FTM Questions for STM+ October Edition — The Bump
March 2018 Moms

FTM Questions for STM+ October Edition

A place for FTM to ask questions of STM+! 

(Really I just started this because I have a question and didn't want to resurrect the September edition. Hopefully I'm not the only one with a question this month!)
ShawnnaOmuggle621SP128
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Re: FTM Questions for STM+ October Edition

  • I really hope me starting this thread doesn't come off as AW. I promise I'm not trying to make this all about me, I just wasn't sure where else to ask this!

    I've been looking into childcare options (so fun!) and I need opinions. I have contacted some daycare centers, but I've also been entertaining the idea of using an in-home type place. Not in our home, someone else's who takes a few kids. I like the idea of a smaller group, and the lower price doesn't hurt either.

    However, the only seemingly legitimate one I've come across so far is a man. This weirds me out a little bit. I know it's gender discrimination and wrong, but what can I say, I watch a lot of Law & Order: SVU and it makes me nervous. He has several great reviews, and he's had his in-home center open since 1992, so he seems legit. I already verified he's not a registered sex offender, because obviously that's what an SVU junkie would do first. Am I being too paranoid? Would you entertain the idea of this? And if so, are there specific questions you would ask at an in-home place vs a large center or should I stick to the same list of questions?
    JBcakes08muggle621cford08
  • @stlbuckeye132, never let someone convince or tell you that you're being too paranoid when it comes to your child's safety. Too many people treat child sexual abuse as something that happens to other families.  And the fact is, statistics show there are more men than women who are abusers. Obviously that doesn't mean this man is an abuser necessarily though. Also, someone not having a record already of course doesn't mean they aren't an abuser, as there are many that go unreported (or are reported but not enough evidence).

    Personally, I like daycare centers over in-home daycare (I know there are lots of people who swear by in-home daycare though). These are my reasons (as you can see it's mostly thinking about preventing abuse):
    • With in-home daycare, you don't know for certain who will be in the home at any given time (and even if the daycare provider is legit and not an abuser, that doesn't mean a friend or family member of theirs isn't)
    • With daycare centers, I like how there are multiple teachers/employees around the children, giving less opportunity for an abuser to act
    • Daycare centers also control who has contact with the children (I like that it's only the employees and other parents/care givers going in and out of the building)
    • A big reason I picked the daycare center we use is because all the rooms have very large windows to the hallway, so it's very easy to see in/out of the room (lots of exposure to deter physical/sexual abuse, and deter just sitting there on a phone instead of interacting with the kids), and the bathrooms for the potty training age and older kids have windows in the top portion of the door (again, limit opportunity for abusers) and there are procedures about ensuring more than one teacher is aware if someone needs to help a kid in the bathroom
    • I also like how with a daycare center, I know they won't be in front of a TV at all (I'm not anti-TV, I just like how I know time is spent actively playing, reading, doing crafts, etc.), however of course there will be at least one TV in 99% of homes and I wouldn't know for sure if they keep it off all day
    So those are my reasons. Of course there are awesome in-home daycares as well, it's just I personally felt more comfortable with a daycare center. And of course not all daycare centers are perfect either. And either way, child care isn't cheap. :(

    P.S. I highly suggest checking out The Mama Bear Effect (they're on FB as well). It gives very realistic tips for parents (really, anyone who spends time with kids), and promotes knowledge as a way to prevent/deter sexual abuse (not fear mongering). So when I say statistics show 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are estimated to be sexually abused by the time they turn 18, it's not meant to scare anyone, it's meant to show this really is a serious topic we should all be knowledgeable and open about.
    http://www.themamabeareffect.org/index.html
    stlbuckeye132JBcakes08cford08
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  • enigmaticjjenigmaticjj
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited October 2017
    Oh also, advise I've read a few times, keep in mind you cal the shots when it comes to your child. So if you don't want the daycare provider doing something a certain way, tell them. It's you're child. Also, if they tell you they don't want you dropping by anytime, that should be a red flag. Regardless of where you choose, it's a good idea to drop by randomly every now and then (although I know that's not always very feasible for some people).

    And definitely find out about them being able to text you pictures during the day of your child. And even better, if they have a live stream video you can check out throughout the day (which I'm sure some in-home daycares have as well as the centers).

