Preparing for Parenthood: 23 Questions to Ask Your Partner Before Having Kids

Parenthood is a beautiful and (sometimes extremely) challenging journey. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you 23 questions to ask your partner before having kids. These questions will help you prepare for parenthood and make sure that you and your partner are on the same page.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “It takes a Village”, and while that is true, it also takes a solid foundation at home to raise a child.

Most parents prepare for having a baby by picking out names, creating a baby registry, putting together a nursery, and hosting a baby shower. While those things are fun, I would have to say that the most important part of preparation often gets overlooked – the in-depth conversations about what’s coming next.

It’s absolutely crucial to have open and honest conversations with your partner about how you envision your lives after having children.

From adjusting to sleepless nights to dealing with temper tantrums, becoming a parent can be overwhelming. Knowing that your partner shares your values and that you’re a team can be the difference between being stressed to the max or being able to enjoy the different seasons of parenthood with a smile and a shrug.

You’ll also want to be sure that your marriage stays your #1 priority and you’re making time for you as a couple – while also tending to the endless needs of your kids.

If you’ve already had kids, it’s still a good idea to have these conversations with your partner! When my husband and I started dating, my daughter was almost 5 years old. We still had these conversations to make sure we were aligned in our parenting values before we got married and had more kids.

Things also change over time, and you’ll want to make sure you’re growing together and still share the same viewpoints.

