It's unlikely you partnered up with or married a carbon copy of yourself. You both may want some of the...
It's unlikely you partnered up with or married a carbon copy of yourself. You both may want some of the same things; a house, a dog, kids, and so on, but it doesn't mean you'll see eye-to-eye on all situations. When it comes to having a baby and raising kids it does help to be somewhat on the same page though. For example, if you're terribly laid back and allow your baby to learn by doing and your partner wants to drill a ten month old with flash cards, there's going to be some problems.
To make things easier down the line, here are some things you should do before you have kids: Find out if your relationship can handle a baby. Discuss your parenting philosophies. They don't need to match up perfectly, but it's nice to know what your partner's goals are as a parent. Make sure you talk over the following important issues - they will pop up as you go through your pregnancy and as you raise your child:
- Type of birth experience you'd like. If a mama is set on home birth and her partner freaks out at the thought, you've got some things to talk out.
- Testing, child health care options, vaccines and so on. Child medical care starts early from circumcision to if you should vaccinate, to holistic care vs. conventional and on and on. Health care and your child is always going to be an issue. Make sure you and your partner know where you both stand.
- Basic baby care. For example someone into attachment parenting and co-sleeping is going to have a hard time with a partner who wants the baby to cry himself to sleep or thinks that baby-wearing is spoiling.
- Religious upbringing.
- Schooling choices - do you want to home-school, try private school, are both of you ok with the public school system?
- Discipline options - a major red flag is when one of you believes in spanking and the other is very against it. Personally, I could never have a child with someone who believes that hitting as a punishment is ok. It would make me angry all the time. No matter your views on child discipline, discussing them now means no surprises later.