Many of us are married to professionals whose jobs aren’t necessarily 9-5 so we need to consider where and with whom the childcare responsibilities will lie?
Which of you will do the majority of the childcare and what will the division of childcare be – will it be equal?
Will you be returning to work full or part time?
Will you be relying on others e.g. grandparents, nannies?
Will you be working ‘out of hours’? Who will be doing childcare then?
Does your partner have work commitments that will affect your normal arrangements e.g. do they have periods where they are away from home? What happens then?
Who will take time off work when the child is ill or sent home from nursery/school?
It can seem overwhelming, daunting and stressful having to make plans so far in advance but you don’t need to have all the answers now. What you should be doing is considering your options and importantly talking to your partner about them.
Stress often arises from situations where we feel out of control and the fear of the unknown. By looking at your options, considering different possibilities and scenarios you can feel more prepared and more in control. By creating if-then plans it helps you to take control of your emotional response to future situations when they arise as you have already thought about it and have a back-up plan e.g. if I work a Monday 9-6 then my husband can pick up from nursery at 5.30pm, but if I work a Tuesday I will need to arrange alternative childcare.
I have helped many women in this situation and through coaching they have been able to break it down into manageable steps, gain clarity and an action plan to move forward. In doing so, it has put them back in control of the situation and the stress that was once there has dissolved. By having a plan of action (one that is adaptable and not set in stone) it will make you feel more in control of the situation and one less thing to worry about!
By discussing it now (before you actually need to implement it) you can prevent the situation where people’s roles are assumed. By talking openly and sensibly now before you are actually in the situation, you are more likely to be able to have a constructive discussion about roles, wants and aspirations without the emotion involved. Your feelings may possibly change when your bundle of joy arrives but if you have started the process of openly talking and discussing these things it will be easier to re-evaluate them in the future, even when you are in the middle of the fog of a new baby. Being aware that feelings change and previously discussed roles may now not be suitable ensures open and honest paths of communication continue to take place. We are all allowed to change our minds, it’s better to be in a position to openly discuss this rather than accept the situation and become resentful or feel that you are trapped. Your partner may think that you are happy with your situation and not have a clue that there is a problem… start those conversations now, you won’t always agree on everything but keep talking.
If you too would like to work with me to gain clarity, control and confidence in your decision-making so that you have a plan of action and can enjoy your pregnancy and maternity knowing that you have already thought these things through then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org