23 Questions to ask Your Partner before Having Kids

  1. What are your thoughts on having kids? Are you ready to become a parent?
    • Obviously the most important question! I don’t believe any family will ever be 100% set and “ready” for kids, but you have to know that your partner is ready to jump in the deep end with you and take on the parenting journey.
  2. How do you and your partner plan to share household responsibilities after the baby arrives?
    • First, I’m using the word “Partner” intentionally. This is a partnership and it’s important that both of you understand and honor that.
    • Second, notice that this question isn’t “If you plan to share responsibilities” but “How do you plan”. You made this baby together, you can take care of it and the home you live in together.
    • I can’t even tell you the amount of times I’ve seen the Stay at Home Parent complain that they have to do EVERYTHING because the working parent goes to work and can’t be bothered to help when they get home.
    • This causes so many avoidable fights between couples, because they didn’t set clear expectations before the baby arrived and changed their current routines.
    • It may seem silly to make a list of all of the household and child care responsibilities now, but you will be so glad you have it once the baby is here and you’re running on half a brain cell.
  3. What kind of parenting style do you envision for our family?
    • Are you a “my parents did it this way and I turned out fine” type of parent, or are you looking into “Gentle/Authoritative Parenting”, “New Age Parenting”, or any other specific parenting style?
    • Will your partner want to follow your lead, or have they done their own research that they want to share with you?
    • Since I’m a Stay at Home Mom, I’m typically the one who looks into child psychology studies and parenting groups for the best ways to tend to our children, and discusses what I’ve learned with my husband. From there, we decide what works for our views and apply the lessons to our family.
  4. What are your views on discipline and punishment?
    • This is another extremely important discussion. Many people are okay with physical punishment because they were raised with it, while others are adamantly against it because of the emotional toll it takes on children, or even because they were abused as children.
    • You will want to know ahead of time how you will respond to your children, that way you’re not making decisions in the heat of the moment.
    • It’s also important to talk about realistic expectations for child development in regards to discipline and punishment. I’ve seen instances of parents wanting to punish children as young as 2 years old for not “listening and obeying” – when their brain development doesn’t allow them to respond the way the parents want them to. 
    • You’ll want to make sure that you and your partner are on the same page so that one parent doesn’t push too hard, or think that the other parent isn’t involved enough.
  5. How do you plan to balance work and family life?
    • Will one parent stay home while one parent continues to work?
    • What are your thoughts on the working parent needing to travel for work?
    • Are there expectations in regards to dinner time or weekend obligations?
  6. What are your thoughts on co-sleeping and sleep training?
    • Co-sleeping is the most common form of sleep elsewhere in the world, and there are many benefits to co-sleeping, but some people stand firm in a baby sleeping in it’s own crib.
    •  If your partner feels strongly about the baby sleeping alone (or feels strongly about the baby sleeping in your bed) you’ll want to know before the baby is here and you’re all sleep deprived.
    • Sleep Training is another hot topic as some parents see it as cruel and unnecessary, while other parents still continue using the “Cry It Out (CIO)” or “Extinction” methods of letting the baby cry itself to sleep at night.
    • There are middle-of-the-road options like a gentle sleep school, and it’s important to find out what your partner plans on doing when your child reaches 6 months of age and is able to be sleep trained.
  7. What are your views on breastfeeding and formula feeding?
    • I’ll only say this once, but Fed Is Best. As long as your baby is getting proper nutrition, you are a great parent and your baby is going to be just fine!
    • This is just a personal preference and your preference may change once baby is here and you understand the mental and physical toll that feeding a baby can take on you.
    • Personally, I think breastfeeding is easier because I can feed the baby anytime, anywhere, and I don’t have to wash bottles.
    • I know plenty of moms that think formula feeding is easier because they don’t have to have a baby attached to their body or deal with leaking nipples & breast pads.
    • Do what works for you and your family!
  8. What are your thoughts on hiring a nanny or using daycare?
    • Look into the expenses of childcare options, if there are locations near you, and talk about who you would trust to help raise your child. A lot of child care facilities have waiting lists, so it’s never too soon to start planning.
  9. How do you plan to handle finances after having a child?
    • If you have a family budget already, figure out how you’re going to add in the expenses that come with having a baby.
    • It’s also a good idea to talk about saving for college or other large expenses.
  10. What kind of support system do you have in place?
    • Do you have family and friends that you would trust to watch your child for you?
    • Having someone to help with taking care of your child can be a real life saver and I recommend doing it at least every once in a while. I have help from my Mother-in-Law once a week and those few hours help me to feel accomplished at home and refreshed to take on the rest of the week!
    • Do you have family and friends that you could lean on in times of need, ask child-related questions, or even reach out to for non-child-related conversation? It really does “take a village”, and it’s better to figure out who is in your village now than waiting until you really need something.
  11. What are your thoughts on family traditions and rituals?
    • Are either of you part of a religion that has certain traditions that are important to you?
    • Did you do something every summer, or every holiday, as a child that you would like to carry on with your children?
    • Have you always wanted to start your own family traditions once you had children?
    • Discuss all of this with your partner and plan out some fun things for the future!
  12. How do you plan to involve extended family in our child’s life?
    • If you have a lot of family, it can be overwhelming to try to make sure everyone gets to be involved in your child’s life.
    • Would you rather have people come to your house to visit, or would you rather take your child to a relative’s home?
