6 Conversations to Have With Your Partner Before Baby Arrives
With a baby on the way, you’re probably wrapped up in heart-warming conversations revolving around decorating the nursery, choosing names, and debating who the baby will look most like. But have you had the more hard-hitting conversations about finances, schedules, and effective communication yet?
Once your baby is here, your world will be a lot more hectic, which means you probably won’t have the time (or energy) for long conversations about these important topics. This is why you should make sure you hash out these topics beforehand! To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 7 conversation starters.
How long are you both taking off work?
This is a conversation to have both with your partner and your employer. Will both of you be able to take off as long as possible, or will one partner need to go back to work asap? Also decide with your partner and employer exactly how long you expect to be on parental leave, instead of deciding on, “just a couple weeks.” You’ll notice those weeks fly by, so having a set date to return back to work can help you and your partner prepare for the change.
What are your financial expectations, goals, and realities?
Most couples will have some number crunching to do before their baby arrives. Discuss topics about what you are willing to splurge on, what you’re not willing to splurge on, if there’s any outlying debts to handle before the baby arrives, if paying for childcare is in the cards, etc. Planning a budget to try to stick to when the baby arrives can also make finances seem a bit more manageable once you’re in baby mode.
How will baby duties be split up?
Breaking down all baby duties and coming up with a schedule will allow both of you to know what exactly you’re meant to be doing and when. Will you split duties equally? Will mum take the night shift, since dad has to go back to work early? Will you rotate getting up in the night? Will dad be on toddler duties in the morning, since mum was up all night feeding?
How will the housework be split up?
You’ll quickly find that housework can spiral out of control when you’re both focussed more on your baby’s needs than if the dishes have been done. But if you sit down before the baby arrives and try to plan out who’s going to take on which chores, you’ll each be able to plan out a schedule for your own individual duties, making housework seem lighter and more manageable.
How will you keep strong communication?
Raising a baby is stressful and can come with a lot of emotions, both high and low. How will you make sure you’re both dealing okay? Will you sit down once a week to discuss how you’re going with each of your designated responsibilities? Or maybe you both sit down and discuss the signs of distress or anxiety before the baby arrives, so you can learn to recognise the signs and look out for one another.
What are your highest parenting values?
Reflecting on how you and your partner were raised can help you both decide on your own parenting style. Do you want to limit your baby’s screen time? What will you be strict about (schedules, reading at bedtime, etc.)? How will you handle discipline? Will you raise your child under a certain religion? Getting to know your partner’s expectations can help you nail down your parenting values and goals.
Once you get these more serious conversations settled and out of the way, you can go back to all of the fun and happy conversations that being pregnant brings. Once the baby is here, you’ll be able to rest assured that you and your partner are on the same wavelength about tough topics that concern your baby.