After a baby is born decisions about spousal roles are extremely personal and unique to every family. And when it is your first baby, wow! This is a transition to a whole new way of life. If you’ve decided this will also be the time you go from living on two incomes to making do with one, it can be even more turbulent. Here, our top tips for a smooth landing:
Take time to discuss money matters frequently. Hopefully couples take some time to plan before the baby is born to prevent finances taking center stage once the bundle arrives. However even the most careful plan can break down if there is a failure to communicate during the first months with a newborn. Lack of sleep can drain you of the energy needed to stick to a new budget so the best thing to do is talk frequently about how things are going. Shopping and overspending can easily get out of control as everyone is trying to adjust to one income. By keeping financial goals out in front as much as possible, it is much easier to correct course when needed. If you find talking about money difficult, check out these four useful tips.
Connect with other new moms as quickly as you can. Getting out and meeting other women who are going through a similar transition is a powerful way to combat any feelings of isolation and inadequacy. But this network is also an amazing way to gain information about, and reinforcement for, the one-income lifestyle. How to find these moms? Hospitals that are set up to deliver babies typically offer classes for mothers of newborns to help learn new skills and get real life questions answered in an atmosphere of shared experience. Then, playgroups are easily formed as new friends are made and having a weekly time to meet in each other’s homes shapes a new social schedule. While it may sound like a time for the babies to play, it is really a time for the moms to relax and support one another! Also check out local chapters of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and International Moms Club for additional support.
By letting time and experience take hold, routines that work on one income will settle in just in time for another baby!
Amy Bergin is a wife, mother of three and creator of The Couponizer, the best selling coupon organizing and shopping system for busy families.
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