Thinking of having a baby? You might want to think and discuss your options first. You wouldn't want to make important decisions after your baby is born. It's always best to be prepared.
Having a baby is a life-changing moment for parents. This is why it’s crucial to discuss various important matters with each other before birth – sometimes even before pregnancy.
Why before birth?
Sometimes it’s a little difficult to make logical decisions when you’re still drowning in happiness, check-ups, sleep deprivation, stress, and just the general awe of having this beautiful being in your arms.
There are a lot of emotions at play during such a delicate time so complicated discussions and decisions often take a back seat. So before birth, parents should already discuss important matters concerning the child, rather than discuss them (or forget to) after the baby is born.
Here are some discussions and decisions you must tackle before birth.
Important discussions before birth
Is the timing right?
Before you even get pregnant, it’s always good to consider whether the timing is right for a baby. Do you have your own house? A stable income that could accommodate a new member of the family? Are you emotionally and psychologically ready?
Also, consider where your partner is right now. Is he or she ready, too? Do the both of you still want to do some things before having a baby?
As parents, you’ll have to consider your employment situation and benefits before birth—even before deciding to have a baby, actually. Ask yourself, how much time off do you plan to take before the birth of your child?
It’s so easy to make a vague decision about, but please, for your sake, have a concrete plan. You don’t just consider time off, but the steps in which you return to work.
How much work do you engage in while you’re on leave? Do you pay undivided attention to your child or multi-task? How will your partner react to your multitasking? These are important considerations before birth.
Arranging visiting schedules
Your friends and family will surely celebrate the birth of your child. And celebrations mean getting a lot of visits for the baby and them offering to help you out. Coordinating all these visits and meetings and whatnot isn’t easy. And it’s too much hassle.
Before birth, you can ask your trusted friend or family member to help you out. You can delegate responsibilities to them, so it’s important to sort these out before birth. If you trust your friends and family enough, let them help.
It’s a well-known fact that having a baby will make you lose sleep. But you don’t have to lose sleep together. So you can alternately have “night time duty” to take care of your baby at odd hours.
This is important to discuss before birth because how couples split night shifts is different for every couple. Being on the same page and agreeing on something is vital so there will be no hard feelings between you two. In addition, the workload should not completely rest on the shoulders of the new mom alone.
We’re putting parenting duties here separate from night duties because it’s a wholly different can of worms than tending to your baby at night.
It’s great to split responsibilities between parents, since eager fathers can be more involved in taking care of the child, and tired mothers can rest more easily.
So before birth, discuss who can make meals and how often, who washes the dishes, does the groceries, cleans the house, change the diapers, and so forth. You don’t want to get into a “but I did it last time!” argument just because you didn’t fix parenting duties before birth.
Now depending on you and your partner’s culture, this may or may not be an important discussion. Also, if the baby’s a boy. That’s really important.
This can either be a personal reason or a health reason. But whatever the reason, this should be discussed before birth in the event that you get a baby boy.
Religion is a delicate subject but as parents, we usually want to instill our views upon our own children. However, since religion is intensely and intimately personal, children should be given the freedom to choose what they believe in. As parents, this is a difficult discussion to have, especially for couples with different religions.
The only compass that’s worth considering is whether you’d like your child to become an ethically moral person who is kind, compassionate, and possesses empathy for other people. This consideration takes precedence over specific beliefs.
So sit down and discuss this with your partner. Be open to change or compromise. The bottom line is, you should only provide your child with an understanding of various religions and give them the freedom to choose, as long as the ethical bedrock is there.
It’s all about teamwork
Being a parent is difficult and nobody should make it any more difficult than it already is. A parent’s difficult can become a child’s difficulty early on if both parents aren’t communicating and working together towards a common goal.
So, whenever you’re making a big decision, make sure you’re on the same page. Talk it out. Things are not going to be easy, and it would be nice for each of you to know that you have each other’s back.
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore