Daniel and I once had a rabbit. We got it in one those situations where we were both a little hungover one Sunday morning and after a boring B&Q trip thought ‘Pets at Home’ might kill some time. Bad decision. Three months later we were no longer able to give it the love and attention it deserved so we had put her up for adoption. Obviously a baby carries way more responsibility and is a life changer so guess what, the decision shouldn’t be made when you’re hung over. In fact rule out alcohol altogether and remember, there’s no returning a baby!
When Dan and I decided it was time to start trying, it was one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Some could argue that there’s never a ‘right time’ to have a baby. For others, it can be planned, the nursery already complete and the future baby name down on the most prestigious school in the area – all before they’ve even thrown away their birth control.
So what should one consider?
A late Friday night followed by an extra long lie in on a Saturday morning is the norm for most young couples. One of the main responses when you ask how any new mum is doing is… they’re tired. They’ve been up all night, they can’t sleep well, they find it difficult to sleep when the baby does. Sleep deprivation is something that mothers can’t be blasé about and the circle of frustration followed by tiredness followed by too much exerted energy can really affect new mums. Are you willing to forgo your sleep?
Your Frame Of Mind
To be secure, confident and happy are all wonderful ingredients for a happy baby. Don’t be duped into thinking that a baby can fix an unhappy relationship (often it’s the worse thing) and make sure you’re in a position to give baby enough love and support needed as well as giving back to yourself.
Super important and often overlooked. Bras, tops, tables, surveillance… no I’m not talking about things needed for your new walk in wardrobe. Babies are expensive. From books and sleep wear right through to the hospital checklist. Things can get pricey. That’s not even thinking about what to get the little one for the trip home from the hospital, the clothes they’ll need in the first few months and the nap time/bath time equipment.
Consider if both of you will be working up to the due date and if you’ll be returning to work. Have you thought about how your utility bills and mortgage will tick over while you take time away to be with the baby?
Have you discussed how each of you will input into the finances and have you addressed the shift in control of the finances should one of you not return back to work? Often mums can struggle with not having their own disposable income.
Some lucky women can snap back into their pre-baby body in a few months, (my sister for one). It’s in their genes or they’re just generally freaks of nature (we’re not bitter, honest). For 99.9% of the population though, you will put on weight, your body will change and chances are your belly will look different (hello, you are carrying a baby after all). Whilst we totally embrace being a new mum and indulging in our new natural being, for some whether you admit it or not, it does make a difference. Are you ready for the big change? And post baby too?
So many people I know struggle with childcare. Whether you’re unsure on the right kind of childcare, pricing or the right age to send your babies, it can be a complete minefield. Have you thought about your schedule post baby? Will you be a full time mum or do you need to work out child care around your work/lifestyle?
Mothers can be anxious when carrying, about the birth, even getting the baby home. Then you have separation anxiety whenever you need to leave your baby, anxiety over taking the baby out with you for day to day activities and anxiety over leaving them at nursery.
These days it’s so much less of a taboo. When you have a baby, you rarely have time for you know what. You’re tired, probably irritable, you’re sleep deprived, exhausted and considering you probably won’t even have time for a nice long bath and a hair wash, it’s unlikely you’ll be up for anything more. Couples all around the world experience this so know that you’re not alone.
When you do see that little line on the pregnancy test, it’s common to be nervous. It’s essentially saying goodbye to the end of one chapter and hello to the beginning of another… like getting engaged, getting married, buying a house, becoming a British citizen. You’ll probably feel mixed emotions and that’s completely normal.
Good luck! Xx