Preparing to be parents together

How to prepare for the transition from couple to parents

While you are expecting a baby, you go from being a couple to being parents together as well. There will be huge changes, so it’s good to prepare, so you know what to expect.

Things to think about before you become parents

It’s a good idea for you and your partner to talk to each other about how you feel about the birth and becoming parents.

There are a lot of practical issues to consider in the run-up to giving birth. But it’s also a good idea to start talking about what’s going to happen when you become parents. For example:

  • Who puts the baby to bed and who gets up at night when your baby wakes up?
  • How will you manage the child’s sick days?
  • How much parental leave should you and your partner have?
  • How much can each of you continue with your leisure activities?
  • How often and how long can you be away from your family in the first few years?

This way, you and your partner need not spend energy working things out once the baby arrives, and you’ll have more peace and energy to be parents.

Share how you feel with each other

It’s a good idea to talk to your partner about how you feel about your own upbringing. For example, the ideals of parenting, parent-child relationships and caring that you will bring into your own parenting.

For example, you can ask each other:

  • What was your mum like? And your dad, and how did you feel as a child in your family?
  • Do you want to do things the same way yourselves, or do you want things to be completely different?
  • How do you think contact should be with your own family and each other’s families when the child is there?
  • What do you think of yourselves and the other partner as a parent?

Do you have any principles about caring or parenting that you should talk about?

To get the conversations started, we have prepared a ‘Parents Together’ workbook. The book asks some of the questions that can be important to think and talk about on your way to having a baby.

You can download the book for free HERE.

Note: To be able to write in the book digitally, you have to download it.

About changes in your relationship and how to deal with them

Different couples have different approaches to change and finding a balance between being parents and a couple. Both of you will certainly be affected by the changes, but not necessarily in the same way.

This can apply, for example, to your sex life, where taking the initiative and finding time for each other may be very different during this period. Some may lose their appetite for sex almost completely. Others may feel more desire than usual. You and your partner may find that you’re not quite in the same ‘rhythm’, and need time to get used to the new situation and understand each other.

Take time to talk about what is different
As a parent or parent-to-be, you can be under stress and forget to talk about how you feel about the changes and your new daily routine. It’s natural, but it’s good to find time to talk about how you can face the new challenges and changes. So take the time to listen and talk to your partner rather than ignoring things or just expecting that it will all work out. Talk things through so you’re on the same wavelength while so many new things are happening.

Some men may think that they shouldn’t have doubts or appear insecure, but that’s perfectly normal, because becoming a father can be an upheaval. And when you talk to your partner, you will probably find that she has had some of the same thoughts as you. This way you can support each other and strengthen your co-operation your own benefit and your baby’s.