11 Things to Discuss With a Partner Before Having Kids
There’s a saying that goes “it’s never the right time to have a baby” which is probably true. But what can make that exciting and insanely hectic time in your life run a bit smoother is discussing various topics that may have been forgotten. There will be many things to figure out along the way. However, time to have these discussions when the baby arrives will be taken up by the new bundle of joy.
Bright Side has compiled a list of topics that are worth discussing with your partner before the stork arrives.
1. Who is going to do what jobs?
While only one person can carry the child and experience childbirth (unless you’re opting for another method of having a child), there are still many chores that can be divided. There are the jobs that contribute to the care of the baby: bedtime routine, feeding (if not breastfeeding), bath time, and changing diapers. You may both want to be involved and do those, so it’s great to be on the same page.
But there’s also the household chores: laundry, vacuuming, cooking, and cleaning, that will increase with the little one creating a mess constantly. While you might already have your designated jobs, a new routine is worth discussing so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
2. What are we going to do for childcare?
It may be obvious, but talking about childcare sparks conversation about who will go to work. You and your partner may both decide to return to work. If so, then you’ll have to figure out who will look after the baby. Perhaps relatives are able to help, which may require a lot of organizing of different peoples’ schedules.
Of course, things may change and adapt when the child arrives, but it helps to lay your cards on the table about what you see for your family life.
3. What financial choices are we going to make?
We all know that a baby costs a lot of money, but discussing those finances is vital. Creating a budget together may be useful, as well as discussing your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to finances.
Plus other factors will need to be considered, like having one or more sources of income. If you’re first-time parents the costs are even higher and you have to account for things like a car seat, a crib, a stroller, and clothes. And, it may seem early, but knowing how much you need to save for their education gives you a great head start.
4. How should we discipline our child?
We have different ideas of what discipline entails. It’s not always about punishment but how, as parents, you approach a situation in a unified way. Speaking about the ways you were disciplined as a child can help inform you on whether or not you think certain tactics will be constructive for your own child.
5. What, if at all, religion will our child have?
It may be a simple conversation if you’re both of the same faith but, if not, then it may be a little more complex. It’s important to consider whether you want to raise your child with a certain faith. With faith comes holidays and celebrations. There may be particular ones you celebrate. If so, discussing where you’re going to spend those holidays helps to flesh out how you see your lives.
Along with religion, we have key values that are vital to us. You may want to talk about values you feel are important to instill in your child, and how you plan to do that.
6. What other methods of having a baby might we consider?
You may feel like you’re both on the same page, but have you discussed how you want to have a child?
If you’re unable to conceive, there are several other options like whether you’d want to explore IVF, surrogacy, or adoption, and this is worth talking through. It may be a tough conversation to have but it’s good to be honest with your partner.
7. Where do we want to raise our child?
For some reason, babies have a lot of things, even though they’re only about the size of a watermelon. This may mean moving to a bigger place or adjusting your current space for the new person coming to live with you. Making your space comfortable and functional is important.
You might want to move from the city to the suburbs, or you may want to move closer to family to get help.
8. What will the sleeping arrangements be like?
Sleep. The Holy Grail for new parents. Have you discussed sleeping arrangements for when the baby comes? Like where the baby will sleep and co-sleeping. When we’re running on empty, we’re more likely to snap at our loved ones. Therefore, working out ways to ensure that both parents maximize the amount of sleep they’re getting is crucial.
9. What will our relationship be like once the baby arrives?
Couples can grow apart and unintentionally end up neglecting each other, which is understandable when a new person requires all of your attention and love. Often, parents feel it gets easier as their child gets older, but when their child spends more time away, a couple can find it hard to reconnect. It may be worth speaking about the ways you can still spend time together when the baby arrives.
10. Do we want to have a health screening?
Not only can you find out the sex of the baby but, if you choose to do this, the doctors are able to tell if there are any other conditions present. Expressing your feelings about health screenings for the baby is important to do early on. It’s extremely difficult to think about it but, if there are any abnormalities, discussing what would you do can help.
11. How will we deal with disagreements about our child’s future?
In a survey, 54% of parents said they believe that children are under too much pressure when it comes to a child’s future work. Some parents may envisage a certain life or hobbies for their child. You and your partner may have different ideas on what extracurricular activities to put your child in. But they will inevitably have their own interests, which need nurturing.
Parents are bound to have disagreements. But it is important to work on those differences privately, away from children. It may help to explore how your parenting styles complement one another and learn how to parent together.
What other topics do you think are important to discuss? How did you navigate those discussions?
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