Many topics are discussed when getting ready for a baby. These can include your baby's fetal development, getting all the baby items, moving to a new place, or getting the baby's room ready. These are important, but many topics are easily skipped over. Continue reading for some critical issues to include in your preparation for the baby.
This Guide Includes:
Having a child adds more complexities to a relationship. These complexities can increase complications that are already there. It can be easy for couples to struggle with defensiveness, stonewalling, and assumptions. Couples need to work on these communication issues before a child comes. A child brings time constraints that can make it challenging to work on these concerns quickly, which can cause frustrations to grow and linger. I encourage couples to think about what they would like to change in their communication patterns and get to work on those before their child arrives. It will make things easy.
Boundaries are crucial, especially after your child arrives. You will need to set boundaries with parents, in-laws, siblings, and friends. Not only will you be setting boundaries for yourself, but you will also become the voice for your child. It is your job to speak up on their behalf and set boundaries with others to support their well-being. Suppose you are not comfortable saying no and setting boundaries with others; now is the time to learn. This is a crucial part of being a parent and raising a family the way you desire to and not how others pressure you.
Mental health is often neglected, even by the medical community. Postpartum is a crucial time for your mental health as there are a significant amount of transitions occurring - socially, mentally, and physically. Medical providers often don't detail postpartum mental health concerns unless you score a certain way on an assessment. This is not enough. Prevention of postpartum mental health concerns requires early education before issues arise. Postpartum mental health concerns and what to do if they occur is essential to understand before having your baby. Preparation and prevention are possible!
Asking for Help
You are not meant to walk the parenting journey alone. You can't do it alone. Being able to ask for help from your partner, your family, and friends is essential. We often feel weak or lazy if we need help. If you take this route in motherhood, you will quickly burn out. Learn to ask for help and learn to accept help before the baby's arrival.
Your emotional awareness is vital for attachment and bonding with your child. If you are not in tune with your feelings, it can come out as anxiety, anger, irritation, and even spiral to depression. We can also suffer from self-defeating thoughts such as feeling like a failure or questioning if we should even be a mom on a bad day. Learning to identify what you are genuinely feeling and productively address those feelings will help you be a better parent.
If you need help addressing any of these areas, reach out to me. I can help you feel more prepared for becoming a parent in the things that matter.
And Baby Makes Three by John and Julie Gottman
Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
This Isn't What I Expected by Karen Kleiman
Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett