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Advice for having "those" talks with DH

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So DH is going to be a first time father.  And we both have an anxiety disorder so we have found that for big (or potentially disagreeable) events, if we have discussions in advance and come up a plan together, things go so much more smoothly.  For this event, it is paramount we have these talks.

 

So we had the circumcision talk just in case.  It was very easy, surprisingly and straight away came to an agreement.  "I'm not circumcised, why should my son be?" and I totally agree.

We also had the catholic baptism talk.  I was raised catholic.  My daughter was baptized.  Although I am not involved in catholic church any more, for some reason I still feel this is important.  It's like I am having flashbacks or something.  Anyway, DH said that was fine with him too.  My family is still catholic and many of my friends are non-denominational christian.

 

But the question now becomes...what else are we going to have to discuss?  It seems like there are a ton of things, but I just can't remember everything from 7 years ago!  I know it seems like I am anticipating this too far in advance, but it sure has made our relationship so much better.  I really need to avoid arguments with him at all costs.  It's too stressful for me.

post #2 of 8

Hi there!

 

Not sure how much I can offer, but I do have an anxiety disorder myself, and this is baby #1 for my partner as well.  It is a bit daunting on him, but we practice a similar approach of communication.  A few topics off the top of my head: Birth plan, nursing duration (if you breastfeed), co-sleeping arrangements, cloth diapering or using disposables... Some of these kind of fall in the realm of "duh", but like you said, it is good to have it all out there. :)  Good luck!

post #3 of 8
Here is a list that might help, even if these aren't all relevant, should spark some ideas:
Breastfeeding or Formula (or some combination) and how solids will be introduced
Parenting style & realistic expectations for age of the child (this is an ongoing discussion of course, but groundwork should be laid now and this includes discussions on how to handle sleep issues and that good newborn stuff)
Birth location (hospital, birth center, home, etc.) & Birth attendant
Expecations for birth from both of you (how involved DH will be, pain meds, procedures, others attending the birth, taking classes, etc.)
Newborn care (all the basics like supporting the head, how to change a diaper, etc.)
Schooling (public school, private school, homeschooling, etc.)
SAHM/SAHD/both working with childcare (you probably have a plan for this already, but just in case)
Adjusting will and guardians as needed
Discussing if more life insurance is needed
Discussing finances
Plan for all the baby stuff to fit well into your living arrangement
Cloth diapering or disposables (or some combination)
Visitors immediately after birth
How much time those who are working are taking off around the birth
How you want to handle holidays with immediate and extended family (if that is changing)
Godparents for the baptism and if you havne't discussing if you want to take your child to church at all and if so which one(s)
Names for the baby
Careseat safety

That's all I can think of for now, obviously ignore whatever doesn't apply!
post #4 of 8

Qunialla has some really great suggestions!! Another issue that has come up for friends of mine is the role of the grandparents on each side -- do you get along with your MIL? Will you want her in your house post-partum? Will there be competition for time between the two sides of grandparents? Is this their first grandchild? Who is responsible for what in the household in terms of chores? Are you happy with the current division? Will that change post-partum? If so, for how long?

post #5 of 8

I don't have much to add, I just wanted to tell you that I really admire your approach and that you and your DH have found a form of communication that works so well for you!!  My DH sometimes suffers from anxiety as well and does not deal with changes in plans at all (part of having ADD I am told) so I need to think of ways to integrate your approach. 

 

Some things I'd like to do differently this time (such as visitors after baby is born.  Last time it was too much!) and it would be best to think these things through sooner rather than later!

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by porcelina View Post

Qunialla has some really great suggestions!! Another issue that has come up for friends of mine is the role of the grandparents on each side -- do you get along with your MIL? Will you want her in your house post-partum? Will there be competition for time between the two sides of grandparents? Is this their first grandchild? Who is responsible for what in the household in terms of chores? Are you happy with the current division? Will that change post-partum? If so, for how long?
The household chores things is so important. That and stepping up on taking charge of our toddler are twoof the big things I talked with DH about before starting to TTC this one as especially at the beginning he's going to be on toddler duty a lot because with breastfeeding, I'm going to be on infant duty most of the time. Then later, we're both going to be doing more childcare stuff with two kids vs. one.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

I don't have much to add, I just wanted to tell you that I really admire your approach and that you and your DH have found a form of communication that works so well for you!!  My DH sometimes suffers from anxiety as well and does not deal with changes in plans at all (part of having ADD I am told) so I need to think of ways to integrate your approach. 

 

Some things I'd like to do differently this time (such as visitors after baby is born.  Last time it was too much!) and it would be best to think these things through sooner rather than later!

 

Thank you nsewart!  Yes anxiety is a big challenge and we have devised many methods that help, along with back-up methods - sometimes it seems like we are speaking 2 different languages, and that is what I have found so far in this pregnancy.  

 

 

This really helps me out so much, because there are some aspects of a multi-kid family I had not even considered yet!  Oh boy.  Yes, and MIL issue is out there, I am not sure what will happen there.  She wants to be involved but she is in New Zealand and I don't think she wants to travel to the US just yet.  Maybe when the baby is a little older.  My mother and father have already been put on notice.  Now I have to figure out a way to tactfully divide up the household chores so my DH and my mother don't get all tied up in details.  Then we will have to have a family meeting I guess, to discuss the plans and expectations.  DH has already said that if my father comes with my mother, then he can't stay (he is excessively needy in the service department) for long because it would not help us.  Whew, this is getting complicated and fast!  My mother has a tendency to want to do the nice things )hold the baby, burp the baby, etc) but not the icky clean up things (dishes, diapers, etc).  She did this with DD.  Even though I was breastfeeding (and she never has BF) she wanted to bottle feed DD.  She was out of touch with a lot of the things I wanted...she had no idea why I wanted to CD.  We had more then a few disagreements.  Just thinking about this has made me re-consider the current plan...

 

Maybe I need to give her a book on the options currently available to women...I am pretty sure she has no clue what a doula or midwife is or their roles.

 

Ugh, I've got to figure out how to make this smoother or we are all going to in trouble!

post #8 of 8

Good thread! I am also in the boat of this being my DH's first, so we have things to discuss. Things on my list now are diapering, circ, plan for DD during birth (planning a homebirth), vaccinations, and thanks to the list above, will/guardians is now on the list. Most other things we've discussed just in casual conversation and its been good. I am not really worried about anything else except circ, so I will need to gather some information to back up my anti-circ position. I know his family will think it is weird not to circ and their opinion is very important to him, and I just have a feeling this will be one of those issues that will come to "what will everyone think?" so we shall see... Anyway, that is my anxiety conversation. But I am hoping we can broach it fairly early on so that if we are not on the same page, we can talk it out.

 

-Sheryl

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