    Lastly, one thing to think about is with a daycare center, you don't have to worry about your provider calling in sick and you having to figure out last minute plans. However of course with a daycare center it's not like you can negotiate what days off they have, although usually the typical holidays.

    Edit to add this: Where ever you go, ask them what they do to safe guard against abuse/sexual abuse. There's a spot on the Mama Bear Effect site that lists suggested questions to ask a daycare provider. It lets them know you're not afraid to ask and will be on the look out, and it shows you how prepared and open they are to discuss it.
    stlbuckeye132day38muggle621ksmwalters
  • I really hope me starting this thread doesn't come off as AW. I promise I'm not trying to make this all about me, I just wasn't sure where else to ask this!

    I've been looking into childcare options (so fun!) and I need opinions. I have contacted some daycare centers, but I've also been entertaining the idea of using an in-home type place. Not in our home, someone else's who takes a few kids. I like the idea of a smaller group, and the lower price doesn't hurt either.

    However, the only seemingly legitimate one I've come across so far is a man. This weirds me out a little bit. I know it's gender discrimination and wrong, but what can I say, I watch a lot of Law & Order: SVU and it makes me nervous. He has several great reviews, and he's had his in-home center open since 1992, so he seems legit. I already verified he's not a registered sex offender, because obviously that's what an SVU junkie would do first. Am I being too paranoid? Would you entertain the idea of this? And if so, are there specific questions you would ask at an in-home place vs a large center or should I stick to the same list of questions?
    @stlbuckeye132 you bring up valid concerns and a lot of things you mentioned, I'm sure others have considered, too. We've had our kids in licensed, in-home daycare, and we have felt exceptionally fortunate. We have had 2 different providers over the course of 4 years because the first one we were able to get into was a bit too far from our house for it to make sense, and the second one is just as excellent as the first. If you go with an in-home, I would go with a licensed in-home daycare unless you personally know the people.

    Regarding his being a man rather than your more expected woman who runs a daycare, I completely understand your hesitation. I think our culture hasn't done much to support this as a viable norm. With that said, my DH would make the most amazing daycare provider. People in the neighborhood have been asking him to quit his job and take all their kids during the day for a long time. We have other dads in our neighborhood who I believe would be similarly great. I think of it like this: I'm a teacher, and I work with many other teachers of a multitude of backgrounds, each one brings something uniquely awesome to our students. 

    Bottom line: Do your research. We have incredible in-home daycares around us, but we also have a couple who have been shut down for reasons that make me question working at all. Read care-review websites, talk to people in the community where they work, stalk social media, and call their licensor for feedback. All of these things can help give you peace of mind. Make sure you interview and then ask about their policy if you drop in to see what it's like on a random day. 

    Our in-home daycare is like a second family for my children, and that's the way we wanted it. They love my babies like we do, and they would mother-bear protect them over anything. Find the right fit, and you'll add to your family in more ways than one (in March!) :smile: I know it isn't easy, and when baby comes, it doesn't feel any easier, so you're getting a great head start on figuring out your plan!
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    stlbuckeye132heatherdubrowday38muggle621
  • @stlbuckeye132 We use a daycare center for many of the reasons @enigmaticjj mentioned.  Definitely do your research.  If you are in a local mom (or BST) facebook group, you could post there to ask for reviews.  If there are negative ones - I'm sure somebody will reach out to you.  Personally, I wouldn't want one person being the only one watching my child (women can be abusers too) so I like the daycare center option where there are multiple teachers in the room, but I know many people do find amazing in-home care for their children.
    Me: 30 H: 30
    Dx: PCOS
    Married: June 2013
    TTC#1: January 2015
    BFP #1 8/24/15 | MC 9/3/15 at 6w2d
    BFP #2: 12/12/15 | DD born 8/29/16
    TTC#2: June 2017
    BFP #3: 7/15/17 | DS born 3/20/18
    stlbuckeye132heatherdubrowday38
  • @enigmaticjj @LiveNLove44 @becausescience thank you all! You've given me a lot of great things to think about. This whole process is so stressful and overwhelming to me--we can't even find a dog sitter we love, so I don't know how we're supposed to find a place for our unborn child! We are somewhat new to the area, so we don't have a lot of people we really trust we can go to for advice on this yet, but I really appreciate all the feedback you've given me.

