Seasoned parents warn of the changes that will come once a baby arrives. They make comments like, “Enjoy your time while you can!” or “I can’t even remember the last time we had some alone time!” It may seem daunting, but most couples are too overjoyed by what the future is going to bring into their lives to let those thoughts get them down. That dream of a bundle of joy has the power to cease any worry. But what happens once the baby is here and times get tough? Read along to learn ways your relationship doesn’t have to be the last priority.
Be realistic about the time you will get to yourself and together, as a couple. Each partner should get a chance to do the things they enjoy, as well as spend time together. Let each other have an hour or two alone or with friends and then if needed, schedule time together. You might not be used to scheduling your relationship, but having something to look forward to can help you connect as a couple.
Don’t let finances consume you and do your best to be prepared. Everyone knows babies are expensive and for some couples, the way they are used to living has to change once the baby arrives. Make a budget, even try to give it a test drive before baby arrives. Don’t lie to each other about money and don’t hide something just because you want to be able to spend money how you want. This has to be a joint effort.
Accept that there isn’t one right way to parent a child, even if you think “Well, my mom did it this way and I turned out okay.” Men are often less experienced than women when it comes to children. However, that doesn’t mean they are incapable. Learn together, before baby gets here, and accept that compromises are going to be necessary. Go to prenatal appointments together, take educational classes, and read as much as you can before baby arrives.
You were partners before you were parents. Too often, baby takes center stage and the relationship is put on hold. While it is completely necessary to care for your child, if you don’t care for your partner too, there will be years of unhappiness. Plus, one of the best ways to teach your children is by example. Love your partner like you want your child to love their future partner. Continue to do the little things that make your partner smile; give them a compliment, get them a gift, do an extra chore around the house, or give them a reassuring hug just because.
Being a parent is hard work! Don’t create more stress for yourself then you will already incur by bringing another life into this world. Do your best to be prepared and approach the rest with the best intentions possible. Lastly, let others help you! No one expects parents to be superheroes (and if they do, they don’t have kids). Besides, we’ve all heard the famous saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It’s the truth.