The relationship is going good

The relationship is going good.  You’re happy, she’s happy.  You’re getting along.  You spend time together.  You like being with each other.  You’ve conquered all of life’s little problems and situations that have been thrown your way since you’ve been a couple.  Now the time comes where you decide to bring a child into the world.  You’re both ready and excited about your future family.  But nobody told me…

I’m running on two hours sleep… I got up with him last time… Why won’t she drink this bottle… I think his diaper needs changing… What do you mean we’re out of diapers already?  Isn’t she just the cutest thing… I’ve got to get to this meeting and he just spit up on my suit… I just gave him a bath, why does he have to rub spaghetti all over his face? Oh my God, he can walk!  Stop running… Get back here…  Put that down… Don’t put that in your mouth… Don’t fight with your brother… Did you take her toys… Did you just push her… Eat your dinner, I don’t care if you don’t like it… Get in this house right now, it is bedtime… Why is everyone yelling!

Now, if you are reading this and you have children you know what I am talking about.  If you don’t have kids yet, don’t worry, it’s not that bad.  My point is no matter how many books you read on child rearing; no matter how many experienced parents you get advice from; no matter how many nieces and nephews and friends kids you babysit for nothing can prepare you for the actual raising of kids.  Bringing kids into this world is one of the greatest experiences two people can share with one another.  But be forewarned, it can and likely will change your relationship with your partner forever. 

This change can be good or bad.  Even though I don’t think you will ever truly know what it is like to raise kids until you do you can prepare yourselves in ways that will help keep you relationship with your significant other strong and loving. 

First you must both be certain that you want to raise a family.  Successful marriages and successful families can’t exist when one partner is not committed to making it work.  You may not have a solution for any situations or problems that exist in your relationship but you should at least have a plan or some coping strategies in place to deal with them.  Whatever your problems are now, they will be tenfold when the kids come along.  Deal with them now, before you have kids. 

Discuss with each other what is involved in raising kids.  Don’t take for granted that the other one knows anything.  Cover all the topics you can from getting up several times a night, diaper changes, bottle making, doctors visits, earaches to hand washing and friends visiting, etc.  Many of us have absolutely no idea what is involved in raising a child. 

Discuss how you can help each other on a daily basis.  Will both of you be pitching in daily to help with the kids?  Is mom or dad expected to do everything?  If you plan this upfront then each will know what the other expects and you won’t be thrown any surprises when it comes time for that 3am feeding! 

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