Whether expected or unexpected, adding a little one to the dynamic of a couple does call for some major adjustments in exchange for what can be major rewards. Whether transitioning for playboy (or playgirl) to papa (or mama), or simply transitioning to a Duo to a “Party of 3+”, here are considerations you’ll benefit from making.
Shock, excitement, fear, nervousness, etc will rush you all at once. To those who feel their life (as you know it) is over…. you’re right. But, it could be for the better. Regardless, of how you perceive it, you’re life is about to change forever – but that’s not necessarily bad.
10 Considerations for EVERY new parent:
- Your body will change – but it can revert to what you remember – or better
This happens to mothers and fathers. Baby weight does not discriminate. Instead of getting down on yourself, try brining eachother up and introducing healthy lifestyle changes together. Walk together for a hour a day, swap out some commonly eaten foods with a healthier choice (consult your physician). The important thing is that it’s done together and with emotional support for both parents so it can positively transcend to the baby and remains sustainable after the baby is born.
- Emotions are high – and low
We all know mothers go through a lot during pregnancy, but how often we forget that dads go through hormone changes too! The interaction with the child, and other parent create changes in the brain that enhance emotional processing and social understanding. “Contact with the mother and children seem to induce the hormonal changes in dads, the researchers said. In humans, dads who show more affection toward their children also tend to have higher levels of oxytocin, the researchers said.” Source
Additionally, the urge to contribute may come into play. It means something for him to have his relationship established with his child and his role distinct as “dad”. He needs his role as a dad. “Mold of A Man”
The excitement, nervousness, impatience, fear flow though new mothers and fathers. Even postpartum depression… let us be considerate of the affects we both go through during life changes, and be supportive of them. PostPartum Men
- Practicality may be more important now
Considering your “me” time will be diminished, finding ways to tend to the demands of parenting and still maintain a sliver of balance, you’ll need to think of practical ways to get through the day-to-day.
Perhaps you can begin to wake up 30min – 1hr earlier for help check off the prep-tasks and prepare for work without rushing… Warm bottles while you’re making your coffee?
Stress levels can easily rise with sudden changes in lifestyle and the pressures of caring for a new tot. Keep as much balance and stress-relief between you and your partner as possible in a practical way. Stay practical so you don’t break the bank…
The cost associated with raising a child is nothing to sneeze at – estimate it for yourself here: Baby Cost Calculator (First Year)
- Think for 3 – in a balanced way
What you say, do, how you do it affects those around you. Your energy and interactions around the baby, do leave impressions. Take care of your mind, body, soul and think of the positive influence you have on the energy of all three of you. Eat well, energize, stay positive, spread love. Work through challenges in a mature way. Arguing or fighting, yelling or other negative vibes can negatively affect your baby, and your partner.
Consider you need to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Just because “me” time isn’t as prevalent, doesn’t mean it’s not necessary. Mommy need time to herself, just as Daddy does. Date-night may not be every other night, but find ways to make sure it still happens at some manageable frequency. Find a trustworthy babysitter, or ask a trusted relative to watch the baby while you two go out for dinner or something nice. Make time for the two of you, so you can both effectively think for three.
Make time for you. Get to Your Happy Place, Man Cave Must Haves. Designating regular time for yourself isn’t selfish; it’s essential to being a focused parent. 10 Things He Does for Him Both parents need to have time to relax, release, decompress and not feel as though they’ve lost themselves during this transition.
Find ways to do what you enjoy and sometimes involve the family. As the kid gets older, try frisbee, catch, or something else interactive. If running is your thing, try jogging as a couple and bring a stroller that fits the theme like this one for under $70
Baby Trend Xcel Jogger Stroller, Tiger Lily
- The baby won’t break
NEWSFLASH TO NEW PARENTS: The baby is not made of glass or porcelain. He/she will not break. Yes, they are helpless, but hopefully there are two loving, caring adults able and willing to protect them from the world. Things happen that are not avoidable, kids catch colds, or sneeze, they get boo-boos and they put everything in their mouths. Some of it is manageable, but not 100% avoidable. Be calm. Don’t overreact and don’t stress your partner out by being a worry-wort. Its ok to love hard – stay reasonable.
Educate Yourself: The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year
- You’re both learning
As you should be. This is an exciting new journey. Even if you’re already a parent, this is an entirely new child, new experiences, new memories.
Dad’s try reading The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year (New Father Series)
The important thing to remember is to support eachother on the journey. No matter if this is baby #1 or baby #10, it’s a new journey for each of you and you’ll both have an opportunity to enjoy, live, learn from and enhance it this go ’round.
- There is no “perfect” parenting
So don’t be so hard on yourself, or your partner. Repeat “You’re both still learning”.
Lighten up with these: New Parent Apology Cards: 30 Cards
- You did this – together
Remember that and be proud of that! This is your little one… and without your partner, this unique individual would not exist. Appreciate eachother for that – if nothing more. Appreciating The Man
- To this little person, you are the world
You can do no wrong. Your every movement draws their attention. Your happy expressions make them smile and giggle. You are who they associate with happiness, love, peace, sleep, food… you are their everything, as as they grow older they will continue to associate you with what you bring to their life – the positive and the negative. Highlight and heighten the positive, but make sure they know no one is perfect, instead you (mom or dad) get better everyday.
- To that other person, you helped them contribute to the world
Honor and respect them for that. Even if the relationship doesn’t work our between you as adults, you can still find ways to co-parent effectively.
Whether the two of you are together or not, don’t let your personal relationship with the other parent affect the relationship with the child.
TEAMwork makes the DREAMwork.
There is no “happily ever after” without you both working toward the goal.
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