I recently co-authored a book where I wrote a chapter on alleviating stress in your life by preparing better to be a mom. In that chapter, I equated having babies to running a business. I got some comments about this comparison, but I do this all the time. I’m sure it offends some people, but my type A brain has no trouble seeing the parallels.
If you are a business woman or have worked in the corporate world in any capacity as a leader, then you most likely have the skills it takes to rock motherhood like a boss.
I also talk about the most important person (besides you) in this “business” of babies. The business “partner”. Aka, your hubby or significant other.
It is so important to be on the same page as dad, as best you can, so that you can parent this child (children) in unity.
Here are the 5 “pillars” of motherhood (and parenthood) to discuss with your “business partner” today, to ensure you come up with a parenting blueprint that is actionable and acceptable for both of you, and a family life that runs smoothly!
1. the SELF
This one is all about you. How are you going to take care of YOU?
This is the time to sit down with your partner and discuss your INTENTION.
The intention is “I don’t want to lose myself and I want to continue to be able to do the things that keep me happy, healthy, and whole”. If you and him are on the same page-then that sets a good foundation for you BOTH to actually make sure that happens.
Self-care is such an overused term these days.
It brings up thoughts of spa days and blowouts. But it is more than that. Self-care is really about connecting with yourself on a level that allows you to nurture your soul without feeling guilty. It could be 5 minutes or it could be 5 hours.
Discuss with your partner the basics of what you need, for your mind, body, and spirit, in order to feel whole. If you’re not sure, ask your partner what he loves about you. That might give you a good place to start, to figure out how to keep the core of you intact.
2. the PARTNER
So you’ve talked about yourself, now it’s time to talk about your partner. More importantly, what he wants and needs, and how you will ensure that your relationship is a priority.
It is all too easy to put the hubby on the back burner once the baby comes, but trust me having him in the picture as an active member of your team is going to be much better.
How much does he want to be involved and what kind of relationship are you wanting to model for your children? Your bond is the foundation for your family. A weak foundation causes the house to crumble.
Discuss ahead of time some ground rules, and honour them. Make communication a priority. Every day if possible.
3. the PAST
What are your favourite childhood memories? Traditions that you loved? What did you love and hate about how your parents raised you?
Our past plays a big role in our future. How you were parented absolutely factors into your own beliefs about how you will parent.
Chat with hubby about the good, bad and ugly of yesteryear. It will give you a good glimpse into how you might want to parent, and probably bring up some things that you don’t agree on.
Now is a good time to get them on the table.
Your current situation, values, and capacity will affect your parenting on many levels.
What is your financial situation?
Who pays the bills and does household chores?
What do you do for fun?
Take stock of your current lifestyle and individual roles.
They are about to change and if you haven’t thought about that, a baby will be a much bigger adjustment for you. Be prepared and anticipate changes and a shift in responsibilities.
Try to envision a baby coming into your home right now and anticipate how that could affect your home and social life. Sometimes, when we are busy searching baby names and painting nurseries, we lose perspective and forget to think about the reality of the next 5, 10, and 20 years!
If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know how to get there.
Knowing what your future looks like in terms of personal goals, family goals, and other hopes and dreams you have for your life, will help you have a focal point.
Knowing what kind of kids you want to raise will guide you on your parenting journey.
You and your partner should discuss all of this and what is important to each of you in terms of raising the future. You are, literally, raising the future. You will have a much better time and feel more confident if you know where you want to end up.
Start with the end in mind, it will prevent you from being that frazzled parent that makes decisions on the fly and then later regrets it because they now have to go back and undo bad habits. If you are both on the same page, it will also alleviate one of you always feeling like the bad guy, and a whole lot of resentment!
In motherhood, everything doesn’t always go according to plan, but having one for your journey will make it much easier to come back when you veer off course!
Want more resources about postpartum mental health? Check out Chapter 7 of The Expecting Entrepreneur.
Sunit Suchdev is a speaker, author, wife and mom to twin boys. She is the host of the “Modern Mommy Prepschool” podcast and coaches TTC and expecting moms to plan appropriately for “the long game” in motherhood so they can feel confident, and parent purposefully without losing themselves. Happy moms raise happy families and her goal is to empower and inspire women to grow babies that will evolve to make this world a better place! You can see what she is up to over at www.modernmommyprepschool.com