Many new beginnings in life are sealed by a contract, like buying a car or starting a lease on an apartment. You definitely entered into an agreement when you got hired for a job, took out a loan, or when you married your spouse (some even have prenuptial agreements). We sign contracts all the time whenever a big, life-changing event is coming up. So why not before we give birth to our first child?
Well, somebody thought of it and now some moms are thinking, "Why didn't I think of that before?"
A pre-pregnancy contract is, essentially, an agreement a would-be mom (or a new mom) makes with herself, primarily, and with her spouse or partner (more as an FYI, really).
In this sample we found on "Petal and Thorn Handmade's" blog, the mom, Kristin, enumerates things she said she wanted to have or do in case they decide to have a new baby. The context, of course, is she wasn't able to do these things in her experience with her first baby, .
"Knowing full well that I may refuse help and take on too much in those fragile first months, I've made a contract with myself to accept help. I drew this contract up now while I'm clear-headed," she wrote.
What are some of the items in her pre-pregnancy contract?
home visits by a lactation consultant in the first week after delivery
getting the services of a housekeeper every two weeks for the first six months
hiring a babystitter, as needed
seeking professional help with regard to her mental health — and not quitting therapy
getting a meal delivery service if homecooked meals are not possible, to ensure her body is healthy enough to breastfeed
In the last part of the contract, Kristin adds, "I realize that these conditions might make me look spoiled or weak, especially to older generations of moms who were able to handle handfuls of kids without much help. But, I know myself and my limits.
"I regret not being able to enjoy Sisi [her firstborn] as a sweet newborn because I was so miserable. If there is anything I can do to help prevent that, I sure will."
If you ask us, there is nothing about this contract that indicates she is being spoiled or weak. If anything, we say "Yay!" that this mom recognizes she needs help in those first few months after giving birth, and she has the courage to ask for it.
A pre-pregnancy contract is not a legal document, obviously, but it's a brilliant reminder on those days you can't think straight anymore. Maybe it's time we all made one.
After carrying a child in her womb for nine months and pushing for hours to get the baby out, a mom deserves to give herself importance. As physician Dr. Monique Tello said on the Harvard Health Publishing blog, “[Self-care] is so, so important. If it is important to us to be able to take care of others, then we must pay attention to our own well-being.”
What would YOU put in your pre-pregnancy contract? Let us know in the comments below!