    @LiveNLove44 I'm so new to this game so this is probably a dumb question, but what license exactly should these in-home places have? Is that just a business license or what?
    JBcakes08day38
  • @stlbuckeye132 in my state, I go to the Department of Human Services website and I can lookup all licensed providers in the state. You can see if they've had any action taken against them for any reason. There are also websites that provide a space for people to leave reviews of daycares, so I'd look into that. Easily enough, you can do a Google search on his full name and pull up anything that would be immediately concerning. You can also post on a local mom group FB page or find a local FB page of almost any kind, and solicit some feedback about daycare in the area. 
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  • @stlbuckeye132 we are also struggling when it comes to what to do about daycare. I’m considering losing one day of work a week and reaching out to my mom for the other days (which makes me very fortunate). I naively thought you could pick and choose what days you wanted to take your child to daycare and pay for only those. Nope, can’t do that, you have to pay for full time, even if you don’t bring them every day. 
    I just wanted to add that I like to use casenet.com to look up prior records. As others mentioned, this doesn’t mean other people couldn’t come into the home who were possibly dangerous, but I think the website is a cool resource, and shows everything from traffic tickets to felonies. 
    Me: 29 DH: 30
    Married: May 2008
    DD Born: March 2018
    Aug 19th, 2018: BFP!
    stlbuckeye132day38sarahhedger7muggle621
  • Depending on the area you live in, you can also consider a nanny-share arrangement with another family. We did that until DS was 18 months old (at which point we put him into daycare for more of the social interaction/structured activities) and it ended up being cheaper than day care for us.  Basically you share the costs of a nanny with another family, and then you figure out details of who "hosts" and how often. For example, for our share, we alternated weeks hosting - one week at our house, the next week at the other family's house, etc. We just had a pack and play in a spare bedroom for the other baby to sleep in, and bought a double stroller off craigslist for the nanny to use. When DS went to the other family's house, we just packed his bottles/food, diapers, and extra set of clothes. When the nanny was at our house, it was great because she would also tidy up, do dishes, fold laundry, etc. when the kids were sleeping. She would also send us pictures throughout the day, and could stay late if something came up like we got stuck in traffic coming back from work. And it was great that the kids got such personalized care, were able to go out on walks, go out to local parks, meet up with other nannies/kids, etc.. 
    day38stlbuckeye132enigmaticjjpregobeth
  • We have done both and found positives and negatives both ways. 
      DS went to a daycare center when he was 3 months when I went back to work. It was nice and he was pretty well taken care of but it seemed like it had constantly changing staff and that worried me.
      So then he ended up going to an in home daycare which was wonderful. I also was working a job that required all different hours and some were past when a center would be open. She was licensed, her husband and older kids were all cpr and first aid trained in case something happened. I did find her from a friend who highly recommended her. Her family treated him like one of their own and it was wonderful. She had a schedule for the day which did include some tv time but not much. 
      DD also went to an inhome daycare one day a week and it was great. I knew that person for 15 years though and my nephew was there. Her husband was at home(he's disabled) but also was trained in cpr.
      We have had great experiences with in home care but go check it out and see if you are comfortable. If you choose one drop in unannounced and see what's happening. 
      It is one of the hardest decisions that you will make so go with your gut.
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    day38stlbuckeye132
  • My son started at a licensed in home daycare at 2, and this baby will join him there (hopefully). I honestly could not be happier with this daycare, but as with anything, a large part of it depends on the specific place. They don't have a TV in the kids area, so I'm not concerned about screen time at all. They give very personalized attention and have a daily schedule/routine with activities, arts & crafts, music class, math, etc so I know he's being exposed to a variety of activities (more than he was getting when we had a nanny). The lead teacher responds to texts fairly quickly (not always immediate because she is focusing on the kids) and they have a private facebook group we she posts pictures of their activities for the parents. They also provide really good quality home cooked meals, better than anything the centers offered. They also have a set holiday schedule (same as a large center) and don't close for random weeks for their vacations. They have 3 licensed people to be with the kids (owner, lead teacher, assistant teacher) so if any of them are sick, there is coverage since the state ratios only mandate 2 for the number of kids per day. 

