Planning to have a baby is a big thing. We all get that. It’s one of the biggest life changing decisions you can take. Yep, we got that too.
These are phrases we’ve heard time and time again – but what do they actually mean?
If you’re scratching your head wondering what life will be like after a baby, this is for you.
If you want to avoid petty fights and blaming with your partner, this is also for you. Here we’re going to go into some things you should really have a little chat about before your little one makes an entrance.
This is a tricky –
You may even decide to play it along as you go.
Do have a little chat about this anyway – cause having an only child is much different than a family of five kids.
It also allows you to cover some personal topics such as where you want to live – are you happy where you are or do you need to upsize?
Is there everything you need as a community?
If you want a bigger family you may need to talk about finances too, but we’ll come onto that later.
I can guarantee you that a whole lot of couples thought they were on the same page in life…til they had kids.
Why? Cause family life is different to couple life. There are morals you want to conform to, you want your kids to consider you as role models, you want certain things in life for them.
What are some principal life values to think about?
Looking back over my childhood, some of the favourite moments I took away were those times we were all together, doing something as a team.
Now that could have been watching a kids movie, having dinner at the table, going on holiday, or on an outing somewhere.
The point is, we were together as a team. It helped unite us – the dad and daughter team with mother and son.
It helped me connect with my brother and we’d laugh about injokes only we knew.
So think about what would be important to you. To get you going, here are some ideas:
- where you want to start a family
- family rituals you believe in
- whether kids should help with housework
Where to live
Perhaps you’re quite content with where you live already, perhaps you’d like to upsize if you’re planning on having a larger sized family.
Some things you want to consider is the neighbourhood your kids grow up in. I know that when I was a kid I lived in an area with no other children nearby except from one. Even then I didn’t see her that often.
So have a think about the area you’d like your children to grow up in – will you live close to a school so you can walk with them do drop them off in the morning?
Are there any sports clubs, dance or other activities available in the community? Local library? What is there to offer?
While I know these are things to think about when your child is already a little older, it does no harm to put these questions out there now.
If you do want to move in the future, at least you have a plan thought through and have maybe visited the area.
I can’t tell you how much I wish I would have had this chat before we had the baby, because had I known how little my partner enjoyed getting his hands soapy in the sink, I might have prepared myself better.
Luckily for me, he did his share of the cooking while off work. But we’ve still had several clashes since about who does what, why and when.
Save yourself those petty little fights in the morning hours and talk about the elephant in the room.
Though it might sound exaggerated, a cleaning schedule is actually not a bad idea – it helps you to determine the most important tasks that need doing week by week, and you can pick and choose which you like best.
Sasha from has a great cleaning schedule you can find here.
A suggestion I would give you is alternate! No matter how much you love cooking, you’ll get tired of it if it’s always you chopping up veg and thinking about what to make.
I’m sorry, I hate to use that term, but let’s just say it how it is.
As much as you love your adorable little cherub, cleaning poop for the 9th time in one day can get a little tiring.
That’s why it’s great to get an idea of who’s in charge of what.
If mom will be breastfeeding, how can daddy get involved? Breastfeeding can be extremely exhausting for a new mom, so it’s good if daddy can take over sometimes even if it’s just to take baby round the block in a carrier so mom can get some sleep.
If you’re bottle feeding or planning to pump, how do you plan to share the work load? Can you alternate night feedings?
When (and if) your partner goes back to work, you need to make sure he’s in agreement with you passing the baby on when he gets home.
Being with your little one day and night is tiring. I got to a point with my partner where we had to agree on a couple of evening a week and at least one weekend morning, I would have some me time.
Rule number one: get your date nights in already, while you’re still relatively on a free schedule.
Not saying that you won’t be able to at all once your little one makes an entrance but it will be a little harder.
A great thing about the town where we live is that there is a babysitting service that gets young kids some extra cash and the parents, well….a bit of a break.
If you live nearby grandparents of close family, I’m sure they’ll be delighted to have your baby a couple of hours – but do have a chat in advance to see if they’d be okay with that.
If, however like me, you find yourself living away from both sets of parents, is there a lovely neighbour you get on with that could have her once in a while?
You may want to think about some childcare if not for those occasions. You can always invite a babysitter round to meet your baby, then do a little test to see how they get on.
Trust me – even a trip to the supermarket can feel like heaven when you haven’t had some alone time together in months!
In case you can’t go out
If all else fails or you don’t feel confident enough yet in leaving your darling in the hands of someone else (totally get you there!) you can always stay in.
Granted, up until the three month mark – especially for the breastfed cluster feeder – time can be an issue in the evenings.
It is totally possible though as your baby gets older, to have a little couple time curled up on the sofa.
Make some popcorn and pop on your favourite film – you never know what could happen in a dark home cinema after all…. 😉
Seriously though, I can’t emphasize this enough: having a baby will not make or break you, but you do need to give a little bit of importance to your couple life as remember it is the foundation of your family.
Raising your kids
Ideally, this is something you daydream about before you even get pregnant – but hey, we don’t live in an ideal world.
So the old scene went like this :
I would do something relatively cheeky, my mother would then give me a telling off, to which dad would come and investigate what on earth was going on.
I would obvioudly start crying at my mother’s raised voice, my dad would talk to my mother and my mother would often say:
‘You should be backing me up’
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that. I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but now I’m an adult, step mom of a five year old and mom of an 8 month; I’ve come to another level of understanding.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that you have to be in agreement over every slightest detail. But for the major decisions, you should at least have a common ground.
Cause though again, it seems early now, you don’t want to wait til the toddler years to raise your hands in the air in despair.
Our family is not really religious. I come from a Catholic upbringing, but I wouldn’t call myself one now.
As I’ve traveled and grown in life, I’ve come to create my own spiritual values, which I will likely pass on to my daughter when she is old enough to understand certain concepts.
Now although I know that perhaps daddy doesn’t agree with all these said concepts, I think this could be an excellent opportunity to explain to her that different people have different beliefs.
One thing that I am adamant on though is language.
See, we live in France, I’m from the UK and my other half is Spanish. Pretty confusing right? Well, I try my best to speak to her only in my mother tongue, as does daddy. Then when we’re out with friends here, we’ll naturally mutate to French.
Do I worry about how she’ll manage? Not really, she will perhaps mix all three, or find her own ways of communicaton.
The only important thing for me is that she has English deep rooted somewhere in her brain as I believe that it’s a language that’s much easier to grasp at a young age.
That means I have bought books for her in English, sing nursery songs in English and am teaching her common objects in – yep you’ve guessed it, English.
So have a little think if there’s anything that’s particularly important your child grows up to learn.
Yup, we’ve come to yet another biggie here.
For some couples it’s a piece of cake to have this talk. For others, it takes time to become comfortable with this conversation.
Some things you want to think about:
- How much money to put away before babby arrives
- Do you want to live off one wage or two?
- Have you thought about a savings account for the children?
It’s really important to get past the money barrier to grow in your relationship and feel like a team.
Having a baby can be hard work – but the work load will seem a lot lighter if you’re both on the same page from day 1.
If you’ve had some talks and find that you’re in complete disagreement over certain subjects , don’t rule out therapy.
You can do it from you home should money/time/motivation be an issue.
It does mean dedicating time to improving and helping your couple flourish, but it’s always better to dig deep now rather than later.