/Following Challenge of the Week is a former “Challenge 10: Baby on the way! How two busy, career-oriented people get ready to receive a new family member?”/
Thank you for sharing your challenge with us! And Happy Halloween! We must say that it is a very funny coincidence to release your challenge on “the scariest day of the year”, because for some people there’s nothing more scary than becoming a parent.
So… are you ready to face your fears?
Chaos that comes with a Baby
I love this question; how do we prepare for the chaos that comes with the baby?
Well, you definitely can prepare to some degree. If you have both been quite career-oriented, you can probably relate to the analogy that having a baby is like managing a big project with a high risk. If all goes smoothly and none of the risks become reality (baby is healthy, happy, sleeps a lot and cries little), it’s a great experience, if you encounter a lot of issues and the majority of risks become a real life experience (baby gets ill, grumpy, cries a lot, and sleeps very little), well then you have much more to manage, and you have to make way more effort.
Choose your management style
But that’s not something you’ll know before the baby is actually there, so, like any project manager, you can choose your management style. Are you the type that prefers to have as little as possible to do with structured project management processes and simply take it as it comes? Or are you the type that will look for the best practice and use the world-class project management tools?
When managing such a big project it’s always a good idea to look into lessons learned, you certainly don’t have your own lessons learned yet in that specific area, but as a good project manager you can always lean on your other experiences, you can reach out to more experienced project managers, as well as do further research in the new field (i.e. books and courses).
As we are both mothers and we have plenty of friends who are parents, we have collected a list of lessons learned, which we have split into 5 groups
You can listen to our discussion in Ep08 of our podcast and read your 5 Lessons Learned below
But let’s recall your Challenge first:
We are a couple who are both quite ambitious and in control of their lives and work. We have been quite career-oriented and both working long hours. But now we are expecting a baby and I am a bit concerned with how to transition smoothly into this new phase in life.
I can see that I have already started transitioning to the new role and I am slowly preparing myself for the maternity (and a longer maternity leave).
I have quite a perfect vision of how it will be when the baby join us, but I am aware that not always everything goes exactly as we wish when it comes to kids.
I am aware that it’s quite natural for men to transition to their role as father a bit delayed compared to women, as they don’t experience the pregnancy as realistically as we do. But since my husband is still working so much, I’d like to ensure that he can also have a smooth transformation.
I am concerned that he’s simply going to be too tired to be there for me and the baby. So I guess my question is how to prepare for the chaos that comes with a baby? How two busy, career-oriented people get ready to receive a new family member?
Ready for Your 5 Lessons Learend?
Lesson Learned 1: When others compare & give unsolicited advice; just smile & wave.
Lesson Learned 2: You’re going to make mistakes. Forgive & Forget.
Lesson Learned 3: Don’t fall into “the parent trap.” Remember about Me & Us.
Lesson Learned 4: It is most likely not going to be what you expected it to be. Be flexible and adapt.
Lesson Learned 5: Follow your instinct and have fun!
To read more about each Lesson Learned, please click on the icons below
Bringing a baby to your small family is a BIG thing
What you have to bear in mind is that the emotional load is high when it comes to your own kids. It’s also not something you can easily take a free weekend or vacation from (at least not at the beginning). And there are many factors, which you can’t control, that will impact the whole experience directly.
For example, if the baby sleeps a lot, it’s going to be way easier than if the baby wakes up 20 times each night. If giving birth is a good experience and you feel physically well it’s going to be way easier than if there were complications and you are unable to sit up a few weeks after.
The good news is that still it mostly depends on your attitude
The exact same thing seen with “different eyes” may feel completely unalike. If you see the whole chaos as a struggle, it will most likely feel this way.
If you approach it with curiosity and open mind, you’ll get an amazing opportunity to learn and grow. That’s at least what I repeat to myself every single time I am completely frustrated; no other experience in my life has given me a greater opportunity to learn and grow. It’s a decision you take hundreds of times every single day as a parent: will I let it make me worse or better as a person.
It’s a life long journey, it’s the toughest (yet most satisfying) course at school. But it’s totally worth it (for most of us)! Otherwise, people wouldn’t have kids.
All the best wishes for you, your partner and your baby. Have fun!
Anna & Marta