31 Days of Parenting Littles: Unite
One of the most (if not THE most) important aspects of parenting for a couple, is to be united in your decisions. It can really harm a marriage to be divided on issues of parenting, and it's something that comes up before the baby is even born! If any young couple or unmarried person reads this, take note!
It's so important to discuss aspects of parenting ahead of time and make sure you agree. Some of the immediate decisions you'll need to make are regarding the baby's name, methods of birth and feeding, where baby sleeps, the issue of circumcision if it's a boy (we don't), and vaccinations (we don't for a wide variety of reasons). These debates get incredibly heated in parenting circles (especially between mothers!), and as such if you haven't discussed them with your spouse it can lead to huge battles- something you really don't want to do when you're pregnant and hormonal already! You need time to discuss these things and come to an agreement so that you can support each other in your decisions and not work against each other.
An ongoing issue and one that can be extremely stressful for everyone involved (both parents and children), is discipline. Consistency is so incredibly important when it comes to how we treat our children, and when parents disagree on how things should be handled, it becomes a source of stress for everyone. The children are confused by parent's differing approaches, and possibly hurt by the resulting conflicting messages ("...but Mommy said yes!" *tears*), and it can spark arguments between parents as well.
Talk about these things ahead of time, and come to a united conclusion. Also stay open to learning more and keep the communication open so that you can remain a united front.