Are you a ‘mindful’ parent
- Is your relationship solid? A baby doesn’t ‘fix’ your relationship, it actually makes the cracks more visible. The resentment, dissatisfaction, helplessness you might feel towards your partner will escalate. Their role as a mother/father doesn’t change how they are as a partner. Also, is it fair to a baby to be born on a rocky foundation instead of a strong, loving one?
- Is your partner emotionally, physically violent, or abusive? It is likely that this will continue and the child might be exposed to it too. Make sure you have a safe, healthy environment to bring a child into.
- Are you ready to put someone else first forever? Raising a healthy child is a huge responsibility. Parents have to prioritize their child’s needs over their own. Also, the baby will be completely dependent on you for a long time. It is your choice to bring them into the world, so you must be ready to accept this as a part of the deal.
- Having a baby will involve a significant lifestyle shift and it may be a while before you are ‘free’ to do the things you once enjoyed.
- Are you feeling undervalued or unloved and are hoping that a baby will fill that void? If your answer is yes, it is unfair to bring a baby into the world for just this reason. Parent job is not a job of gratitude, it requires immense giving. Consider having a child if you know you have a lot to give, not the other way around.
- How well do you and your partner communicate? Are your parenting/parent philosophies aligned? Are you able to confide in one another and explain your perspectives without it always turning into an argument? Do you listen to one another? Have you discussed the ways in which you want to raise your child? If you are not sure, have a real talk about this.
- Do you have a support system? Build a support system in your partner, family, friends, doctors, mental health professionals. This support system will be a saviour when times get hard.
- Pregnancy impacts the body, hormones, and emotional health in unanticipated, profound ways. From being pregnant to breastfeeding (or not) and post-partum depression, you are likely to experience a range of emotions. Know that while this is normal, you do need to prepare for this rollercoaster ride.
- Be crystal clear and honest with yourself and your partner about how you intend to divide parenting, household, and work duties and what your expectations are from one another.
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– Rhea Gandhi