Preparing for parenthood


Pregnancy. Childbirth. A new baby. Few experiences in life have as much impact on someone as becoming a parent. A new child brings new worries, new challenges and new stresses. Yet it can also bring new feelings, new understandings and new joys.
How to prepare for parenthood?

How to prepare for parenthood?

Recognize that it is normal to feel emotional highs and lows. As excited as you may be, it is easy to become overwhelmed by concerns about the impact this baby will have on your life.

Discuss any worries you may have with someone you trust and feel comfortable with. It is normal to wonder about such things as whether or not you will be a good parent or whether the baby will be healthy. All parents need help - do not be afraid to ask.

Discuss with your partner who will do what household and childcare tasks and why.  Make a list. Negotiate but don’t keep score. Focus on giving each other support in order to create a healthy, positive home for you and your child.

Talk about and plan for your family’s financial needs. Children cost money! Discuss now how you’ll spend or save money. Set a family budget. Seek advice from a financial advisor if needed.

Discuss with your partner what your views are of parenting, including the roles and responsibilities of each person, discipline, family values, etc.

Discuss how you will find the balance between being a couple and being parents. Plan how you will make time to talk with each other and give yourselves regular couple “check-ups.” Continue to make couple time a priority.

Line up a good support system. Who can you ask for help and advice, especially in the first few weeks after birth?

Learn about child development so you can approach parenting your child with positive and realistic expectations.

Come to terms with your own childhood. Consider seeking professional help if it involved abuse or neglect.

Get information on preparing for parenthood or caring for a newborn child. Attend prenatal classes.

Plan for your career and work after the birth. Discuss who will work and why, explore options related to work and begin planning for future adjustments.

Strive to be flexible, patient and forgiving.

Learn from other parents. Take the opportunity before baby arrives to get information from couples who have just had a baby. Ask them questions like:
• Was there some information that you wished you had been told before you had the baby? What was it?
• In preparing for the birth of your child, is there anything that you wish you had done differently?
• What did you do to make those first few days at home with the baby easier?
• How do you manage to have time together as a couple now that your baby is here?

Communicate your feelings and frustrations regularly.  Don’t let them build up and cause resentment. 

Making a healthy transition from partners to parents will help you strengthen your relationship and provide a positive, caring environment for your new child. Welcome to the adventure that is parenting!
Also read

Source: Brotherson, Sean (2004). Preparing for Parenthood. Retrieved July 13, 2012 from www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/famsci/fs601.pdf


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