(Closed) How do you prepare your marriage for a baby?

posted 7 years ago in Parenting
Post # 32
Member
1066 posts
Bumble bee

I have four children and with every child our relationship blossomed more and more. I involved him and we shared responsiblities. Now admittedly, not all men wish to do this.   Dont forget that your relationship with your man needs attention too, one on one. We found that parenthood just happened and fell into place once they were born. It was a learning process that just ….happened…Remember you are producing what will eventually become an adult. There are challenges along the way but you will grow with them…hopefully lol..I seriously don’t think you can be prepared for eveything….

Post # 33
Member
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I also disagree about pets…. I would be a HORRIBLE pet owner.  I would bitch about going outside, I want NOTHING to do with picking up doggie poop and coming home after work to let my dog out would irritate me.

However, I am a fabulous mom.  And I really LOVE being a mom.  Pets and kids (while they may be the same for some) are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.  You can tell as much about him from how he helps out around the house, how in order are his finances?  Is he *selfish* as a person……  THAT will tell you what kind of dad he is.

 

Here is what I will tell you……. the marriage to my daugther’s dad failed, in part, because we were not on the same page as parents.  We had different parenting styles.  We had different values for how to raise kids.

Also – he did NOT deal well with being “second”.  He didn’t like it if he wanted to have sex and the baby woke up in the middle of the night.  He didn’t like it if I hadn’t cooked dinner on time because I got busy with the baby.  He was very jealous of the time I spent with the baby.  And he was pretty involved… I traveled one night a week, so he definitely had to *do* alot of actual parenting.

It wasn’t until our daughter was 2 or 3 that he “got into it” but by then MAJOR damage was done to our relationship.  I was angry and he was angry and we both felt like we let each other down.   Also at 2…. if you parenting differences THIS Is when they will rear their ugly head.  Discipline, punishment, techniques, styles etc…. if you are not ont he same page….. then your kid becomes a nightmare, which is turn harder to deal with as a couple.

And people will say “well he’s just selfish”  But A LOT of guys are that way.  They don’t get the “shift” and as women, we don’t do enough to lessen the “shift” so we just tell them to deal with it.  Instead of making sure everyone’s needs get met.
 

In my opinion…. the BIG issues are easy to determine if you are on the same page…. and hopefully you are, or it will be a rough road.  Spank or not?  Bottle of b’feed?  Co-sleep or CIO.  Will one of you stay home?  You can answer those easy.  

It’s the smaller issues…. what if he has tickets to the game and the baby gets sick.  Do you expect him to stay home?  And  why?  Will he stay home or will he want to go?  If he stays home will he be passive aggressive and be a nightmare to deal with all night.  What if you want to go out with the girls….. will you “run that by him”?  do you have to ask permission?  Will he be babysitting his own kid…. or will he be an actual parent?  THAT is the stuff that will ruin a marriage.  You have to be on the same page with THOSE decisions as well as the biggies.

 

So – I would say you just need to talk about different scenarios and see how each would handle it.  Make sure you are on the same page.  Find out what each of you are “willing” to do now that you have a TON of extra work – division of labor.  Who will go to Dr appts?  Who will take off when the baby is sick?

Post # 34
Member
3199 posts
Sugar bee

@ChuckNorris:  We are going through this too! My Darling Husband thinks I am controlling with how we are “raising” our puppy because I’m always reminding him to do things properly (don’t let puppy bite your hands, don’t let him jump, don’t let him pull the leash). He gets irritated, but I tell him that the one time he wants to be lazy and do it incorrectly will lead to months of us trying to correct it, or even worse puppy bites some child’s hand in play and seriously hurts it and we end up in big trouble. 

OP, I’ll preface this with I don’t have children…

We talk about how we’d like to do things a lot if we were to have kids. Like whether we’d let our kids have a gaming station, or if we’d eat family dinners at the table every night, or what we expect out of our kids with regard to homework and chores or manners. Those things that you don’t really thing about because they were a part of your childhood and you either do them with your SO or not, but don’t conciously think about why you do what you do. 

