Not every relationship is perfect and as marriages embark on new journeys, there are a lot of emotions and needs that you both have and are learning to navigate through.
My relationship is nowhere near perfect and I wish I had read a lot on this early on in the pregnancy to help me understand what you could be faced with. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you have open communication.
- They do not understand and they cannot read minds. I know, crazy right! I personally expected him to try everything to help me and there is nothing worse than their assistance that doesn’t work. You both become frustrated.
- Tip: When you explain you have morning sickness, they do not know what to do to help you. You know how they react when they are sick, try to explain that is how you are feeling as well and you are trying everything you can to get through it. Provide ideas on what can help. Foot rubs, fresh flowers, take out meals, extra rest or maybe simply a card.
- Keep them involved. Who would have thought he had his own ideas on how the nursery should look!! Or what essentials we needed for the baby! Sometimes they even want to be involved in the shower. Yes, it’s all about you but if you are with someone who wants to celebrate, enjoy and has ideas – embrace it now!!
- Tip: Show him some ideas for the nursery, see if he peeks interest. Ask him if he wants to have a couple’s shower. As you are making your baby essentials list, ask if he would like to add anything. I personally found out he wanted to make baby food!
- Discuss the finances. One of the top problems in every relationship is finance. If you don’t have an open conversation and budget discussion now, it will not make for a pleasant year. Set out a plan, have the conversation and commit to it together. You do not want to go in debt when you are having your first child and you do not want to have a relationship with added tension!
- Tip: Agree to have bi-weekly or monthly check ins to discuss how the budget planning / adherence is coming and any alterations you both feel need to come. This is an ongoing conversation. Don’t try to do this before bed!
- Highly encourage him to spend time with other dads or male friends. He will need an outlet and someone he can ask questions to.
- Tip: Plan date nights with other couples and parents to help the conversations happen more naturally.
- Plan a vacation prior to the baby coming. You will need this bonding! Make sure its free of outside influences and has activities for you both to enjoy. If you can’t afford to get away then plan a date weekend where you get pedicures, go to the movies, have a nice dinner and sleep in! This needs to be uninterrupted time for bonding!!!
- Tip: Many hotels offer last-minute get aways and you can price shop. If it’s the wintertime try to find a location you can enjoy walking and looking at the scenery together. It doesn’t have to be the summer when you want to enjoy the pool.
Remember that you are highly emotional and sensitive. I don’t know how my relationship survived the ups and downs and some days I thought there was no hope. But I am here to tell you you’ve created a beautiful baby and some of these simple things can make it easier for you both as you embark on this special time!
Enjoy – Rest – Keep the Peace!!