby is born? While you may both working now, are both of you planning on working after your baby is born?
In reality, many women who plan on returning to work end up making the decision to stay at home, although many are surprised to find their husbands are not as thrilled about their decision as they are. That’s why it is important to start these kinds of conversations early – but remember to be understanding if your partner does not immediately agree with your decision.
3. Create a Vision
Before you start planning nursery themes and baby names, you and your partner should be thinking about what you want your life to look like now that you are going to be parents. What sorts of things are important to you now (i.e. family, career, money) and how will these values fit into your new life as parents? What sorts of things do you want your family to experience together, and how do you plan on achieving that?
One good way of creating a vision for your future is by finding role models. What couple do you know that fits your idea of what a happy family should be like? Try speaking to friends and family about their own experiences as new parents.
2. Get Professional Advice
Although a certain stigma still exists around why a couple might seek counseling, it is becoming increasingly popular for people to seek expert advice well before the onset of a ‘problem’; for example, it is now common to hear of couples seeking ‘pre-marital counseling’. Unsurprisingly therefore, ‘pre-baby counseling’ is on the rise too. This is because as people realize that relationships require good communication to survive, many discover they lack the skills to do so in their own lives, a problem which can be exacerbated by the arrival of a newborn.
In pre-parenting counseling sessions you can learn such things as how to handle conflict in your marriage and how to increase your bond. Making a relationship work is a skill – and like most skills, this too must be learned. Not only will seeking professional advice before your baby arrives help prepare you for what’s ahead, but it will also give your child the benefit of having a healthy relationship to model her future relationships after.
1. Plan Your Time
Many first-time parents worry about how having a baby will impact their time together. And once their baby arrives, it’s not uncommon for parents to dedicate their time exclusively to her care. However, time together is equally as important now as it was during your courting stages – so be sure to decide early on how you will include ‘alone time’ into your schedule. That could mean asking a friend or family member to chip in a few nights a month in order to go out for a romantic dinner or see a movie, or it could be as simple as staying up for an extra hour each night just to talk. Whatever it is, make sure spending time with your partner makes it to the top your priority list.
For more information on parenting styles, plus tons of parenting tips for children of all ages, visit itsamomsworld.com.
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