It is not every mum to be that is privileged to have a partner present to share not just their birthing experience but also raising a child jointly. I am not referring to mere physical presence but having a supportive partner that is emotionally, spiritually, psychologically… present.
Raising a child is not something to be taken lightly. It comes with huge responsibilities.
Can you prepare for the arrival of a child as first-time parents? If so, how?
I say yes, you can, despite the unpredictability of parenting. This shouldn’t deter first -time parents from preparing. Life is unpredictable and yet it doesn’t prevent people from planning and preparing for the present and the future.
Preparation is key, without it, the journey may become difficult. It is often the case where an addition to the family is expected that some couples will encounter all manner of challenges which in many cases thankfully do not lead to a catastrophic end but in fact serves as life lessons to the couples and strengthens their relationship.
A mum-to be is often filled with mixed emotions from being incredibly excited, amazed, joyful to feeling confused, overwhelmed and anxious. These emotions are to be expected and should not prevent the couple from planning the arrival of their bundle or bundles of joy.
How and when do you start to prepare?
- Preparation should begin at the earliest and most convenient opportunity – sooner rather than later. Procrastination will not help, so avoid it.
- Communication is important. Couples should discuss and possibly agree on how they intend to raise their children. What will be your approach to parenting? The key is to be intentional and having conversations from the onset puts you in a good position to work on your parental duties when the time comes.
- It is wise to talk about family values, any areas that you are unable to reach an agreement, should be discussed openly with both parties making suggestions in order to reach a solution. If the topic is large, tackle it in bite-sizes. Do not expect to discuss and agree on the issue in one day. These things take time. The purpose of having such conversations early are in order to get everyone thinking about the role they will be embarking on as parents and to help you both to be better prepared.
- A change of mindset is absolutely necessary. Your life is about to change dramatically but yet in a positive and happy way – simply for the best! You cannot expect unfortunately to continue living the way you were. Things will need to be changed irrespective of your views on life. This little bundle of joy will take precedence over decisions and actions that you make. There is not much you can do about it but to enjoy the experience. As some may say, chill and enjoy the awesome ride!
- The change to lifestyle that I mentioned will be noticeable but will not necessarily require an overhaul of your life.
- Finance- this is something that couples will need to discuss. In fact it is a must. Finance encompasses many other facets within a relationship. Consideration for instance may be given to your current accommodation. Questions like, is it big enough for the family? How long can you continue to live there? Is the location, neighbourhood and environment such that you are happy raising children there?
- Continuing with Finance – decisions will be made about prioritising your spending, it may require, less spending and more saving. Thoughts should be given about future savings for the child. Is it part of your family’s values and beliefs?
- Breastfeeding or bottle fed, this is a decision that will have to be made. You may decide on combining both. Your decision does not have to be set in stone. You may change your mind when the baby arrives. A very important message that is noteworthy is… Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed your child, the child still turns into a teenager so be prepared! Hahaha. You can thank me later for this. 😄😂
- The birth – this is something that inevitably has to be discussed. Where will it take place? Who will be present? What if the mother-to be is home alone when labour starts?
A further noteworthy point that require little or no preparation is working on your relationship as a couple. It goes without saying that whilst expecting a new born can be overwhelming but yet a positive experience, it is helpful that the couple do not neglect their relationship as they prepare for the baby.
This is explored further in part 2 of this blog. Please read it at your pleasure. I am certain you will find it equally informative and enjoyable. Be kind and share with friends and family that may need the information. Thank you.
Click on the link below for part 2.