Parenting can be the most rewarding thing in the world, but it also comes with many challenges. Those challenges can double when you have disagreements with your partner on how to parent. Having discussions before these things come up is often the best way to get on the same page BEFORE emotions are running high.
Here are the top five things to discuss with your partner when it comes to starting a family.
There are so many different ways to discipline in 2023. Authoritarian, gentle, permissive, the list goes on and on. If you aren’t sure where you personally land on the discipline front, take the time to do a little research. Talk with your partner and get on the same page when it comes to how you plan to parent your children. There is nothing harder on a marriage or a child than when both parents are on different pages with discipline. Consistency is key in everything parenting, so making sure you are both in agreement can help squash any arguments before they start.
Who does what? Who is expected to stay home, get up in the middle of the night, handle the bath time and the doctor appointments, sign the kids up for school, etc? There are so many things to juggle when it comes to parenting. Make sure you agree with the division of duties and try your best to equally distribute parenting and household responsibilities so one partner does not feel exhausted or resentful.
Where do you plan to raise your children? If you always dreamed of raising a family in a small town and your spouse has big city dreams, it’s time to have a chat. Getting on the same page when it comes to where you want to raise your family is so important. Talking and deciding what you both value and what area brings that to fruition is key.
Whether you or your partner stay home, grandma watches the child, you send them to daycare or you have a nanny, the choice of childcare can be a divisive one. Some spouses expect their partner to stay home; others expect their partner to work and contract out childcare. If you aren’t in agreement, that can become a big source of contention. Making sure you both feel at peace with your childcare plan is paramount to successfully parenting together.
This is a vague one but a big one. Whether you are religious or not, core values are in all of us. Having a discussion about what is important and how you want to impart that to your children is a great start. Maybe that looks like a discussion regarding religious or cultural expectations. Maybe it’s a broader discussion about morals and traditions you want to pass on. Either way, having those discussions before they come up naturally is important. My husband wasn’t huge on Christmas traditions, but they are very important to me. Growing up with a Catholic mother, I wanted to pass many of the religious/holiday traditions on to my child, and, thankfully, he was more than open to that after we had a discussion. What religion you want to raise your child in and what morals, core values, and traditions you want to pass on can vary from household to household. Making sure you and your partner agree with what foundations you want to put in place for your children is huge.
There are so many other big and small things to discuss when starting a family, but the key to any partnership is to communicate until you can both be in agreement. What important topics would you add to the list?