After The Baby Is Born

Many people believe that once their baby is born, the hard work of pregnancy is over. Others decide, consciously or otherwise, to forgo preparing ahead of time for the first several months after the baby is born. But the thought of winging it may cause sub-conscious anxiety that you could take into childbirth. Just as you initially distinguished the context for your childbirth, it is now time to create a new context for the next phase of your life.

This chapter focuses on the details you should consider now in order to create a context for after the birth. Just as you aligned with your birth team, you must align with a pediatrician. You will need to get your house in order and prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the coming baby. In essence, you need to create a plan, as best as you can in advance, for the first six weeks after the baby is born, as well as for the first year. It is so important for your peace of mind that you look at every area of your life in advance. Once you create a context for your new family, you need to be aligned with all of the details and the areas of life that you can make decisions about now. Then you will be ready to address any surprises that may come up, because the details and the "big picture" work have already been taken care of.

This new context will encompass goals you set for yourself as a parent, while you continue to incorporate the ideals of "family" into your life. Designing this particular context is a powerful exercise that can help you understand your visions about parenting and what kind of life you want to create for your child and yourself. So many people are unprepared for the future after their babies are born. The deep work on this context is necessary and is just a natural extension of everything you have done during pregnancy and childbirth.

As you think about your new family, decide what you want to create for everyone in it. Will your family be communicative, respectful, supporting, or protective? Will you be able to reach a level of deep understanding with your partner and your children? Do you want to have fun and spend time together, talk, and celebrate? Will you teach your children independence or show them the benefi ts of a strong sense of family? As you clarify what you want, your commitment will guide you through each choice for beginning your new family life. You may also want to thinking about what kind of parent you want to be.

For example, my context for being a parent is based on my commitment to guide and teach my children to trust themselves, know themselves, and make the best choices for themselves throughout their lives, which will make a big difference for others and for the world. The ways that I share this context with them include the actions I have taken from the beginning of their lives. My methods keep changing, but my commitment to this context remains the same. There are so many cultural conversations about babies and parenting that seem true when you fi rst hear them, but they are not by any means how every family has to look or act.

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