What are some of the important things couples should do before having a baby? A couple spent two fantastic weeks traveling around the world, which they jokingly termed “the last hurrah.” They were unable to finance the trip, which used all of their vacation time. Nonetheless, they went. Why? The couple didn’t have any children yet, but they knew they wanted them. If they wait until after they start a family to go, they might not get to see the Emerald Isle for decades. This article will give 10 things couples should do before having a baby. Keep reading.
Do you have any ideas for what you and your partner should do before the seven-pound bundle snuggles its way into your hearts and your home? Here are some ideas to help you avoid being shocked by infant shock while still strengthening your marriage.
Things couples should do before having a baby
Here are 10 things couples should do before having a baby:
1. Spend Time With Some Children
My wife and I know a couple who were debating whether or not to have children took an unusual approach: they “borrowed” youngsters. This couple really asked their pals if they could babysit their kids for a day or perhaps a weekend. Over the course of a year, they spent time with children of different ages, having fun while learning valuable parenting principles.
Although you may not do exactly what our friends did, it is a good idea for future parents to be around youngsters. And we’re not simply talking about five minutes of hugging your sister’s sleeping baby.
Ask a friend or family if you can babysit their child for a half-day or even longer. The experience can educate you on how to deal with children (although in a restricted way) and provide insight into how each of you interacts with them.
“When you hand her back to her mother in a half-hour, it’s easy to get goo-goo-eyed over a newborn,” Tessina explains. “However, having a squalling child on your hands can be quite stressful — and you should witness both the positive and negative aspects of parenthood to have a better understanding of its reality.”
2. Become an adult
Evans and his wife delayed seven years to start their family. “We felt it was critical to address our own developmental needs and iron out the kinks in our relationship before bringing children into the scene,” he adds.
Of course, not every couple needs to wait that long to start a family, but regardless of how long you’ve known one other, having a feeling of stability in your relationship — and other elements of your life — before raising a baby is beneficial.
Katrina Blauvelt and her husband, David, waited seven years before starting a family. The couple, now in their forties, traveled, built their jobs, and restored their ancient farmhouse in Marietta, Georgia, before attempting to conceive. The Blauvelts, delighted parents of a four-month-old daughter, are relieved to be able to spend time with their child rather than refinishing their bathroom.
3. Get Rid of Your Childhood Anxiety
Therapists see it all the time: you have a kid and all your unresolved issues suddenly surface. Evans observes that childhood is often characterized by unfinished tasks. Consider treatment before having a kid if you had a rough upbringing that involved alcoholism, abuse, divorce, or the loss of a parent.
“If you don’t address those issues, you risk repeating what has happened to you in the past,” Tessina warns. “I often hear befuddled parents remark to me, ‘I can’t believe I just did that; it’s what my mother used to do, and I vowed I’d never do that to my own children.'”
Couples must also assess their lifestyles and eliminate activities and habits that may jeopardize their chances of having a healthy kid. Smoking, heavy alcohol use, and high-stress levels can all have a negative impact on your ability to conceive as well as the health of a developing fetus.
“Planning ahead” does not include scheduling a doctor’s appointment for Wednesday and then becoming pregnant on Thursday, according to Dr. Cole, who advises making lifestyle adjustments at least six months before trying to conceive. “Make sure you maximize your chances of having a healthy kid.”
4. Live Life to the Fullest
Lisa Giassa, who has been married for three years, has a long list of things and experiences she wants to complete before she and her husband started trying for children. Giassa, a New Jersey-based book publicist, wants to “enjoy life uninterrupted.”
By her definition, this entails traveling as much as possible, hiring a sports vehicle for the sole purpose of having fun, trying out new restaurants, watching all the first-run movies she desires, and, why not, a little shopping- having sex in each and every room of their home Giassa’s method is deemed healthy by marriage counselors.
In the early years of their marriage, newlyweds should bask in their bliss. Indulging yourself now will leave you with fewer regrets later you have children, whether it’s sleeping late on Sunday mornings or taking a European vacation. Furthermore, having fun and experiencing new things as a pair will draw you closer together and teach you to operate as a team, which will be crucial after you become parents.
When you’ve had enough of just-us-two, how do you know when it’s time to go on? There may never be a time when you feel completely ready to give up the couple-centered existence, but if you’re actually looking forward to the end of the carefree years, think twice.
“When the idea of losing your sense of spontaneity makes you feel frantic,” Tessina explains, “it’s a red sign.” “Although you’ll have to slow down once you’re a parent, you should realize that having kids doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.”
5. Decrease conflicts
Almost every relationship gets into a fight, and everyone has terrible days. However, if the bad days outnumber the good, or if your relationship has serious unsolved difficulties, having a kid will not help the situation. The increased stress and expectations of motherhood, on the other hand, will further exacerbate existing issues.
Tessina believes that children seldom “fix” disputes between parents. “While no relationship is flawless, you must be able to hash things out as adults, not as two children arguing in a playground.” Couples who are dealing with difficulties like lack of trust, irresponsibility, wrath, or alcohol or drug addiction should seek treatment before considering having a child, she advises.
