There are milestones in a person’s life that dramatically impact her relationships with the people around her: learning to drive and gaining independence, going off to college, getting married, and having children are just a few. Her first pregnancy, the prelude to parenthood, has the potential to inspire, alienate, divide and strengthen the relationships in her life. How she copes with these changes can affect the bond between her and her child, her spouse, her parents, her in-laws and her friends. In the spirit of Christmas and family-togetherness, over the next few days, we’ll be discussing how pregnancy impacts each of these important relationships and practical steps a pregnant woman can take to preserve and improve on those bonds.
Two things will characterize positive change: love and grace. One thing leads to disaster: pride. Before a person can even approach a broken or non-existent relationship, she must first look at herself. She must know what her priorities are and what she desires to get out of a relationship. She has to be honest with herself and know exactly what she is willing to put into these relationships and be consistent. She must identify any roadblocks, such as disagreements, and fix the areas for which she is responsible.
Pregnancy is the perfect time to do “first-aid” on the relationships in your life. In itself, pregnancy is already a catalyst for change. It is the number one reason women quit smoking. It motivates many women to finally eat a healthy diet and exercise. As New Years Eve approaches and many of us prepare our resolutions, why not add a few to the list. You have nine months (or less) to set the stage for the social and emotional environment in which your child grows up. Create strong bonds with your in-laws. Repair the damage done to the relationship with your parents. Fix the cracks in your marriage and turn it into a rock-solid relationship that will stand the test of time. Create lasting friendships that will carry you through the highs and lows of parenthood and beyond. Your example will impact how your child forms, protects and preserves her relationships for the rest of her life. Are you ready?