Everyone says that having a baby changes your life completely. It really is true but most people always make assumptions about how much their life will change. This is especially true for couples that are having a baby for the first time. Babies are a lot of work and this can put a great strain on any relationship if you are not careful.
Most women will expect that their man will automatically help with the baby, wake up in the middle of the night to feed the baby so that she can get some rest, change diapers and such related activities while most men will be more comfortable just watching from a distance and still expect the wife to be the most cheery companion ever. It really does not end well when people make such assumptions.
This is actually one of the reasons that relationships begin falling apart when the baby comes. It can cause undue strain and since you know that it is going to come (the challenges that come with raising children haven’t really changed much over the years), you are better off preparing for it. How about doing a pregnancy contract?
That seems very unrealistic doesn’t it? It may even sound insulting to some people but it involves talking about all the challenges to expect during pregnancy and after your baby comes and going a step further to document your decision on how to handle them. It may be a little foreign but is pretty straightforward. How will it help you ask?
Realistic labor division
As your pregnancy progresses it becomes more difficult to get things done because you are constantly tired but your to-do list doesn’t get any shorter. You may also have some restrictions about how much work you can do considering heavy work is not advisable.
The contract can address such issues and allow you to plan for that before the time comes. Tell your partner about it in advance and if they are sensible it will be easy for them to agree to help out at the appointed time.
Chores like painting the nursery, assembling the baby’s cot and such heavy work can be left to him while you take on shopping for the baby. He can also help with grocery shopping just before delivery and if you are worried he may miss something, give him a detailed list.
Managing your expectations
Your husband is not Superman and by now you know you are not Wonder woman either. You can’t do it all alone but then again you can’t expect your partner to read your mind and know what you would like him to do. It doesn’t come automatically for everyone and since this is their first time as a parent it would be best if you gave them a heads-up. Remember you sort of have an upper hand because your instincts are pre-trained for this parenting thing.
When chores are being done as they should and the burden isn’t falling on one person it becomes easier for partners to relate. There is less anger and disappointment between you and your partner and you are better able to communicate.
The sharing of the workload leaves both partners with enough energy to give an audience to each other. This will allow you time to bond further and not get lost in the craziness that is parenting. Your relationship remains solid (and can even grow stronger) and you are bound to discover new things about each other as this stage will allow you to grow as individuals as well.
It may seem odd to ask your partner to consent to all this in advance but it will be for the good of your family in the long run. Want to give it a try?