Make plans be­fore the baby ar­rives

Times Standard (Eureka) - - COMMUNITY - By Har­ri­ette Cole

Dear Har­ri­ette: I am al­most 30 years old, and I am hav­ing a baby. My part­ner and I are in a good re­la­tion­ship. Even though we didn’t plan to get preg­nant, we are fig­ur­ing it out to­gether. I’m not go­ing to lie, though: It’s a lot to think about and man­age.

We are still early in our ca­reers try­ing to get things go­ing, and we both lost our jobs in the shut­down. He re­cently started a new job, and I should be back to work soon, al­though I will have to take off to take care of the baby for a while. Ev­ery­body is in my ear telling me what I should and should not do in terms of get­ting ready for the baby. I want to make de­ci­sions with my man. He wants that, too, but there al­ways seems to be some­body else telling us their opin­ion. How can I keep the bond strong with my man? We aren’t mar­ried, but we are com­mit­ted to each other. I don’t want other peo­ple to get in the way of us grow­ing closer as we bring a child into the world. — Baby Makes Fam­ily

Dear Baby Makes Fam­ily: Now is a per­fect time for you to es­tab­lish bound­aries around your grow­ing fam­ily. You and your boyfriend need to form the strong­est bond pos­si­ble so that you value and honor what’s hap­pen­ing in your life. By put­ting each other and your child first, you can fig­ure out how to pri­or­i­tize ev­ery­thing else.

Es­tab­lish a weekly fam­ily meet­ing where you talk about what your plans are short-term and long-term. What do you need to take care of the baby? How will you man­age your time when the baby comes? Talk about ev­ery­thing from val­ues to child care. Piv­ot­ing from be­ing a cou­ple in love to a cou­ple hav­ing a baby is a huge shift. Work to­gether on defin­ing what that means. If you are on the same page, it will make it eas­ier to stay there when you talk to other peo­ple.

Dear Har­ri­ette: My hus­band and I are close to an­other cou­ple. We are al­most like the Hon­ey­moon­ers. We spend a lot of time to­gether, but we also com­pete with each other a lit­tle bit. Both cou­ples have big an­niver­saries com­ing up. We had been plan­ning in­di­vid­ual blow-out par­ties. Now that we can’t get to­gether with lots of peo­ple, the steam has fiz­zled from our healthy com­pe­ti­tion. We have con­tin­ued to see each other, and we have kind of quar­an­tined to­gether. I was think­ing maybe we should cel­e­brate our an­niver­saries to­gether, just the four of us. I know that’s not the same as lav­ish par­ties, but I’m try­ing to be re­al­is­tic. What do you think? — Dashed Hopes

Dear Dashed Hopes: The idea of a shared party is nice, but it doesn’t have to be just the four of you. Since these are big an­niver­sary years, think big. So many peo­ple are host­ing Zoom par­ties — or par­ties us­ing other video tech­nol­ogy — you can, too! You can plan an event with your friends from far and wide. Rec­om­mend what they pre­pare to eat and drink. Sched­ule a cham­pagne toast at a par­tic­u­lar time, speeches — the works. By join­ing forces, the prep can be fun, and your friends ev­ery­where will ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­fort.

Har­ri­ette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAMLEAPE­RS, an ini­tia­tive to help peo­ple ac­cess and ac­ti­vate their dreams. You can send ques­tions to askhar­ri­ette@ har­ri­et­

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