Re: S/O Did you discuss parenting w/partner before you married?
I'm like most of the others, we didn't discuss much regarding parenting, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because my beliefs are TOTALLY different now. I *think* that when we were dating, we were pretty much on the same page as far as how children should be raised. If anything, dh was a little further left of the middle than me. I remember at one point when I was pregnant we discussed sleeping arrangements and I stated taht the babies should be in a crib in their own room from the start and he said that he'd feel better having a little bitty baby in a bassinet or something in our room until they were a little bigger. We both just kind of shrugged it off figuring we'd cross that bridge when we got to it and it wasn't a big deal. (For the record, DJ will be 2 this weekend and still sleeps in our bed and I'm planning to put the crib in our room as a sidecar for the new baby so that they can both cosleep safely...these days dh wants "his" bed back and wants the new baby down the hall from the start!) The only thing that I thought even might be an issue is that I assumed I'd be finished having kids by the time I was 30 and he didn't want to start till he was 30...and he's 3 years younger than me! Neither of us felt strongly about that for it to be a dealbreaker though. We decided that when we got married, I'd stay on the pill for a year or so to give us time to get adjusted and settled and a little more financially stable and then we'd take a don't try - don't prevent approach for the next year or so. That would put me pretty close to 30 so at that point, it would be time to really make some choices. As it turned out, I came off the pill the month we married and got pregnant about 6 months later. Looking back, I kind of wish we had discussed things a little more because I think that my expectations about parenting were a bit more realistic than his. I was happy with our lifestyle the way it was, but I knew that when we had children things would have to change. He was kind of nonchalant about having kids (he is about everything) and just figured we'd roll with the punches, but now he's very resentful about the changes in his life...and I'm very resentful that he hasn't grown up as much as I'd hoped he would. Some of that could have been discussed beforehand but I still don't know that it would have made much difference...he would have donned his happy-go-lucky attitude and I would have assumed that when the time came he'd do what he had to and we would have gone on regardless... I do blame myself for a lot of the problems in our marriage though, because he is still exactly the same guy I married...I'm not anywhere near the same person!
As for specific parenting choices, it would have been pointless to discuss beforehand because I've done a complete 180 as a mother! If I ever have to do it over again, I will definitely lay down some rules right from the start, but like I said, before my kids were born, if anything I was more mainstream than dh so it probably would have made things worse...
Barbara - Unexpectedly back after a long hiatus...anxiously awaiting #6!