My Darling Husband used to always laugh at me because I would ask to eat “his” ice cream or whatever. But then I told him in my family growing up we would always have to ask for treats or food and you couldn’t just help yourself. To him, it was a totally weird idea, but to me helping myself to everything was odd…..I think trying to understand where the other person is coming from really helps with raising a kid and being on the same page. 

Post # 35
Member
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@3xaCharm:  I think that sometimes people are a bit harsh on fathers that go through what your ex went through. I also think it’s more common than what people think.

Post # 36
Member
478 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We have two dogs, and I definitely think it’s been good preparation for kids. Of course it isn’t the same amount of “sacrifice,” but the concept of a baby frightens us a lot less than many of our friends without pets because we’re used to things like:

*not taking spur-of-the-moment trips or staying places overnight
*not staying for happy hour after work
*not sleeping in, ever
*dealing with poop, vomit, stitches, ear infections, and many other gross bodily functions

I’m due in March, and having two dogs and a newborn will definitely be a challenge. I know they’re going to take a backseat for awhile, attention-wise (although they keep each other company!)

But I think the most important things for a happy marriage, and a happy family, are a. constant, honest communication and b. realistic expectations. Just talk talk talk with your husband about your struggles, fears, hopes, etc — and be open to his too. And also know going into TTC/pregnancy that your marriage (like my dogs) will take a backseat in the newborn stage. You are not each other’s biggest priority at that point. 

I’m a big believer in the idea that a happy marriage makes happy kids, so once our little one isn’t a newborn I fully intend to invest at least as much time in my husband as I do in my child — I want date nights and adult conversations and sex, despite being a mother! But in the beginning, just… no. It’ll probably be all newborn, all the time ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 37
Member
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I don’t have children yet, but I’ve enjoyed reading the responses! We are not planning on TTC for another 1-2 years, but we very much want to be parents and talk about it quite often. Some things we have been doing to *try* to prepare are: 

– discussing different scenarios as they come up (such as after a visit with one of our families, or friends with children) and talking about how we might handle the situation as parents. I think it’s helpful to go ahead and discuss those thoughts, even though I know we may feel differently when we actually have children. 

– working on communication with each other in general. can’t hurt! I think the better we are at understanding each other’s feelings (especially under stress) and responding appropriately, the more likely we are to have a smooth transition with a baby

– we’ve discussed the importance of still having one-on-one time as a married couple after having children, and making our relationship a priority 

– one of the biggest things we’ve been working on in our relationship is learning to be more selfless. unfortunately, it’s very easy for us to resort to selfishness and want things our way, and not put the other person first. I think learning to (joyfully) count each others’ needs above our own will help tremendously with learning to be a parent. Compromise and cooperation are much easier when you are thoughtful and humble, in my experience ๐Ÿ™‚

– we are Christians, and often pray about becoming parents. Specifically, I ask that God would prepare my heart for the children he has planned for me, whatever their (medical, physical, emotional, etc.) needs are. 

oh, and as far as the pet, I (personally) don’t think that would help me very much in the parenthood dept. I love dogs and I think I would enjoy having one as a pet later in life, but I don’t think I would want to have a baby and a dog at the same time. If we didn’t want to have children so soon I would probably consider getting one so I could have something to nurture! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 38
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I am getting married in May and no kids yet, but I have started trying to prepare for babies early in my relationship to make sure he was the right partner for me. 

Most of the time when we are together I imagine what it would be like if we had a baby with us. This helps me see things from a mother’s perspective. I raised my little sister who was born when I was 14, so I have a pretty good idea of what a mother’s perspective is, which is probably why I do this exercise. 

For example, if we are in the car and he is driving and other drivers are being stupid he will sometimes get a little over excited about it. “Learn how to drive” comes out of his mouth a lot, and he gets frustrated. So I casually mention that, you know, when we have kids they are going to pick up on this.

Every once in a while I ask him what if questions. 

I also help him imagine really positive situations, like, I wonder what our baby will think of our tropical fish tank. Will they watch them with us? Will they think the fish with big lips is kissing everything, even though it is really trying to eat stuff?

He loves kids and his favorite shift at work is taking care of kids in the Pediatric Emergency Room. 

I think the hardest issue for me is going to be getting him to say no to our kids when they want something. He is completely helpless to the ‘big eyes’ as he calls them. 

Can’t wait!

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