A baby brings with it a whole lot of joy but also a rollercoaster ride of responsibilities and more. That is why it’s only wise to plan things out before you even start trying. And the first order of business in this direction is to sit down with your partner and figure out if both of you are and raising a child. How? Start by asking out loud the following questions.
Is this the right time?
If one or both of you have just made a big move in your career or have moved into a new city or are dealing with some issues of your own, you may want to sort that out first, . Identify your individual goals as well as what you and your partner see for yourselves in the future. Figure out where a baby fits into the scheme of things, and make your move accordingly.
Do both of you want this equally?
Parenting is not a one-person job. It’s a massive team effort. It is obviously better for everyone involved if you both are equally thrilled about the idea of having a baby. Have an open, honest conversation with your partner about how you feel, and be willing to listen to your partner without judgements. Being a parent is a choice both partners take together, so be in it together.
Why do you want a baby?
For a lot of couples the right time feels as clear as the morning sky. They just know they’re ready, and it all works out just well. However, it often happens that couples succumb to external pressures, such as the extended family, completely ignorant to whether they’re actually ready for it or not. Also, it often happens that a couple looks at a baby as a solution to their relationship problems, thinking that a baby will revive some of that lost spark. Remember, a baby is not a magical bunny that’s going to solve your problems with a wink! Don’t let anyone or anything force you into what you are not ready for.
Are both of you healthy?
Parenting is a long run thing, and for the sake of your baby’s well-being you need to take into consideration where your health stands. Are you both or one of you dealing with an illness that’s not only consuming your finances but also your energy? And what about mental well-being? This is of extreme priority. Does your mental and emotional well-being dramatically influence your home environment? Sort out your wellness first. Don’t take on more responsibilities, if your hands are already full.
Do you have the financial stability?
Love may keep your family alive, but money is crucial for sustenance. You will incur a whole lot of expenses over a span of . Moreover, you obviously want to give your child the best of everything – good quality nutrition and healthcare, a great environment to grow up in, excellent education, clothes, toys, diapers and whatnot. All of these things cost money. Moreover, you need to take your own health and aspirations into consideration too. Do you have all the necessary finances in place for it? Do you have the ability to work enough to provide for your baby? These are important questions that you just can’t leave to the wind or “figure it out later”.
What kind of delivery do you want?
You and your partner should discuss the kind of delivery you both would want, to avoid last minute panic and confusion. From vaginal birth to C-section to vacuum extraction – there are a lot of options present today and you should do your research on the pros and cons of each method before deciding. Take the mom’s health into consideration, and present your cases backed up by serious logical explanations.
What role will either of you play in parenting?
As mentioned earlier, raising a child is a massive team effort. So, it’s best to chalk out the responsibilities beforehand. Who will have to make major career changes? Who will wake up late at night to soothe the baby? Who will take on the diaper duties? What part will you both play in disciplining the child? It helps to sort these things out now, because once the baby arrives, there’s no room for slacking or elbowing responsibilities to each other. You have to put up a united front.
What role will your extended families play in the baby’s life?
It takes a village to raise a child. Involving friends and extended family in your baby’s life early on is good for the baby. It also helps you establish a healthier upbringing and strong support system for the child. Besides, at some point, you and your partner will need a little extra help – especially when you need a timeout.
How will we keep our relationship a priority?
It often happens that once a baby comes into the picture, couples lose sight of everything, especially their relationship with each other. That’s completely understandable. A loving, compassionate and fun relationship with your partner will, in turn, make parenting seem less stressful. Never forget that the other person on your team is your partner first and the parent second. Spend some quality time with each other. Don’t cut back on the physical touches, the cuddling and the intimacy. Go out on dates every now and then, and make the most of every little moment you two share together. And remember to constantly support each other! It’s the little things that go a long way.
It may seem overwhelming, but it really isn’t! Remember this is your life partner you’re talking to! Be honest, be open and most importantly, be empathetic towards each other, and it’ll all work out wonderfully.