Think about how you were raised by your parents (or other caregivers.) What choices did your parents make in raising you that shaped your beliefs about how to raise a child? If you and your partner want to have a baby, talking about how you were raised and how you want to raise your child is a crucial step in preparing yourself for having a baby.
There are four important topics you need to discuss with your partner to prepare:
Who will take parental leave? Will you both take parental leave, and if so, what is your plan to make that work financially? Will you put your child in daycare or get a nanny for help? Discussing these questions together and taking about the specifics will help you acknowledge the differences in how you were raised, and how you can agree on these important decisions.
Do you want your child to be breast fed? Do you want a natural birth? Have you thought about whether you want your child to attend public school, catholic or private? These might seem a ways away, but you need to talk about this before you have a child. I see couples who come into counselling about disagreement over these things, because they didn’t have these conversations. So think about your child’s upbringing now, and work towards agreeing on a plan with your partner.
Discuss money saving options! You can expect to have to come up with about $2000 extra each month for daycare, commuting, and other costs. So save now to make it easier later. This can save you from going into debt and stress on your marriage.
How will you and your partner make time for each other when your baby arrives? Will you take time away from the baby for date night or will you forego date night for a little while while your child is a newborn? Make your relationship and quality time a priority to talk about now. Having these conversations in advance will help you and your partner stay connected.