6. Look for jobs that are kid-friendly
Blauvelt made sure she’d be traveling less for her new position as director of corporate communications at Philips Electronics when she interviewed for it. It was a wise decision. Although most working parents manage to reconcile work and family life, the fact is that ascending the corporate ladder often conflicts with child care.
Couples should design their jobs such that at least one parent has some schedule flexibility and a profession that does not entail a lot of travel or 14-hour days during their children’s early years.
Before you try to get pregnant, Evans recommends looking into your company’s family-friendly policies. Learn about maternity and/or paternity leave, flextime, and on-site daycare, as well as if the employer is accommodating to working moms’ requirements. If a parent has to rush out for a soccer game or a doctor’s appointment, do they be chastised at work?
Is there genuine importance placed on combining work and childrearing in your company’s culture, or does it only give lip service to being family-friendly? If the latter is the case, it may be time to start looking for new work.
Consider your personal career interests and objectives, advises Evans. “If you have to prioritize your work right now, and family and children won’t be at the top of your priority list if you become a parent, then maybe you’re not ready.”
7. Agree with your parenting ideology
Trust me when I say that the time to decide on your disciplinary strategy is not when you have a screaming child writhing about on the shop floor. Before you have a kid, discuss with your partner discipline, religion, morals, and other matters that pertain to the day-to-day reality of child-rearing.
These concerns can arise organically for couples that wait a few years before having children, as they spend time with nieces and nephews or exchange memories about their own childhoods. Couples who expect to have children soon after marriage, on the other hand, may need to address the difficulties more officially, such as by reading parenting literature or enrolling in parenting seminars.
“It’s better to talk about it now than to find out later, when your child misbehaves, that your spouse believes in spanking but you don’t,” Evans adds.
8. Examine Your Way of Life
Many couples do not “decide” to have a child; it simply occurs. Occasionally, couples may simply toss the condoms in the garbage and throw caution to the wind. However, this method may expose a newborn to needless dangers. If at all possible, plan ahead. Before attempting to conceive, many obstetricians advise couples to get a prenatal health check.
According to F. Sessions Cole, M.D., an expert in prenatal care and director of the division of neonatal medicine at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, reviewing the family history and taking a few easy tests can reveal elevated risks for genetic illnesses and hereditary birth defects.
9. Create a Network that is Baby-Friendly
My wife frequently wonders how we’d get by if her parents didn’t live close by, or if we didn’t have so many friends eager to pitch in when we needed it. When dealing with the day-to-day practicalities of children and careers, having a solid support structure is crucial, and it also gives valuable moral support during those difficult newborn years.
You should assess your support system before attempting to conceive. Couples without close friends or family might consider participating in activities where they can meet other young couples and families, such as a church or community clubs.
According to John Evans, Ph.D., author of Marathon Dad: Setting a Pace that Works for Working Fathers, “the more isolated a couple is, the more trouble they will have” (Avon Books). If you don’t have someone to bounce ideas from or fellow parents with whom to share difficulties and pleasures, “the challenges you’ll be experiencing will seem to live in a vacuum,” Evans says.
10. Make a financial strategy
The world’s population would be much fewer if every couple waited until they were entirely financially comfortable before having children. And if you’re hoping to be affluent, forget it: a child requires loving, capable, and supporting parents more than cash.
After all, you may achieve your loftiest financial aspirations, have a child, and then see it all crumble tomorrow. However, before young Johnny or Josie comes, you should at least have a financial plan. Consider calling a financial advisor to help you set some goals when you make your initial visit with your doctor.
Expectant parents should create a “baby budget” that includes both presents and expected first-year costs including childcare diapers, nursery furniture, toys, and clothes. Over the course of 18 years, having a child may cost approximately $200,000 – and that doesn’t include education! So, when you’ve paid off your dream trip to Ireland, start saving immediately.
Five Signs You’re Ready to Start a Family
While every couple’s “we’re ready!” moment is different, there are a few factors to consider when determining whether to take the leap.
1. You desire children for the “correct” reasons. Since the wedding, your mother-in-law has been making baby blankets. Your pals are all having children. Perhaps your biological clock is loudly ticking. Refuse to be pushed into having children by others; the urge should originate from yourself.
2. You and your partner are in a stable relationship. It’s one thing to quarrel with your husband with only your pet as a witness. It’s a different story if you’re frequently squabbling in front of small children. If you don’t already have a loving, mature marriage, work on it before adding children to the mix.
3. You’re both excited to get started. It’s not a smart idea to pull your partner into motherhood kicking and screaming. Wait if any of you has any serious reservations.
4. You’re ready to take on the role of second fiddle. Having a kid requires you to prioritize the needs of others before your own. That kind of selflessness may be extremely rewarding, but it takes maturity. Take a long, hard look at yourself before committing to raising children for the rest of your life.
5. You’ve talked about child care. It’s not the time to decide who will stay at home with a baby while you’re on your way to the hospital. Before you’re under the stress of an imminent delivery, come up with a broad game plan.
I hope this article on things couples should do before having a baby will greatly help you with some information.
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