We often say in our pregnancy class that men do not become ‘pregnant ‘until they arrive at the delivery suite and realise that the arrival of their child is very imminent.
Not quite the case for the mum to be having spent nine months very much doing ‘the pregnancy thing’! So if your partner is lagging behind you in the realisation that baby will be putting an appearance sometime soon, let’s look at the ways your partners can help to prepare for this life changing event as well as one area you both will need to prepare for.
Getting the house ready seems to be the right of passage for every new parent with plenty of painting and decorating and in the more extreme cases rebuilding the house and even moving at the last minute.
Next your partner going along with you to those antenatal classes to actually find out what birth is all about and possibility the realisation that there is limited glory for them!
Many partners like to spend a lot of time planning the route to the hospital in the shortest possible time and harbouring the secret desire that they get pulled over by the police for speeding so they can declare ‘She is in labour officer!!‘ It goes without saying they have put the hospital bag in the car and filled up with fuel … (maybe just check that one !)
Amongst all of this preparation however has your partner thought much about what sort of parent they will be?
In fact, amongst all the decorating, baby showers and shopping have either of your thought what it will be like to be a parent and not pregnant?
This has been a topic we have been discussing in-depth recently at our pregnancy class – don’t leave the thinking about the ‘parenting’ bit to the 9th month! Much in the way you would not leave planning a wedding until the week before …
No bride is wondering what to wear 7 days before her big day or what everyone will be eating – so don’t leave planning how to parent, because the arrival of your baby is right up there on the scale of biggest days of your life alongside getting married!
So here is a simple but effective exercise for you both to get the parent planning underway ….
Both have some paper and a pen and disappear into separate rooms so you will not be tempted to look at each other’s papers and then both of you write down your answers to the following questions:
• What do you think will be the biggest challenge as a new parent?
• What type of parent do you think your partner will be?
• What type of parent do you think I will be?
• How do you feel it will change your life? How do you think it will change your relationship?
• List any concerns or questions you may have about caring for a new baby.
• What do you looking forward to about being a mother / father?
• How do you think you will cope with the following?
A persistent crying baby
Feeling low and anxious
• Who do you think will be the best source of advice on how to be a parent?
And then the best bit – it’s going to be insightful, surprising, possibly alarming but definitely emotional! – swapping over those papers to read each other’s answers!
And get talking !!
So, don’t leave it to the last-minute start thinking putting some strategies in place while you’re pregnant because parenting is going to last a lot longer than the birth which is just the beginning.
Discussion on pregnancy, birth and beyond topics included as standard in every Pregnancy exercise class.
Classes are every Thursday at 6.30pm at Planet Dance Studios in Solihull if you would like to find out more call us on 07860 133 708 or book your place here