Now that you and your partner have come to realize the number of changes that are going to come upon you, the responsibilities that will be unleashed once baby has arrived and the hot-mess that mommy will be from time to time, it’s quite natural to feel anxious and a little fearful of what your role requires from you.
Gaining a better understanding of what will go down in the next 9 months and after will ease your over-thinking brains and keep you one step ahead, just so you know what to expect. Handling situations in your own way is the best that you can do and will be accepted, so long as you and your partner work as team. It took two of you to start this and it will be two of you who will pull through this… together.
Listed below are 6 essentials for first-time parents to stay ahead of the game and be proactively involved in the pregnancy journey:
- Listen and Talk: The both of you are probably new to this and come with your own share of questions, concerns, fears and rantings. Sharing these thoughts among each other is all you need to understand the other person’s perspective on the ordeal, so you can better support each other. An emotional balance is important to really be there for the other person when they need it.
- Pitch In: Being a working professional or stay home mom, handling household chores, running errands while simultaneously running to bathroom every couple of minutes can take a toll on your partner. She doesn’t have to do these things by herself and that’s exactly where her partner needs to play a bigger role. Allow her to relax and unwind while you handle the cat litter or walk the dogs. You can dust the house down and clean the bathroom tiles while she takes a nice, long bath. And then, maybe join her?
- Time Out: The on-set of parenthood can be so life changing that you tend to lose a sense of self. As individuals, you have your unique likes and dislikes, and things you enjoy doing in your free time. Join forces, spice up your lives and do something fun together. Take time out from anticipating the D-day and instead, go to the mall together, watch a movie, drive across town to get those bagels the both of you can’t have enough of and laugh your way back home. You two deserve a break more often than you think.
- Gather Information: The more you know ahead of time, the better equipped you are to handle curve balls. Common things you will to do some research on are as follows:
a. How you can help when your partner is experiencing contractions
b. What to do when your partner goes into labor
c. How to remain calm and relaxed while tending to your partner on the big day
d. Understanding what is happening with her body through pregnancy and why she feels aches and pains, how you can help when she’s experiencing nausea and decoding mood swings.
- Important Prep: Hospitals and other medical facilities usually have classes or sessions that you can enroll yourselves in. They will provide you with valuable information about the process of childbirth and the basics on how to care for a new-born. Start talking to your friends, family and colleagues about recommendations for a pediatrician. See who is in your insurance network and interview at least three doctors before settling for the one you want to fall back on.
Your partner needs you now more than ever, which means, making time not just for pampering and helping but also being there emotionally. And as a first-time mommy, it’s easy to get caught up with all the sudden changes that you experience on almost an everyday basis, but your partner also needs attention and support while trying to care for you. Give each other the benefit of doubt and allow yourself to slowly settle down. You will eventually get the hang of this and the new adventure you embark on together, parenting (probably won’t be a breeze), will be fruitful with your team effort.