    Also, while this is obviously not widespread and I don't mean to scare people away from larger centers, but one near us that we seriously considered and have plenty of friends who went there got shut down recently. I'm not going to write out the reasons here, but when I read the report from the investigation from the state's licensing board, it was unsettling. They had cameras in all the rooms and they kept the tapes for 2 weeks, during which time parents were allowed to come in and view them (they weren't streamed for live viewing). I'm not trying to scare anyone, but just saying there is no guarantee that any particular type of childcare is necessarily safer than another just because of the structure. Although, I agree that with a center it is harder to do something inappropriate, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

    With a center I would definitely ask pointed questions about consistency of teacher in the rooms - ie what happens for the teacher's lunch, what happens if someone is sick? Do they constantly move kids between rooms to maintain ratios? That can be pretty detrimental because young kids crave consistency. Is their infant room a mixed bag with ages (ie 3-4 month olds and 11-12 month olds in the same group), or do they keep a younger and older infant room separate. How do they manage a mixed group (those ages have VERY different needs).


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    stlbuckeye132enigmaticjj
  • You ladies are all providing so much good food for thought!  Any STM+'s here who are teachers and had to navigate the world of childcare?  I'm wondering if I would lose my daughter's spot in either a day care or home care center by pulling her out for the summer.
  • @ashtuesday I'm a teacher and we use a daycare center.  They haven't had an issue with us taking her out for the summer.  We just "re enroll" her right away for the fall and have to pay the registration fee again.  I think the center is flexible because they get more school aged children enrolling during the summer, so the staff adjusts as needed.  Definitely something to ask about when you do tours or call for information though.
    Me: 30 H: 30
    Dx: PCOS
    Married: June 2013
    TTC#1: January 2015
    BFP #1 8/24/15 | MC 9/3/15 at 6w2d
    BFP #2: 12/12/15 | DD born 8/29/16
    TTC#2: June 2017
    BFP #3: 7/15/17 | DS born 3/20/18
    ashtuesday
  • @ashtuesday it depends on the center. I know the one with my daughters preschool does year round and you keep them or pay for it or lose your spot. All places are different though.
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  • @ashtuesday it depends on your relationship with the daycare (if it's in home) and oftentimes, their policy. With our first daycare, she wanted us to pay through the summer to hold our spot or she would open the spot. We decided to pull our daughter and find one closer to home starting in the fall. It all actually worked out really well. It was obviously easier to find a spot for a non-newborn, so that was part of it for us in the later part of the game.

    Our new in-home holds our spot for us because we've built a good relationship with her, and she can financially be good with going lower in numbers in the summer. She likes it because her own kids are home from school in the summer, and it helps her have a lighter load. We are switching daycares for our newborn because our current daycare doesn't do infant care, and our new daycare only takes teachers' kids. She's off in the summer, and we all have our spots saved for the academic year--awesome! The trouble is if you need drop-in care for any summer work you do.
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  • I don't have much to add, but on the topic of men being stereotyped, my friend had a nanny (woman) in her house watching her children. At one point she decided to install nanny cams and was horrified to find the nanny taking naked pictures of her son after the bath.
    she didn't keep her around long enough to find out what else was going on....
    you should definitely be cautious with both men and women caretakers.
    bettyvonsomethingsteinmuggle621vflux33
  • paigew123 said:
    I don't have much to add, but on the topic of men being stereotyped, my friend had a nanny (woman) in her house watching her children. At one point she decided to install nanny cams and was horrified to find the nanny taking naked pictures of her son after the bath.
    she didn't keep her around long enough to find out what else was going on....
    you should definitely be cautious with both men and women caretakers.
    I would second all this.  There are some truly disgusting people in this world, both men and women.  And somehow they manage to get access to children.
    ***March '18 October Siggy Challenge: Halloween Costume Fails***

