When I married Mat, I knew even though we were raised COMPLETELY different, we had the same mindset on majority of our lifestyles and beliefs. Then, we decided to start our family, and we found ourselves faced with a GOB of decisions to be made. Mat is great about having the mentality of ¨who cares what they think¨ which can be a poison or a strength depending on the situation. When dealing with people and their opinions/actions towards our new baby, I care. I don´t want any hard feelings, or to offend people, but I also want things done how I want them done that way there are no hard feelings. Towards the end of my pregnancy, a few things I assumed we agreed on came to light to be anything but agreed upon. My advice is to have the following discussions well in advance to avoid being caught off guard.

  1. First discussion at hand was the church/religion we would raise our family in. The religious aspect was a no-brainer for us, however we were still searching for our church home. We both believe strong in our faith, but the style of church is where we differed. Mat has a tendency to not want to GO to church (especially if the Eagles are playing), and I have a desire to be in the church because it starts my week of on a positive note. In our house, we are constantly saying we are living on God´s plan, we base our lives around this phrase, so it just makes sense that this would be our first discussion at hand.
  2. Vaccinations. Vaccinations. Vaccinations. Whether you believe strongly for or against vaccinations, you need to make sure your spouse is on the same page as you. The mentality of ¨whatever I say, goes.¨ is out the window when it comes to your kiddos because parenting is a partnership and decisions have to be made TOGETHER. Without this discussion there is going to be resentment one way or the other.
  3. Requirements for guests to see your sweet baby love. Let me start by saying- Mat and I rarely disagree. We aren´t the couple that fights, we usually see eye to eye on 9 out of 10 things. THIS is one issue we did not agree on, and I just haven´t let it go… and it´s been 3 years (Mat doesn´t really know that, he assumes I am over it). The deal is- if you are passionate about what you want guests to have prior to visiting your love bug, stick to your guns. I was adamant that I wanted all visitors to have the whooping cough shot, and originally Mat was on board with me that everyone MUST get the shot before visiting our baby in the hospital or at our house. (This shot lasts 10 years and is required for things like attending college), so we didn´t think it was asking too much of people…. long story short, Mat changed his mind once Knox was here, he allowed visitors to the house that blatantly told him they would not be getting the shot (people that were important to him). They claimed to love our Knox man, but CLEARLY they didn´t love him enough to get the shot, and didn´t respect me enough to stay away until the 6 month time frame was up. Mat allowed them which put a riff between us.. and I find it really hard to hide the bitterness I have towards them and the entire situation. My suggestion is to agree on requirements and NOT sway from them regardless of who deems them ¨stupid/ridiculous¨. After all, if you´re not going to protect your baby, then who will??
  4. Set boundaries for visitors. This one will save you from frustrations and unnecessary stress. Talk with your hubby to agree on the times you are going to allow visitors into the hospital and into your home. It may also be a good idea to only allow a certain number of guests at once into your home.. You´re more likely going to be able to relax if you are not worrying about entertaining guests or how to balance giving them enough time with your baby and breastfeeding in peace.
  5. Circumcision . If you are having a boy, this is a great topic to discuss prior to having the conversation in the hospital after being exhausted from labor and dizzy from filling out all the folders full of paperwork.
  6. Delaying the Umbilical Cord Clamp. Do your research for this one; you guys should discuss benefits of delaying the cord clamping and decide if it is something you choose for your family. Many hospitals delay the cord clamp just as a regular procedure, so it is also a good idea to speak with your doctor about it.
  7. Epidural VS No Epidural. This is a big one because a lot of times women have it in their head that they DO NOT want an epidural, then the pain of labor combined with pressures from the hospital staff build and sway them towards getting an epidural. You don´t want to have regrets with the labor process, so discussing this ahead of time will have everyone on the same page; the hospital staff may offer as their requirement, but they will not push if they´re certain that is not in your plan.