Marriage – The facts you need to know - 27
· You need to know that shared parenting—where each partner has equal tasks—is a nice ideal. But if he's a firefighter pulling 72-hour shifts, she's going to assume most of the childcare responsibilities.
· You need to know gender shouldn't determine who does daily childcare tasks. Who's going to feed them, bathe them, and make sure they don't stick a nail file into the electric sockets will depend on who's home.
· You need to know marital happiness tends to plummet for a new mom. Husbands bearing gifts, showing kindness, extending patience, and being home a lot help restore a new mom's balance.
· You need to know couples argue about children—how much they cost, who's going to take care of them, and what their ground rules will be.
· You need to know the earlier you make plans, the better. Decide who will earn the income, who will do the dishes, who will change the baby and when, who gets to sleep at night, who gets to wake up, etc. Making these decisions now can avoid a lot of 3:00 a.m. arguments.
· You need to know the two of you don't have all the answers. Hey, you may only have two or three answers. Each needs their own support network.
· You need to know having children means deciding whether you can live on one income or if you'll need two.
· You need to know you get to rub your wife's back for nine months during pregnancy. Don't think she'll remember this. No, it's not fair.
· You need to know your children should be adored. But your spouse must come first.
· You need to know that when she's pregnant, he should meet the doctors. Let her know she has a man who cares.
· You need to know that if she takes medication for postpartum disorder, it won't make her into a drug addict. It means she won't have crying spells, be moody, and become depressed. Husbands can help by being kind, patient, and available.
· You need to know some loving couples simply can't conceive a child.
· So, in a stupendous act of faith, they adopt. And they learn this was the child God had intended for them all along. Oftentimes, the baby even looks like Mom or Dad! Go figure.
· You need to know if two people are working ten hours a day to make ends meet, a baby will not make life easier.
· You need to know that, when expecting, he'll want to spend weekends biking or golfing or hanging out with friends. She'll want to spend weekends shopping at baby stores.
· You need to know that constantly attending to a baby can make the pressures, politics, and meetings at the office look good.
· You need to know a baby means you can no longer afford the lifestyle you used to have.
· You need to know it takes two people to put a crib together. Block out the day.
· You need to know a colicky three month- old baby will leave you too exhausted to talk, much less fool around.
· You need to know sleep is one of those things parents do without. For the first eighteen years or so.
· You need to know parenthood is a lot about teamwork.