5 Smart Discussions Fathers-To-Be Need To Have With Their Partners Before Baby

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pregnant woman with man

Men, do you often wonder why your relationship changes after your wife gives birth to a new baby?

Sure, there are the obvious answers, like your wife is sleep-deprived, the baby needing diaper changes, and the constant emotional rollercoasters. Did I mention sleep deprivation?

You're probably thinking that you should be able to have sex every once in a while, right? Wrong!

Sex is probably the last thing she’s worried about in your marriage, especially since it takes about six to eight weeks for her body to fully recover. Sex is not something you should stress your wife about, either.

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So even if you're a natural-born caretaker or you need a blatant nudge to move forward, you will never fully understand everything your wife needs during the early months after childbirth.

She may also have a difficult time articulating it herself, but if you’re smart, you can understand what she wants and needs, as opposed to just guessing.

Here are 5 discussions you, as a father-to-be, need to have with your wife before you have a new baby.

1. Know what extra household chores you will handle.

Your wife will be sleep deprived as well as physically and emotionally spent most of the time. To think that you’re a good husband because you already do more housework than your dad ever did is very short-sighted.

Overall, your wife still probably does more work around the house than you do, and when the baby comes, she will look to you to do more.

So, take the initiative and come up with a working plan that highlights the extra duties you will manage. Don’t hesitate to have a discussion about it.

There may be some household duties she may still want to do, and that’s OK. It’s better to be proactive than waiting to have a big fight to talk about it.

2. Talk about money, money, money!

If you've never discussed money before, now is the perfect time to do so. This will not be the time to tighten the wallet if it means the baby doesn’t get what they need. That’s a sure recipe for conflict.

There tends to be a disconnect between couples when children enter the picture because you’re probably thinking about your next promotion or changing jobs to bring more money to the household. 

This might be in direct conflict with her desires. Her focus will be on the baby and their well-being.

Set aside some time to talk about your views about money. If your views don’t align or you have challenges around creating a game plan financially, you might want to hire an adviser to help.

3. Figure out how to keep your marriage strong.

When your wife is nurturing your child 24 hours a day, it can be a lonely, taxing affair. How does she want to connect as a couple? What kind of support will she need in order to maintain some sense of normalcy?

Simple things like getting her a glass of water, scheduling time for a manicure/pedicure, or a chance to do something she enjoys for herself can go a long way.

Gifts are also a great way to show her that she is loved and is doing a tremendous job.

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4. Have an idea about your career goals and aspirations after the baby is born.

This is probably something new moms will be thinking, nor do they know how they will feel after their maternity leave ends because their first inclination is to care for their newborn.

It’s important to sit down and have at least an idea that will integrate your career around the baby’s needs. One thing to keep in mind is to be prepared for things to change periodically. It’s normal.

5. Plan out how to maintain your social life.

Remember, you and your wife are still social creatures so you need to incorporate a sense of fun and enjoyment into your marriage.

If you have parents who live nearby and are able to watch your child for a few hours, then this would be a great opportunity for them to bond with their grandchildren while you have a night out.

Another alternative is planning outings that involve the baby but still give you a chance to be together. A good example is taking walks in the park.

You also want to encourage your wife to get out and see her friends. Her circles could possibly be smaller now, especially for those friends who don't have kids because the ideas of when and how to hang out become so different.

For example, your wife may prefer to go out for coffee instead of drinks because it’s a short period of time and the consumption of more than one drink is a recipe for sleeping at the restaurant.

Men don’t have these issues, but just encouraging her to get out will mean a lot.

And if those activities can’t be accomplished in the near future, at least reserve time daily to have an adult conversation.

Setting aside time intentionally can do a lot to deepen the connection between the two of you as you adjust to your new relationship.

In the end, you want to be a husband who understands that not only do you have a wonderful addition to the family, but your wife and marriage will also change as a result. So, be prepared to make changes.

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Keith Dent is a certified relationship coach and the author of In the Paint – How to Win the Game of Love. If you’re a husband or a couple that is not sure what changes you need to make now that you have kids contact him at