Having a baby is a life-changing experience, and there are lots of decisions that need to be made, like how to keep your relationship thriving when it’s not just the two of you to focus on, the decision around baby names, and of course, boundaries with family members and the in-laws. It can be overwhelming for new parents.
Here are five conversations you need to have with your partner to help you parent on the same page, and start your parenting journey with the same vision.
How Will We Maintain Our Relationship?
It takes two to make a relationship work. In some relationships parents drift apart as a baby can take up a lot of time. Before your baby comes into the world, brainstorm ideas of what you and your partner enjoy together now and see how you can maintain that when your baby arrives. Also, find out your partner’s love language (Google this) and ensure you make each other feel loved, and let eachother know they are doing a good parenting job (focus on the positive as much as possible – what you focus on grows).
How Will We Decide Names and Will We Find Out the Gender?
Will you find out the sex of the baby before birth, and how will you decide on your baby’s name? It’s a big decision and it’s not something that can be changed whenever you want to. Write a list of baby names with your partner. Sometimes even compiling two separate lists and swapping them with your partner to cross off what you don’t like on their list can help narrow it down quicker. You both can even turn it into a fun presentation of why you like or don’t like a name.
What Sort of Parents Do We Want to Be?
Not every parent will have the same parenting style, but it’s better if you are both on the same page with things like using a dummy, discipline, sleep schedules and how and what your child is fed. What sort of school do you want them to attend, what lifestyle standards do you have today that you want to keep, and how will you approach discipline?
How Will We Share the Load and Who Will Be the Primary Caregiver?
Having a baby is a full-time job, which means less time, extra responsibilities and interrupted sleep. Discuss who’s doing the cleaning and who’s doing the cooking. You also need to discuss finances, who will be supporting the family, and how the person who is not working will be able to build their superannuation after those years of missed work. Who will be the primary parent for the children? Chances are one person is going to be carrying the mental load for the kid’s needs, planning ahead, scheduling appointments – and if it happens by default rather than discussion, it’s far more likely to be a source of resentment.
How Will We Ensure We Both Have Personal Time to Recharge?
Think about the amount of time a day, a week, a month and a year you’re willing as a couple to allow the other parent time off to be in their own company and recharge. “Me time” is very important, so it’s a good idea to plan taking a 24 hour solo holiday once a year to rejuvenate or even 15 minutes of quiet time weekly to have a bath without interruption, no exceptions. Acts of self care are crucial to care for your own needs, and to ensure that you can be the best parent you can be.