I had an overwhelming response to my post 11 Questions to ask before having a baby with your husband. I even had a few emails from some lovely ladies who said bringing up those questions in conversation with their partners shone light on certain things they would never have imagined could become problematic later down the line.
What does having a baby do to a couple’s relationship?
Having a baby generally brings up issues between people that they’d never otherwise encounter. From the moment your baby is born, there is an additional person in your relationship to consider. It takes some getting used to. Plenty of time and energy is spent trying to get to grips with your new family situation. One of the best things you can do before your baby arrives is to start talking together now about what your expectations are.
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I’m so pleased Part 1 has been helpful and it of course led me to having more conversations with my mummy friends on the same topic. Is it a never ending list? No. If you’re supposed to be relying on list of questions to decide on your future, I don’t see why there should be any more than 40 questions. I also think many of those questions should be sub-questions that arise out of conversation.
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Some of the questions in this new list may seem similar to a few of those in Part 1 but there’ll be some differences. And if they do seem similar, then it shows just how frequently those particular issues arise in relationships once there’s a baby. It also means that they are extra important to discuss before a baby arrives. Your parents’ parenting style/the way you were parented is a prime example of one of those important questions.
The way yourself and your partner were parented will largely influence how you parent because those are the parenting styles that you’d be most familiar with and are most likely to model unless you make a conscious effort not to.
Whether you choose to do the very opposite of what you know or exactly what you know, the decision is based on your previous knowledge. Where yours and your partners’ upbringings differ vastly, there’ll be a lot to argue about! Anything from family members meddling to the way your baby sleeps could cause problems.
What’s your biggest issue?
Based on these and the questions from Part 1, the general topics that seem to arise surround stress management, childhood experiences and handling interactions with toxic in laws. Should there be a Part 3, it will include some questions on finance so that’s clearly another topic that’s worthy of much discussion before having a baby.
Of course, many would argue that it’s the biggest topic. Some, that it’s the the only topic worthy of discussion. I don’t agree with either opinion. I do think finances are one of the most vital topics of discussion before baby arrives though.
What sorts of things do you wish you had discussed before you had your children? If you’re about to start your family, what sorts of discussions are you having now?
If you’d like a more thorough way to discuss with your partner the issues that will most affect your relationship as a couple, the workbook below is a good resource.