Spending time with your family needs to become a priority. If too often something else comes up, take time to list your priorities and plan for time at home. Quality time is found in simple, as well as complex, activities. Running errands, window shopping, going to a movie or visiting a museum are all ways of spending time together.
Experts agree that no child is ever too young or too old to be read to. Reading at bedtime is an excellent way to spend quiet time cuddling with your child.
CARE FOR THE COUPLE
Within the family structure, the couple needs to be taken care of too. Becoming parents is often overwhelming. The couple needs time together. Hire a sitter for a few hours or ask a family member to come by. Take in a movie, go to dinner or just find someplace to talk. (Some couples of young children have even been known to rent a motel room just to sleep.)
FAMILY VERSUS WORK
- When family emergencies come up during work hours, apologies to coworkers are not necessary. Try to create a back-up system to deal with these situations effectively, without taking too much time away from work.
- Be realistic about your capabilities. Set reasonable goals and deadlines for yourself. Keep a list of reliable people handy in case you need support.
- If you have worked out a job-share situation to spend more time at home, be sensitive to the feelings of your coworkers and keep the lines of communication open.
- While fathers were once viewed as little more than monetary providers and disciplinarians, today Is fathers can enjoy more closeness with their children and involvement in their lives. Fathers provide invaluable nurturing. What you do with your child and how you parent may be different than your spouse’s way of nurturing. It’s OK to have a different way of parenting. Trust your instincts when caring for your child.
- Be prepared financially. Talk with other parents to get an idea of costs that come with raising a family. Together with your spouse, list your financial priorities and use them as guidelines for saving and budgeting. Set a reasonable budget and follow it. Witnessing the birth of your child is an important step towards parenthood and a close relationship with your child.
- Seeing your spouse through the work of labor and delivery helps create a teamwork approach to child-rearing.
- Once mother and baby are home and settled, the adjustment to having a child can be difficult. Most often, women stay home the first few weeks to care for infant children. It’s easy to feel left out at this stage because your wife is with the baby all day and night. It’s important to be involved with the care of the baby from day one. You can bathe, change, feed and console the baby just as well as a mother can.
- Keep your expectations in check. What may seem exasperating about your child may very well be normal.