This last step is one of the most important things to think about, especially in our society where children seem almost instantly “grown-up”:
Look at how your views regarding children and talk about them with your partner. I believe the child comes into life on earth slowly and there are things appropriate for one stage of child development that are not appropriate for a different stage. What are your thoughts and feelings about how children differ when they are just born, six months of age, a year old, two years old, nine years old? We seem to be living in a very fact-based world where small children are met with facts and information from an early age on. What would you tell a two year old, a five year old, a twelve year old about a particular subject? These are hard things to ponder when your child is not even born yet, but interesting and important questions nonetheless. Go to the park and watch children of different ages if you have not been around a lot of children. Attend mother’s groups. Get to know the children in your neighborhood and their ages and how they act. This can be very eye-opening indeed and prepare you for some of the developmental stages that lie ahead. Many mothers and families who have small children often feel that when their child is seven or eight or whatever the next age is, that the child will be very grown up and much more mature than they are now. Your child is growing, but there are still developmental changes happening all the way through the cycle of life – even to us!
Many women and their spouses focus, and rightly so, on the physical preparation required for pregnancy and birth. However, the soul and the spirit of transitioning into this new role of parenting is one that deserves focus as well. Birth is but the beginning of parenting, much the way there is an entire life of marriage after the wedding.
Just a few thoughts from my little corner of the world.