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10 Fun Things To Do Before Giving Birth

10 Fun Things To Do Before Giving Birth

Raising a child is one of life’s most rewarding experiences, and many women often spend their pregnancies preparing for birth and their child’s future. This is very important, but it’s also important to enjoy these precious few months before you have new responsibilities and commitments.

Make sure you embrace and enjoy your pregnancy; check out these 10 fun things you should do before giving birth.

1. Find A Mommy Role Model

Being a parent can be challenging and difficult, especially for first-time parents. Try to find a mommy role model before giving birth, because they can help you with difficult decisions later. Many brilliant moms have written books and audiotapes on being a parent, such as Tina Fey and Molly Ringwald.

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2. Watch A Band You Love Live

After your child is born you will be listening to Disney film soundtracks and nursery rhymes on repeat, so use your pregnancy as a chance to really enjoy the music you love. Buy tickets to see your favorite artist and head out with your partner or friends for a night of great music.

3. Make Your Own Pregnancy Flip Book

Many moms miss being pregnant after giving birth, so it is important to gather memories of your pregnancy while you can. Take pictures of your belly every week and when you give birth, print the pictures together and staple one corner together. Now you can flip through your pregnancy – and watch your body change and grow!

4. Have A Sleepover With Your Friends

It will be difficult to spend the whole night away from your child for a while after giving birth, so use your pregnancy as a chance to have a fun sleepover with your best friends. Buy a few of your favorite films, load up on snacks and some tasty non-alcoholic drinks, and let the giggles commence.

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5. Write A Letter To Your Child

Pregnancy comes with some weird stories and some even weirder cravings, so write them down in a letter to give to your child when they are older. No doubt they will find your stories hilarious – and it will certainly crack you up!

6. Treat Yourself To A Mani And Pedi With Your Friends

Being pregnant can be really exhausting, so put a smile on your face by treating yourself to a mani and pedi with your friends. You will love your nails afterwards, and spending time with your friends will put you in a great mood.

7. Film Your Belly Before Giving Birth

Lots of women miss their pregnancy bellies, so film your belly before giving birth so you don’t forget how awesome it was. If there is a song or food that gets your child kicking, try to get footage of it – the footage will be very precious to you after you give birth.

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8. Spend Time With Your Parents

Once you have given birth, your parents will most often be the ones to babysit. Use this chance before your baby is born to spend some quality time having fun with your parents.

9. Take A Trip With Your Partner

You may not have the opportunity or funds to travel abroad, but a weekend away in a B&B will be great for you and your partner. Soon you will have someone else to think of, so enjoy your weekend away by getting some quality alone time together.

10. Ask Your Partner To Read To The Baby

Getting your partner to read to the baby is a great way for the pair of them to connect. Whether they read a children’s book or their own favorite book, all three of you will love the time together.

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What do you think of this list? Share it with anyone you know who has been pregnant and see what they think!

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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