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Surviving the First Days -Couples Edition

It’s almost time for baby and you and daddy are getting excited. Yet, amidst the eager anticipation, there is the lingering uncertainty.

Will you have what it takes to do this well?

Will you survive the sleepless nights?

What are you going to do with all the visitors and well wishers?

What happens if you don’t know why the baby is crying? What if you can’t stop crying?

The list of wonders, concerns, and fears can quickly become overwhelming and seriously daunting as you time out those early contractions and prepare your hospital bag with all the essentials (and non-essentials), psssst you’ll have to check out my REAL list of what you NEED in the bag vs what you think you need in your hospital bag.

Trust me, as we were timing contractions and walking laps of our block hoping that this would speed up labour and bring our little man into this world, we had our fair share of concerns, discussions, prayers, and just “what if’s”. Here are a few of my top tips for surviving the first days as a unified and amazing mom and dad team.

First, let me begin by introducing you to the phenomenon of fatherhood. You see, dads don’t get the same opportunity to bond with your little one the way we do, in preparation for birth. It is at the time of birth, at least for most men I’ve talked to, that the realization hits them that they actually have a child.

And I am not saying that they can’t appreciate they have a little one growing inside you, and fully appreciate this tiny human from the moment you splash pee on your fingers while aiming for the stick.

What I mean is that real, physical, I would do anything for this tiny stranger who I love with all my heart, moment … that happens when baby is here. When they see this precious soul that just nearly ripped you from front to back … looking up at them through hazy newborn eyes.

So bear with your husbands, you’ve had months of bonding, of connecting, of loving on this little baby and in a single moment you husband goes from man to dad.

It’s probably as close to imprinting we have outside of Twilight or ducklings.

So, now that you are on the same page of parenting (cue Inside Out, “I would die for Riley”) and you would lay down your life for this child, how do you step into parenting in these newborn days with confidence and grace?

Well, first things first is you do a little preparation. So I hope you’re reading this before your little one gets here.

What do I mean by preparation?

That’s a great question!

I mean prepare for baby in a few ways to help both of you get on the same page while building a support network that will serve you and your family for years to come.

Obviously, you are going to prepare the nursery and the hospital bag. So I’m not even going to go through those things (yet I have … in a post that’s to come because I think it’s time we were real about what you need in each of those spaces).

When I talk about being prepared I mean these three things:

1. Prepare mentally for the birth and coming home of your little one.

Whether it’s taking a birthing class, boning up on your first aid or infant CPR, or you hire a doula to help you with birth and postpartum support, it’s important that you prepare for what’s ahead.

This is going to be an incredible transition for both of you and the better prepared you are, the easier it will be.

So open the lines of communication, take a few classes together, share your thoughts and fears with one another and dream of all the things that becoming parents together will mean.

As you prepare, it’s a great time for you to talk about “roles” and “responsibilities” you may have in the first few days, be honest and open with your husband about what he could do that might help you as you heal and as you transition from pregnancy into the fourth trimester of early motherhood.

Keep those lines of communication open.

2. Make yourself some meals.

Freezer meals are a life-saver when welcoming home a new baby. I don’t care if it’s your first or seventh, if you have a few dozen freezer meals set away you will thank me.

Don’t have space in your home for that many, get yourself connected with friends and put a meal train into effect. It’s a pretty simple thing and it is amazing when you’re a new mom, or if you’re supporting a new mom.

Basically, everyone signs up for a meal or two for the first few weeks after baby is home and they commit to bring it to the house at a reasonable time so that you and hubby, baby and any additional kiddos, can enjoy home cooked meals without mommy having to do all the work.


Get them ready!

3. Prepare friends and family.

Ok, this is possibly one of the more controversial points I will make here and I stand by it. Prepare your friends and family to respect your space and be ready to lend a helping hand.

I’m talking about not having a parade of people expecting to come through the hospital to say hello to you and baby, you know … the aunts and uncles twice removed, who you never hear from but OH MAN, do they ever have to see your new born baby.

Hard pass.

Ask your community to check in with you first, to see if you and baby are ready to receive, before coming to meet the precious little one.

When you get home it’s no time for the parade either, if you have visitors you are more than within your new mom rights to ask that they bring a meal and assist where they can with the tasks that need doing.

You heard me, if you feel like you need to get up and clean before they come over … tell them to wait a few weeks until you’re feeling up to a visit. The last thing you need to be doing after having a baby is deep cleaning the baseboards because someone is on their way over.

You want to be refreshed after the visit, not exhausted. You want people to equally pour into your as they do swoon over your baby. Now, I’m not saying you get them in and folding laundry or scrubbing toilets (though … if someone is reading this wondering how they can serve a new mom, those are two great things) but if they sit with you, love on you a little, offer to hold baby while you shower or nap, if they fill your fridge or pantry in addition

to saying hello, those are amazing blessings that you can certainly share with them to help you in this new stage of life.

And a bonus preparation tip:

Prepare to fall in love. With this little bundle of joy and with each other all over again. There is nothing more heart palpitating, nothing more infatuating, than watching your husband care for a precious bundle of perfection.

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