Written by Olivia Arrow

Having a baby brings all sorts of changes to life as you know it. It will be an exciting phase of your life journey and it will be overwhelming at times. A lot of parents to-be forget how important communication is when they’re caught up in the pre-baby hype, but there are some must-have discussions before the baby arrives that need to be had. Making sure you are both on the same page when it comes to your values, expectations, and fears so you can face this new adventure together, as a team.

Some Topics To Discuss:

What Kind of Parents Do You Want to Be?

Figuring out what kind of parents you both want to be will help you navigate all the changes that lay ahead.  Will you be strict and structured or more relaxed and go-with-the-flow? Are you both on the same page about discipline styles, screen time, sleep training, and the role of extended family in your baby’s life?

How To Divide the Workload?

With a new baby in your lives, your everyday routines are about to change. Talking about who’s taking on which tasks like feeding, changing nappies, middle-of-the-night duties, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and even the emotional load of soothing a fussy baby can help with expectations. Being honest about your strengths and weaknesses helps, just remember, there’s no one ‘right’ way to divide the work. It’s all about finding what works best for your family.

Your Relationship

Raising a child is a long-distance race and it can take a toll on your relationship. It’s important to discuss how you plan to keep your relationship healthy and strong in the middle of all the parenthood craziness. Making your relationship a priority will help you stay connected and prioritise each other, especially when you’re exhausted and overwhelmed. Start small goals like regular date nights, carving out some time for intimacy both physical and emotional, and calling out all the positive things you are each doing. Having small goals to keep your relationship healthy and strong will keep you connected during the transition to parenthood.

Talk About Finances

Having a baby means there are a lot of extra expenses, talking about how you’re going to handle this is a must. Discuss childcare, nappies, formula or breast milk, doctor’s appointments, and all the other essentials will help you prepare a budget around these extra expenses. Also discuss if you are going to have separate accounts or a joint account? Who will manage the budget? Discussing money can be tough, but having a plan set the expectations you both have making it easier to navigate expenses.

Your Support System

When it comes to raising a new baby, having a support system is crucial. It’s important to have people you can rely on to help with things like babysitting, bringing over meals, being there for emotional support, or just to listen and offer advice. Don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it, and make sure you communicate your needs and expectations clearly with your support network.

The “What If’s” of Parenthood

Having a baby can throw you some pretty wild curveballs, and it’s only natural to wonder how you and your partner will handle all those crazy “what ifs.” Like what if you have a tough pregnancy, your baby’s a little fussy, breastfeeding doesn’t come easy, or you or your partner end up dealing with a health issues? It’s important to have a plan in place, not just to feel more in control, but also to know that you’ve got each other’s backs.

Come up with strategies for tackling these situations together. Maybe you’ll take turns dealing with the sleepless nights, or enlist the help of friends and family when things get really tough. Having a plan can give you both a sense of security and reassurance that no matter what life throws your way, you’ll be able to handle it as a team.

What About Your Careers?

Honesty is key here. Talk about your career dreams and the compromises you’re both willing to make. Remember, this is a team effort, and communication is key to making it all work.

It’s important to figure out how your career goals and your new family life will fit together. Think about what you both want from your careers, childcare options, and how you can support each other through these changes.

The Emotional Load?

Having a child is an emotional rollercoaster. You’re going to experience stress, anxiety and all kinds of ups and downs on this journey and that’s completely normal. Communication and being vulnerable is actually a strength, and sharing your emotions with each other will make your bond stronger. Discuss how you can be there for each other through the highs and lows and how you can keep growing together as parents.

What About Our Dreams?

Having children will change your life, and it’s only natural that your dreams and goals will change with it. It’s important to talk about what each of you still hopes to achieve, whether it’s travelling, pursuing hobbies, or just personal growth. And as parents, balancing your own needs with the responsibilities of raising a family is something you’ll need to discuss, make sure you discuss how you can support each other in making your dreams happen.

These conversations aren’t just a one-time thing, they’re going to be an ongoing thing as you navigate the ever-changing world of parenthood. Raising a child is tough, but it’s also rewarding. Having these discussions before the baby arrives sets the foundation for a solid partnership that’ll help you both thrive as parents, individuals and as a team. Be open and honest with each other and remember that it’s ok to go back to these conversations when  needed.