The wedding season is upon us. If you are about to walk the aisle, you've probably spent hundreds of hours planning every last detail of your big day.
But have you planned one of the most important factors for life to be truly happily ever after? Have you and your beloved sat down to plan how you both will share work and family responsibilities?
This is especially important if you are planning to have children. Many couples do not realize how much their lives are going to change once a newborn makes them a family of three. Suddenly, the best intentions for career and parenthood are tested in the new reality of round-the-clock infant care. For many women, motherhood changes the very essence of their identity in a way they themselves cannot even predict and finding a balance between professional development/making money and nurturing their baby is a heart-wrenching experience.
So before you voice your marriage vows, take the time to talk to each other about how you see work and family needs being met. Who will work? Full-time? Part-time? At home? Who will stay with the baby? Will you use daycare? Can your mother-in-law help out? How do you both feel about that? Will the father take family leave, too? How much time off can you afford? How will you cut costs?
Perhaps most importantly, how will you handle changes to this plan? What if the mother changes her mind once the baby is in her arms or once she's been out of the office a month? Or what if Dad feels differently once the new family schedule is in motion?
You've probably been told how important premarital counseling and your own planning can be to get your marriage off to a good start. If children are in the picture, make sure you talk about how you'll handle the changing issues of work and family, too.