How to ask for and take advice
Remember that every person’s circumstances are different during pregnancy. There are no right or wrong answers. People around you will have lots of advice, and while this can be helpful, it is also important to do what works best for you and your baby. Believe that you will figure out your own routine, avoid becoming overwhelmed or stressed by situations that you have no control over. If you are living with your parents and are a young parent, it will be important over the pregnancy to talk with your parents about the future. Talk to them about what you remember from your childhood, what you enjoyed about how they parented you and then try to also talk about what you did not enjoy so much. It will be important that you can agree a parenting style from which you are comfortable with, one that your parents understand and will support you with. Check out mychild.ie and Parenting24seven for additional reading and support. It will also be important that your parents can see you as an adult sharing their home with them but allow you to parent your child with their support, while not overstepping into your role as Mum.
If you will be sharing the parenting of your baby with your partner or the baby’s dad in some way, it is also important to talk about what this will look like. Firstly, think about how you and the baby’s dad will do this and secondly talk with your family about how they can support your baby to have both parents engaged in their life. This can be hard for grandparents if they disapprove of the pregnancy, however helping them to focus on the new baby and what the baby will need from everyone can really help when having these conversations. Most families want what is best for babies and children. Think about what happens during pregnancy to support the other parent play a part; the finances as well as emotionally and physically what is happening. Then think about the labour and the first hours and days of the babys life. What role can the other parent play at this time and how can you both become clear about what is best for your baby? When you are home and you are fully emersed into parenthood, how can you best facilitate your baby to have both parents in their life? Think about what you feel is best for your baby and weigh this up against the babys right to access with both parents. This may be a time you need to get some extra support to help work out how you can make this work. One Family and From Lads to Dads are only two of a number of a organisations that can help signpost you on this journey.