As couples we can get used to things being done a certain way around the house or our partner taking care of certain things. But things can change when baby comes home. It’s easier if, at least, some of these areas are addressed before the new arrival. Who will be getting up for feedings? Running to the grocery store, taking the dog out? Making meals? Dialoguing and seeing what your partner is willing to help out with can be a great way to start this transition.
2. Adjustment Time
We all need time to adjust, even the dog! Everyone knows the baby is coming home with you, but that doesn’t mean knowing it will make things easier while making the transition. Each of us has our own rhythm for adjusting to things. What is yours? Your partner’s? The cat’s? Seriously, pets often need extra TLC during this time.
3. Identity Changes
It’s normal to go through changes in your identity when going from career woman/dad to the stay-at-home figure. What tasks or habits can you recreate at home to give yourself a similar feeling of success and satisfaction like you had at your work outside the home?
4. It’s no Longer About You
Obviously, but I was surprised at how focused other adults became on my baby, family and strangers alike. Babies bring out qualities in others you may never have seen before, like their fantasies, wishes, and aspirations. That is not about you. It’s OK to ask a stranger to not touch your belly when you’re standing pregnant in the grocery store and it’s OK to ask your mother to come over and sit with the baby so you can take a shower or get a decent nap in!
5. Hello to Other’s Parenting Styles
Family and friends often have a different way of parenting. Flexibility can go along way during this time when you and your partner are adjusting to being new parents and someone comes in with their own ideas about what should happen. It’s OK to say “yes, AND, this is a concern for me as a new mother” or “thank you so much for all of your parenting suggestions, we will definitely take them into consideration”. Starting good boundaries and dialogues now could save you time and energy down the road. Just remember, those that are in your life want to support and help, even if they have a funny way of showing it. It often makes others feel better when they express what they feel they are good at. Sometimes giving advice makes others feel more comfortable. Be sure to ask for what you need and communicate clearly and effectively. This is your family.
Read More of June New Parent Series!
This is Part 3 of a four-part series for new parents.