  • @LiveNLove44 thanks again for letting me know about how to find all the licensing info! It helped a lot because the couple of in-home places I thought were legit aren't actually licensed, so that automatically took them off the list for me. However, it's a double edged sword because I've started looking at the facility violations through the same website too. I'm now convinced nowhere is safe! :( The search continues...
    muggle621
  • I was a teacher when my two oldest kids were in childcare. With Bethany, I paid a reduced rate over the summer and would take her once or twice a week, just to keep her familiar with the schedule and whatnot.
    When Lily was younger, she was at the center I worked at and then we had a similar situation where I paid a half rate and would take her a day here and there.
    We have really only had the best luck with in-home centers. I have used both licensed and unlicensed. The biggest thing is to trust your instincts. if it feels off in anyway when you tour, turn and run. 
    The worst experiences we have had, were when we didn't trust our instincts. 
  • We have had 3 different kids in daycare for the last 9 years. We have lived and worked in the same city the whole time, so we have in many ways exhausted our lists of places left to look at. We have pulled kids and changed centers for a variety of reasons. The last 2 years have all been for reasons beyond our control.. One in-home closed, the center we went to the building was bought by the local college and torn down, then another in-home closure and finally the last transition was due to the crappy director at a center.. I just couldn't stand her any longer and my 2 yr old cried every day.
    Within the last week, he has blossomed again in a in-home and looks forward to seeing her and her daughters. he is a completely different kid.
  • muggle621muggle621
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited October 2017
    @stlbuckeye132 ; GIRL......this has been a huge source of stress for me over the past month. I personally was just able to catch a small break b/c due to my husband's work schedule and my MIL being retired we just realized we can put off daycare until Jan 2018.  We are still currently interviewing and getting on waiting lists because sometimes it can take that long (or longer) to get into a good one!! 
    Before we figured this out though we were going to put ours in a in home daycare my neighbor recommended. In my state you don't have to have a license if you have 6 or less kids in the home. Well at first that didn't bother me but the more I researched the more I decided against the in home. Another con of an in home day care (esp an unlicenced one) is there is no big boss. The owner doesn't answer to anyone. I'd rather have a chain of command. I have been living on our state's website where you can see all the "deficiencies" (violations)against them. Even the best day cares have deficiencies! There was a week or 2 where I begged my husband if I could be a SAHM (not super feasible plus bad for me mentally!) b/c I was so freaked out! When I chilled out though I realized some of these deficiencies were quite minor. I didn't go to daycare so I also got kind of freaked out when I toured my first one (I'd never been in one before) but it was clean and the people were so nice my mind was put at ease a bit. 
    Sorry about how I rambled on but try not to freak out too much when reading the state's inspection reports. Several people had to talk me off the ledge by pointing out some of the positive aspects of daycare which actually exist. If you find the right one it will be great for early learning and socialization. I was PAINFULLY shy until I was about 6 or 7 and I have to wonder if had I been in daycare would I have been more social. I was shy to the point of almost getting held back b/c I was scared to talk to almost everyone. I'm sure the STM's on here have way more positive stories to share, but just know you aren't alone thinking all day cares are cesspools of danger!! 

    edited b/c rambling
    Me: 36    DH: 37
    Married: 5.27.16
    Baby Boy Due: 3.18.18
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  • @muggle621 are we the same person because you basically just stated everything I've been feeling! haha I'm currently in the "freak out and tell husband we need to take another look at our budget and see if I can stay home" stage. I know that the inspector's job is to find violations, so they basically have to find a couple things wrong otherwise it looks like they didn't do their job. Butttttttt some violations I can overlook and others I can't. I feel like for as much as they're charging, they should not have ANY missing background checks on employees, and the bathrooms should have soap in them. Am I being unreasonable? I can't tell anymore. We have two tours set up for Tuesday and Wednesday, so we'll see how those go...
    JBcakes08muggle621
  • @stlbuckeye132 I don't think you are being unreasonable but then again that is coming from me who had to be told it's not the end of the world for a daycare to have performed the quarterly tornado drill a few days late (actual citing of a daycare from the state). 
    I hope you have a good experience in your tours which helps ease your mind. Let me know how it goes! 
    Me: 36    DH: 37
    Married: 5.27.16
    Baby Boy Due: 3.18.18
    Babysizer Cravings Pregnancy Tracker



    stlbuckeye132
  • @stlbuckeye132 I'd be more concerned about the lapse in background checks than the soap. The soap could have been a wrong place wrong time type of thing with the inspector coming as it just ran out and they were going to replace it. The background check is a lapse in employment process - although if I'm playing devil's advocate perhaps they did the check but misfiled the record of it. Still not great and a bad sign for organization, but not as bad as completely not doing it.

