{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My husband thinks it’s not important to do too much planning for a child because we’ll have 9 months to figure it out. This terrifies me. What advice can you give me for engaging with him?", "post_id": "5ddbf80209733a001aa481da", "reply_count": 25, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "58f81646ae9f610010f869be", "bowl_name": "Consulting Moms" }

My husband thinks it’s not important to do too much planning for a child because we’ll have 9 months to figure it out. This terrifies me. What advice can you give me for engaging with him?

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No amount of planning can get you ready for your first kid - this is coming from a neurotic planner. You’re both kind of right. Pregnancy is the slowest & fastest time known to humankind (and actually, so is all of parenthood). It seems like there is time, but it goes so fast. Taking care of a newborn & infant can be all-consuming, so your husband should be ready for that. Trying to tackle the whole of pregnancy & parenting beforehand is impossible. Take it one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. I promise, you’ll figure it out. Your need to plan is likely a coping mechanism to deal with anxiety. Figure out where that is coming from as a first step.

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My husband also isn’t a planner and I am. So I planned and he didn’t. It works. I researched daycares and had him join me for visits to the top 3 (if he didn’t care I would have gone solo but I’m glad he went). I picked our pediatrician. I researched and arranged birthing classes. I signed us both up for infant first aid classes. I put together the baby registry. I picked out most stuff for the nursery. He’s been a super active dad and very present. Our baby is 5 months and I would say we are closer than ever. But our strategy of playing to our relative strengths was critical to me not wasting energy being mad about him not “planning” when I felt like we needed to get on with certain things.

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Great that your relationship is balanced. I’m not a planner so the sheer volume of decisions is stressing me out.

I agree with the comments that it’s really hard to plan. Especially before you’re even pregnant. But I do think you need to have a conversation (if you haven’t already) about both of your expectations around “scaling back” at work. Sounds you might not be on the same page for what that means? In reality it’s probably hard to know what you’ll want in regards to work until you have the baby but it’s good to be on the same page about what’s important to each of you and have a plan for how you’ll make career decisions as a couple.

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I am so sorry to read this post. I think it's a really big red flag. I was in the same situation with my husband where I had so many things to discuss and plan for and his attitude was just "we'll figure it out". As a result, when the baby came it all fell on my lap because he has completely underestimated the difficulty of being a parent and how demanding it is mentally, physically and emotionally. He admitted that he truly had a "baby awakening"... it has taken us almost a year to arrive at some sort of a compromise and we were close to separating a few times... Remember, when the baby comes, you both will be sleep deprived and very irritable with the mom taking the bigger physical hit due to recovery from labor and challenges of breastfeeding. So all the things that worry you need to be at least agreed upon at a high level with the assumption that you will have time for very little outside of breastfeeding (if you plan to) and taking care of the newborn (sleep, changing, walking, bathing, pediatrician visits etc.) Good luck and let me know if you have any questions. My best advice is to get a nanny when you're on maternity leave. It will do miracles for your sanity.

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Yes KPMG! This sums it up very well. I think many responses were along the lines of “dont worry, itll all work out / cant plan for everything” but what you’ve experienced is the reality for many people & discussing & planning & setting expectations make all the difference. I am glad that things are getting better with your husband now and i am sorry that your fist year of your baby’s life was more difficult than it already is without those added troubles

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You can plan Maternity leave- how much can you take? Will you take? Will he take time off when baby is born? Will he take more time off after you finish your leave so he can bond w baby and see what its like to be the one home doing it all? Household management - how will you divvy responsibilities? While this changes over time its important to know that each person understands what it takes to maintain a household esp w a child & is willing to put in the work & take their fair share Childcare: what kind of child care? Au pair? Nanny? Daycare? Are you nearby one you like & is convenient or will you want to move somewhere? If you have multiple kids, will one of you stop working? Can you afford that? Etc Things change, what you expect or want may change, but its so important to have conversations about what you expect and have checkins to verify you are still both good with the situation. Oh also we planned every detail of the costs of the baby & what that meant for all of our budget, but we are serious budgeters

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Definitely is all about your starting point! I am thankful as well that we were already in a good place, especially because our baby was a surprise baby! There so so many people (and i think especially men) who underestimate how much work kids are & often how much work managing life in general is. I have seen the dynamic go poorly so many times, I always worry for those around me who seem to be on different pages than their SOs.

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Thanks for the responses. Planning = how will we deal with childcare? What doctor and hospital should we consider? What are our parenting approaches and how will we split duties?

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Umm literally a 20 minute conversation. You shouldn’t be worried about that

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I have no support network in our city, but he thinks I don’t need one because he’ll “scale back on his job and expect me to scale back on mine”. He’s had this attitude for about 6 years now. It’s breaking up our marriage because I feel like I need to actually plan around having a child not “go for it an see what happens”

What sort of planning do you have in mind?

I mean, you might need to plan if both of you are currently traveling every week, but in general I agree with him somewhat. If you want a child and you’re in a stable, loving relationship, you’ll figure out the details as they come.

It sounds like you don’t want to have kids and he doesn’t have a realistic view of how much work they take. You seem like you’re at very different places right now. I highly recommend therapy before moving forward.

Your second post made more sense and your second to last paragraph is in fact the issue at hand

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Yeah, I really hate to break it to you- there’s not a ton of planning you can do, other than figuring out childcare. Is that what you mean by planning? Otherwise- not much you can do. Maybe get the nursery ready? But even then, they sleep in your room the first few months.

Thanks for sharing more details on the questions you have. My suggestion for how to engage him in the discussion is try to break it up into smaller conversations. First, do agree on general timeline for when you’d like to start trying? If that’s now/soon it would be good to talk about hospital/doctor so you can start seeing that provider. Maybe if you start small it’ll naturally build from there?

This could definitely work! My husband is on the other end of things where he prefers i tell him what i talk to talk about (maybe even w a list!) and he can think about when he has time. Then we choose a time to discuss it all at once so we arent continuously coming back to the same conversations. 

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