No matter how long you’ve been together, having a baby is a major decision with many aspects to consider. Both partners need to be onboard-and aware of the many changes that a new baby brings.
While most couples welcome the thought of a bouncing bundle of joy, others disagree on the timing. Greg and Tammy, for example, have been married for four years and both love the idea of a baby. Tammy admits that she hears her ‘biological clock ticking’ and Greg wants to ‘be more financially secure’ before entering into parenthood.
“It’s been a lot of work to get to this point in my career” says Greg, a financial advisor “but the market is risky and I have to think about our future”.
Tammy, a CPA, insists that her income is enough to maintain their lifestyle should Greg become unemployed. “I have a large clientele and could meet our financial demands with my income alone. I feel like he is being unrealistic about being prepared”.
Other couples enjoy their current lifestyle and simply don’t know what to expect from parenthood. Greg admits that he likes having Tammy to himself “We can enjoy spur-of-the-moment trips and weekend getaways” he says. “I’m not sure what it would be like to give up those things” he confides “I just don’t know what to expect”.
No matter what your concerns, there are no definite answers. Parents-to-be would be wise to discuss a few of the most common changes that they can expect:
• Babies are demanding. While your work schedules will stay the same,. feedings and diaper changes will vary…say, 3:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m.?
• Babies are expensive: Be prepared to make some lifestyle adjustments to accommodate the expenses of formula, diapers, daycare and medical insurance.
• Babies grow: What you envision as a cute, cuddly bundle of joy will one day become a teenager. Is your current home big enough to accommodate a growing family?
• Babies get sick: One parent will need to have the job flexibility to stay home with baby when colds, flu and ear infections strike.
• Babies are messy: If you are a full fledged neat freak then be prepared for what you may see as chaos…any mom can tell you that it is possible to clean the same item (a high chair, for example) multiple times in one day- to no avail. As baby grows…so does the mess! That’s something you will need to experience to understand.
In addition, you’ll want to discuss:
• Responsibility division-household chores, etc.
• Your health
• Support from family and friends
There is much to consider where parenting is involved. Rest assured that you can never be fully prepared for the pleasant surprises and learning experiences you’ll encounter. The important thing is that you both decide to take the journey together.
Click here for parenting resources in the Lexington area!
Enjoy this article? Click SUBSCRIBE for new ones to your inbox!