Who is going to do the housework and who is going to care for the baby?
It’s important that you talk about the household chores before baby is born. Write a list of all the jobs which may need doing in the house, combine this list with what is needed in caring for the baby including feeding, changing nappies, bathing that baby, shopping, cooking, washing, tidying etc. After completing the list, sit down together, write a list of who will do the jobs listed and discuss what expectations you have of each other. Find out what jobs you both like and share the jobs you don’t.
Care for your baby together. Partners can get involved by talking and playing with baby, nappy changing and bathing. Even if baby is breastfed, partners can still help settle the baby and provide skin to skin contact.
Remember baby belongs to both of you, accept caring as a joint project and try not to be critical of each other. Respect that you will each do it differently.
To make doing chores easier, try some of the following:
- Fill the freezer with lots of easy to cook meals, home made or brought
- Ask parents/other family members to make some meals for the freezer.
- Investigate online shopping deliveries
- Re assess your priorities; decide what the key tasks for the day are each morning.
- Write a list of relatives and friends or support services that you can call upon.
Go easy on yourselves; don’t feel guilty, concentrate on your relationship and your baby. Talk about any feelings of exclusion. Praise each other and show appreciation.
Sleep deprivation is a challenge for most new parents. It can make the simplest of tasks a struggle.
Clear your diaries restrict your visitors and try and do the following:
- Make sure you sleep when baby sleeps.
- Organise for grandparents or friends to help care for baby in
- between feeds so that you can rest.
- Recognise that lack of sleep causes frayed tempers and lower tolerances.
- Remember to forgive each other.
The wellbeing of your relationship is very important and it is not selfish to take time for yourselves to really talk and listen to each other. Try and stop resentments building by expressing what you feel in a positive way to your partner.
Time together will be hard in the first few weeks but try and do things together like:
- Going out for a walk, with baby asleep in the pram.
- Switch TV off, light candles and get a takeaway.
- Take baby to restaurants when asleep.
You can also:
- Enlist the help of family and friends, join a baby sitting circle.
- Swap childcare with friends
- Get numbers for suitable babysitters.
Babies change the financial balance in the family and this can lead to rows about money and work.
The best time to talk about money is before the baby is born.
Sit down and talk about your financial situation. Do the following:
- Do a budget including income and expenditure before and after the baby is born.
- Be honest about the debts and build them into your post baby budget.
- Talk about who will pay for what, who will decide how the money is spent and work out a compromise particularly with regard to personal expenses.
Be sure that you have thought about money issues carefully and talk through all issues. Regularly review the situation when baby is born and ensure you are living within your means.