Pregnancy is rarely easy, and it can be even more tricky when you weren’t quite expecting it! Still, you’ve been here, and you’ve done it all before. That doesn’t mean it will be exactly the same this time, but you have a fairly good idea what to expect. Of course, the one thing we never quite expect and often worry about the most is how the rest of our family and friends will take the news. For us, it’s great news, albeit a challenge we’ll enjoy facing. What about everyone else?
It’s never easy to find out that your life is about to change. Despite the fact change will always happen, and nothing will ever stay the same, humans struggle to accept it! Still, regardless of the initial shock, your partner will likely be delighted to know that there is another little one on the way. Sure, there may be even longer hours to work, and even more sacrifices to stretch that salary. But you’re glowing, and your family is better for being bigger.
Childcare will undoubtedly be on your partner’s mind. It might be too costly to provide it privately, so perhaps he can arrange his leave periods to coincide with the last few weeks of your pregnancy? Of course, if you need plenty of rest right now, then right now is the time he needs to manage some leave to help you out. You’ve both got big jobs to do here. As a Mom, yours might not be salaried, but it’s an enormous contribution toward the whole family.
If you have been back at work for a while, you might only just be getting your career back on track. Now you need to prepare for another lengthy leave period. You’re not alone if you feel like pregnancy and parenthood can stunt the growth of your career. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. More and more parents both work full time and still provide their kids with all the love and attention they need. Don’t feel guilty for wanting your career to progress. This is where your colleagues should be able to help you.
Letting your colleagues know about your pregnancy can be difficult to do. You probably have good friends in the workplace that might have spotted all the signs long before you did! They might be asking you if you’re pregnant before you’re ready to disclose the answer. Your boss won’t be happy to hear about it on the grapevine. Make sure you have your calendar in order before you approach her so you can discuss potential dates for leave. If you think you might need a few adaptations to your duties, it’s best to have that conversation sooner rather than later.
However your children react at first, be prepared for a different mood about the matter later on. News like this takes time for little ones to digest. Kids need to think about it and how it affects them. It’s difficult for young children to see the bigger picture outside their little universe. They won’t hold their tongue either, so be ready for awkward questions about the birds and the bees, about getting ‘fat,’ and about nursing.
If you have your preferred answers ready and rehearsed these questions won’t be too difficult to address. Of course, they might come out while you’re in public and deliver you into that much-dreaded embarrassing moment. Don’t be afraid to let your child know that you would love to answer those kinds of questions when you’ve finished your decaf latte, and you’re all back at the car. You can always explain that some questions are best asked quietly when you’re at home.
Teens can be just as difficult to manage as preschoolers when it comes to the big reveal. All children will, at some point, worry that you won’t have time for them anymore. This is a good opportunity for you to start engaging them in routine one-on-one time. Explain that if they can do their bit to help take care of the baby’s needs, there will be even more quality time for the two of you to enjoy together. Why not get your young son a couple of big brother announcement shirts or your daughter a best babysitter tee? It’s a cracking way to announce the big news, and it also shows your other kids just how much they are needed and loved.
If your budget has been squeezed a little too tight, speak to your bank about rearranging your financial commitments. You may have every intention of using washable diapers and nursing. The trouble is, through nobody’s fault, these options aren’t guaranteed. You may need to buy formula and diapers from the very beginning. There may be other medical bills to contend with that your insurance doesn’t fully cover. If you know it’s going to hurt when you have to take maternity leave, it’s best to make those tweaks to your financial commitments now.
Not all grandparents live nearby, and not all are well enough to cope with young children around all the time. However, do have an answer ready if your parents or in-laws feel obliged to offer their services in child sitting. They may be very keen to stay with you for a few weeks to help you out, but if this doesn’t suit you or your family, it’s best to be honest. Of course, you may find yourself in a situation where you really do need them to do as much as they possibly can do. Don’t burn your bridges!
Financial assistance is something many grandparents are fortunate enough to be able to offer. They might want to set up a savings account, or simply write you a check to help you get through the first few months. It’s difficult to accept cash from parents when you’re a grown up with a family of your own. Just remember, you’ll be the grandparent one day, and you’ll love the chance to make things a little easier for your kids. If they ask if they can help you out financially, why not let them know which baby essentials they could buy for you? Happy pregnancy.