    My mom used to run an in home daycare and she had a surprise inspection that found some absolutely asinine things. The whole thing was triggered because an ex parent called the licensing board to complain that my mom discriminated against boys, which was completely unfounded as the ratio was close to 50/50 and was actually slightly more boys. The parent was bitter because her son was unruly, hitting/biting/poking eyes and during the contracted trial period my mom said she wouldn't take him full time. I can tell you that the kids were VERY well cared for, safe, and whatever minor things that were found during the inspection were remedied within 24 hours (and easily so because they were minor), but it was on the official record which made them sound significantly worse than they were. For example, one was that an outlet was missing a safety cover, which sounds bad (and it should have been there and probably got removed during cleaning/vacuuming). The circumstances that were missing was that it was the room used for storage of various things like the cots for naps, overflow of toys, and other miscellaneous daycare related stuff. While it was part of the official daycare space, the kids were never actually in the room, and the door was closed at all times (minus an adult getting something - but again, the kids weren't going in). So, while a rule violation, the kids weren't in a dangerous environment because of it. 


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  • @day38 yeah, the background check thing was definitely more concerning to me. I think I need to just stop looking at that now and see how the tours go. I will be trusting my instinct a lot with this decision. Hopefully I'll feel at peace with at least one of them!
  • How do you keep your husband/significant others relationship from changing too much after baby arrives? I know it will change, but it scares me a little to think how much it could.
    cford08stlbuckeye132JBcakes08
  • @npkat FWIW, our marriage did come out stronger and we are better than we ever have been. We make it through rough patches and hard times better now. 
    ShawnnaOstlbuckeye132cford08
  • @npkat the first two years are rough. It is important to communicate and get time together without the kids when possible. Make time for the things you enjoyed together before kids. Early bedtimes help too!
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    stlbuckeye132cford08
  • We also went through a really rough time the first year after our daughter was born. At one point we were much more roommates and “business partners” than a couple. It definitely got better, it just took time. So much about your life, your identity, your roles, etc change and it’s a lot to take in at once. I never asked for help and ended up resenting my husband for not pulling his weight. Hindsight being what it is, it’s stupid that I didn’t just ask, but being sleep deprived and dealing with a colicky baby, I wasn’t thinking straight. My advice is to be aware that things may change and may be really difficult and thats okay. It doesn’t mean your marriage is over. Ask for help, communicate, and make an effort to be kind to one another even when you don’t feel like it. 


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    cford08stlbuckeye132paigew123
  • Thanks to everyone that has chimed in on the relationship stuff after baby. I am expecting it to be hard, and in our case maybe even harder than average the first year. My husband is in Nurse Anesthetist school full time, its so busy. He'll graduate the month baby turns 1. Both our families are also 7 hours away. Communication will be key I think, which I am pretty good at but my husband is so so at, and he get stressed somewhat easily. We have a great relationship now, but of course have our ups and downs. I will take in all your tips! Thanks!
    cford08
  • Also, make sure your partner and anyone close to you (other family, coworkers if you’re comfortable with that), are aware of if the signs and symptoms of PPD. Mom is often the last to know that something isn’t right, partners may see it as normal fatigue and hormonal changes if it is their first child and they are unfamiliar with what is normal. Talk to those who know you best and have them let you know if something seems off, PPD is nothing to take lightly 
    stlbuckeye132cford08
  • @npkat I truly believe that change is inevitable. Not necessarily bad change, we had a lot of good change but we also had some bad change while we learned how to navigate parenthood together. For instance, I became 1000000x easier to upset (and still am, I just have figured out how to deal/situations to avoid) and that was a learning curve. There were times that we were both silly exhausted and we would end up bickering which would turn into an argument or us fighting we recognized that if we were both that mentally exhausted we couldn’t communicate effectively so we had key words we could use to table the conversation till later. That being said, our relationship became (and is still becoming) SO much stronger. And better. And more gratifying. Seeing a good partner evolve into a good parent was awesome! Sometimes, (depending on priorities/relationship) you may have to make time to have sex/appreciate each other physically. I mean I’m rambling now.... but everyone has different relationship dynamics so the biggest key is to acknowledge that there will be change and trying to learn new and effective ways to communicate through different feelings and emotions. 
    stlbuckeye132cford08mdfarmchick
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