    • What are your thoughts on traveling out of state to see family, or having distant relatives come to your house?
    • In the early days, you may just want time to yourselves and to restrict visitors until you have time to get settled with your new baby. It’s okay to let people know now so that they aren’t shocked when they don’t get to see your 2-day-old baby. And these conversations will go easier when you and your partner are a united front.
  13. What are your thoughts on screen time and technology usage for kids?
    • Will you allow your kids to have screen time? At what age feels right based on research you’ve done?
  14. How do you plan to handle discipline and boundaries for our child’s online activities?
    • Will you limit your child’s screen time to educational activities, or reading books? Or will they be allowed to watch funny videos and TV shows?
    • How will you monitor what your child is watching as they get older?
  15. What kind of education do you want for our child?
    • Is attending private school, attending public school, or homeschooling something you feel strongly about?
    • What kind of research can you do into the schools near where you live?
    • Do you need your child to ride a bus to school due to your work schedule? Or are you able to drive them to a school further away if it has better recommendations?
  16. How do you plan to handle different religious, spiritual, or cultural beliefs in our family?
    • Making sure you and your partner agree on religious upbringing is very important – especially if you come from different backgrounds.
  17. What are your thoughts on travel with kids?
    • I’ve been on trips with kids that were amazing and fun, and others that were super stressful the whole time.
    • Find out what your partner thinks about traveling with kids and see how you can help each other if you do decide to brave the airport or long road trips with your children!
  18. How do you plan to handle illnesses and emergencies?
    • Does one of you keep a cool, calm, and collected head while facing an emergency?
    • Maybe one of you can’t stand to be around someone who is throwing up, while the other person can be right there holding hair and rubbing the sick one’s back.
    • You’ll want to know what to expect because there will always be sick kids to take care of!
    • For instance it really doesn’t bother me to take care of a blow-out or clean up puke at 3am. I can handle it much better than my husband – he tries, but there’s a lot of gagging involved, so it’s just easier for everyone if I do it, haha!
    • That means that if there’s just a nightmare or someone crying in the middle of the night, he takes care of the kiddo and gets them back to sleep. I’m only woken up if there’s a mess involved 😉
    • Talk to your partner to figure out what’s going to work best for your family.
  19. What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you want our child to participate in?
    • Are you going to want to sign your kid up for activities as soon as they’re old enough? Or wait until they know about sports/activities and can decide for themselves?
    • Is there a sport that you absolutely love that you want your kid to try out?
    • I was obsessed with gymnastics as a kid, so I really wanted my daughter to try it, too. She didn’t love it and so she didn’t stay long, but I’m glad she tried it!
  20. What kind of activities do we want to do as a family?
    • Do you enjoy camping, hiking, and outdoor activities?
    • Do you want to travel the world and teach your children about other places and cultures?
    • Are family game nights or movie nights something you enjoy?
    • Think about ways that you’ll bond together as a family and brainstorm ideas together.
  21. What kind of values do we want to instill in our child?
    • My husband and I had a wonderful talk on what we believe to be the most important values for our children to learn.
    • We discussed how we can lead by example and have age-appropriate conversations with our kids to teach them integrity, honesty, and other values.
    • It was a great conversation that brought us closer together and made us excited about being parents.
    • What are your most important values and how can you live those in order to show them to your children?
  22. How do we want to approach our child’s emotional and mental well-being?
    • Raising children who are aware of their emotions – and how to handle them – has so many benefits.
    • Children who understand what they’re feeling and are allowed to feel are able to better process events throughout their life and respond in an emotionally-mature way instead of being reactive and doing things they’ll later regret.
    • It’s also important to think about how our interactions with our children inform them of their own self-worth and mental well-being.
    • Personally, we have had conversations about not teasing our children, not talking about them as if they aren’t present, and always letting them know that our love for them is unconditional.
  23. How do you plan to prioritize self-care and alone time for ourselves as individuals and as a couple?
    • This is arguably the 2nd most important question to ask yourself and your partner.
    • Yes, you’ll be parents, but you’ll still be people first.
    • Self-Care and Alone Time are really hard to come by when you have a baby, but it’s so important to continue to take care of yourself so that you can take care of that baby.
    • Maybe one parent needs 3 hours of video game time per week to still feel like themselves, while another parent needs 3 hours of time at the gym to stay grounded. Talk about these needs and agree to a timeframe that works for you.
    • It’s also important to keep dating your partner and prioritizing your marriage. They stressed this point so much in the pre-marital classes that my husband and I took that I started to get annoyed at hearing it. But it’s sooooo necessary.
    • Taking care of the kids, the animals, the house, and work can become all encompassing if you let it.
    • Everything else is only as strong as the foundation that you’ve built and choose to maintain.
    • Make a plan for how you will continue to make time for yourself alone and the two of you as a couple now, and stick to the plan once your baby arrives. Everyone will be happier if you do!

These questions are just the starting point for conversations with your partner. Let the conversation flow and see what else comes up for you.

It’s essential to be honest and open about your thoughts and feelings. Parenthood is a journey that requires teamwork, compromise, and communication.

By having these discussions, you and your partner can prepare for the challenges and enjoy even more great times of parenthood together.

Are there any other conversations that you’ve had with your partner that you think should be on this list? Let me know in the comments and I’ll update this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *