I hadn’t expected it, but the church marriage classes we had to attend prior to our ‘big day’ were really helpful, thought provoking and sobering. What would you do if your unborn child had a life threatening genetic disorder? How would you cope as a couple if you were unable to have wanted children? I naively thought that, given we’d been together for 7 years before we wed and now an additional 5 years post-nuptially, we’d have discussed all the important children questions. It seemed like a natural assumption.
As it turned out, we had missed a few, a point that was pertinently highlighted by the arrival of our beautiful daughter. What are your views on controlled crying? Are you a carrot or stick disciplinarian? Nursery versus child-minder versus stay at home parent?Combine all of these elements together and what you get is a can of worms and if you have very different ideas, as parents, it’s a lot to negotiate in amongst the sleepless nights, colic and dirty nappies.
Luckily my husband and I are pretty much on the same page but had we been incompatible as parents it could have been very tricky. Perhaps match.com should consider adding ‘parenting type’ as a search criteria for people looking for the possibility of a long-term relationship that would, ideally, include having children. Not that I’d given parenting styles any thought until our baby arrived – I was too focused on surviving labour!