Defining Parenting Roles With Your Spouse Before Baby

Defining Parenting Roles With Your Spouse Before Baby | Baby Chick

Defining Parenting Roles With Your Spouse Before Baby

So it’s a month before your new baby is due to arrive and you and your spouse are ready! You have discussed and scrutinized over every detail of your baby’s upcoming life. And not just once but twenty times. You’ve discussed what name will best represent your baby’s personality, what kind of delivery you want, what diaper brand you believe is best and you’ve even discussed whether your baby would benefit from being a vegan. 😉

parenting

But have you taken the time to discuss how you and your spouse plan to balance your parenting duties once baby comes? Or better yet, have you discussed what roles you believe are a father’s responsibility versus the mother’s, which is particularly relevant if one partner is more traditional in their viewpoints and another is more egalitarian.

Well this may seem unnecessary, but I promise you it might be one of the most important things that you and your partner could discuss—even more so than if your baby should be a vegan. Because as wonderful and magical as new babies are, they can add a lot of unexpected stress and change to a marriage or relationship—especially when you have no sleep in your system.

I will never forget the day my best friend called and told me how irritated she was with her husband for not helping her in the night with the baby. She told me, “I’ve never been so frustrated with him before. He used to never make me mad. And now that I’m not getting an ounce of sleep, I want to throw a baby toy at him.” I couldn’t help but laugh at the normalcy of the situation. However, it just goes to show why taking time to talk about things before the birth of baby is useful!

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So here’s some tips for getting started with this discussion. Sit down. Get comfy. And ready to talk. Try and not be defensive with one another but instead take a learning stance in your responses to one another. The last thing you want to do is make your partner feel like their thoughts are wrong.

Step 1: Define What You Witnessed as Normal Growing Up

Ask each other what roles you witnessed in your own family for a mom’s role versus a dad’s role. Our own family experience is naturally what defines our sense of normal. And whether we realize it or not, we often recreate those roles. But if you don’t agree with the way your parents did things in parenting, you have to be intentional about changing them. Much like in the first years of marriage.

Answer questions like this:

  • Do you believe men and women equally share the role of childrearing? If yes, why? If not, why? (This question is huge in getting realistic expectations set early on!)
  • If not, are there certain things that only a Dad does?
  • Are there certain things that only a Mom does?
  • Are roles flexible based on circumstances or rather rigid? Meaning, if one parent has been up all night with baby, does the other naturally step up to laundry and cooking even if that hasn’t been their traditional role? Or do you feel that no matter what is going on, it is always the father’s role to take out the trash. Etc.

Step 2: Talk Through Your Own Personal Expectations About Your Own Family’s Roles

parenting

Now that you’ve discussed what you saw as normal growing up, talk through what YOUR expectations are with your family. Are there things you absolutely loved about the way your family did things? Are there things that you absolutely disagree with too? This is a great time to talk through some of these things and get on the same page with your partner. Especially if you have expectations that some things should go a certain way! Because unmet expectations can lead to frustration.

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If your husband comes from a more egalitarian family and you are from a more traditional family, you need to discuss expectations. “I do not feel you need to get up with the baby in the night if I am breastfeeding because I would rather have you rested to let me sleep the next day.” Versus “I absolutely want you up in the night with me the first few weeks we come home because feeling your support is important to me even if the baby just needs me.”

Step 3: Discuss How You Would Handle Challenging Circumstances

parenting

As new parents, you may not know all of the parts of parenting a baby, but you have some idea as to what to expect. Here are some common challenges to expect that are important to talk through:

  • Female Recovery Post Delivery
  • Tackling Breastfeeding
  • Finding Time to Sleep
  • A Colicky Baby
  • Keeping Up with Laundry
  • Getting Normal Things in the House Done
  • Deciding Where the Baby Sleeps
  • Finding Time for Love and Intimacy Post Baby
  • Managing In-laws

Is there anything you think will be especially hard on this list? If your husband says to you, “I do not want your mother’s input on how to take care of our baby. I want you and I to figure it out.” This is important to know beforehand. Especially if your mother is planning to come and stay with you for two weeks!

Or if your husband says, “I think it is better for the baby to sleep in her crib from day one” and you were planning to have her in a rock-n-play in your room, this is a good thing to discuss. You might want to negotiate and say, “If that is important to you, then I need you to get up and bring her to me every time she cries because I don’t want to have to continually leave the room.”

Communicating when things are not in the heat of the moment allows for better compromise and hopefully less conflict once baby comes! It is impossible to come up with an exact plan until you’re in the thick of it, but any amount of mental preparation helps. So take some time in the next few weeks to go over some of these things. You won’t regret it!

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Cheers to Successfully Balancing Parenting!

About the Author /

Quinn is a wife, boy mom (x’s 4), blogger at Sanctification and Spitup, host of the Renew You Podcast and licensed marriage and family therapist. She loves to encourage others in relationships through her speaking, writing or podcast episodes.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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#postpartum #mentalhealth #ppd #motherhood #selfcare #kindnessmatters #postpartumprogress #postpartumlife #newmom #newmotherhood #mommychick #babychick #depression #mentalhealthmatters
Instagram post 17863413055589017 When they wake up in the morning and give you that big grin . . . 😍 There is nothing sweeter.⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #goodmorning #happybaby #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17848203934772065 Her comes Amazon, here comes Amazon, right down my driveway! 🎶📦🤣⁠
📷: @cmon.mama⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #selfcare #selfcaretoolbox #mumlife #mommylife #metime #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
📷: @themommyconfessions⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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#babyannouncement #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #babyonboard #mumtobe
Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
📷: unknown (DM for credit)
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
📷: @madiford2 via Twitter⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #funnypregnancy #momtobe #pregnancylife #thanksgiving #mamatobe #turkeymama #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #thirdtrimester #preggo #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #newmom #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17862516742586656 Pass the rolls. Baby rolls, bread rolls, all the rolls.⁠ 😍🍞👶 #thanksgivingjokes 😜⁠
📷: @divasunrisekiss⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#flyingwithkids #travelwithkids #familytravel #travelingwithkids #kidsonplanes #travelpic #airplane #familyholiday #parenting #parenthood #firstflight #babytravels #motherhood #momlife #mumlife #mommychick #babychick #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣
Instagram post 17895768721417819 Who you gonna call?⁠ 🤣🤣🤣
📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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