Freelance producer Lucinda McKimm (and host of the podcast Ready or Not) unpacks being pregnant again, and sharing the physical and mental load in a partnership.
She tells moode…
Lucky my partner is a bloody good partner and dad. I don’t think I’d be able to stick around after a child if he wasn’t and I really feel for the mothers carrying the load on their own.
Becoming parents has been the ultimate test to our relationship, so staying on the same page and understanding one another is important.
Parenting the first time around, I took a pretty traditional maternity leave. For the first six months I did the bare minimum of work, and then I started my podcast Ready or Not. But,
The weight of being the only one in our partnership that can carry our children really hit me this time around.
I couldn’t quite believe that I would, once more, have to take a back seat in work for a period of time, that only I could attend my hospital appointments and scans, and that the mental load of how to set up Ready or Not to run in those really early days of maternity leave is something my husband would never have to consider in his business and as the dad.
It sounds bleak, but my rose coloured glasses have come off this time around.
Open communication and talking to your partner before letting things get to boiling point is what I’ve learned is so important in our relationship.
2. Baby caring can be shared
In our early days with Ray (first baby), my partner would do an early morning bottle feed while I would catch up on some sleep. He would often change nappies when I fed in the middle of the night, and if he was home, he was in charge of dishes, heating up food, and keeping the house going. He was all in on the team effort, and we’ll be doing this all again this time too.
3. Prepare food ahead of time
Last time, we arranged the Golden Month’s month-long food package and it was invaluable. It was delivered weekly and my husband would warm up whichever meal I felt like. I feel like nothing is more important than having meals prepared – be that via pre-cooking and freezing, a meal train, or a postpartum meal service. I will absolutely be organising and investing in postpartum meals again.
4. Take parental leave creatively
My husband has some long service leave coming up that I’ll be encouraging him to take either in those early days or when I want to start partaking in some work again.
5. Enlist a Doula
I am definitely interested in doing some calm birthing prep and working with my friend and doula Charlotte Squires on some mindset work to get me out of the fear based state of ‘what if I go into labour early and how fucking quick might this baby come?!’ We never know what this next birth will bring so it’s really important I get out of that state of mind. I will also enlist her for two sessions postpartum, too. The emotions of new motherhood are wild, and I loved debriefing with her last time.
6. Get my husband involved from the beginning
While my husband was great once the baby was here, I regret how little he did in the lead up. I think I was so excited that I was happy to prepare things the first time around, but this time I will get him involved and more aware of what we need in the lead up, both from the basics of what we don’t have for the baby (lucky this won’t be much thanks to hand me downs from Ray!) to what I will need for birth and the postpartum.
So what does the future hold?
Pregnancy is fucking wild. I had the most blissful pregnancy the first time around, and this pregnancy has challenged my physical, emotional, and mental health. I can’t believe how wildly at odds these experiences have been and I wish I somehow knew this beforehand.
Looking for more? We discuss navigating pregnancy as a team in What I Wish My Partner Knew
We cover even more over on our journal.
Visit our shop to find out more about The Prenatal supplement to help support a healthy postpartum.