In the Bible, in Luke 1:39-45, Mary the mother of Jesus spent 3 months with Elisabeth mother of John the Baptist to help when she was housebound before and after birth. At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and Mary visited Elizabeth her relative cousin. Though both pregnant she attended Elizabeth to gain insight and learn more about what she will soon experience herself. Members of the family, friends and loved visited Elisabeth too. In addition, Mary was visited by shepherds and kings who gave gifts to help upkeep of Jesus. Yet still the challenges of a mother is ernomous. Especially on how to best to manage work, husband, run and juggle caring for infant and the other children simultaneously. Endless attention is sought by toddler and siblings. The situation is intensified as one tries to establish routine for toddler and boundaries. In addition the mother’s own needs is compounded if pregnant oneself very closely after birth. The new baby is cared for to ensure development well within the growth spurt as well as the pregnant mother’s own needs and requirements for maternity care, hospital visits and preparation for next baby. All these can cause chaos and be daunting if not well thought through or thoroughly or words carefully chosen. Do not mix anger, frustration, despair with the desire to be heard. Plan with the help and support from partner and loved ones to seek help to deal with past issues not to spill over to affect / destroy relationship. Be kind, supportive, compassionate and understanding of vulnerable needs. Do not use past against partner if trusted in confidence as a spouse. This is a major task to sit down to plan properly to co-ordinate effectively to communicate authentic, genuine, honest, real true inner-feeling in polite manner without hurting partner or making them feel excluded by toddler and new baby expected.Maternal instincts, bodily aches endured, cravings, nausea, body shape changes are deal with by an expectant mother. Include and involve toddler and siblings in new birth process and keep loving them. It is important not to assume or expect those around to automatically understand the pregnant mother’s feelings. Hormones become heightened with deeper sense of smell and the pregnant woman needs to be mothered more. This can cause tension if the pregnant mother is stressed by sleepless nights of coping with infant alone while nurturing new-born baby. Caring for a child is hard work without the added pressure of pregnancy. The mother can become irritated under pressure of running the home and working in addition. In some communities this is the time to pamper and spoil the expectant mother to feed, rest and sleep properly to prepare for delivery after care. This means others help to contribute favourite food, help shop, help clean the home, ran errands, donate and supply clothes plus organise baby showers. A partner must listen, acknowledge her needs, be patient, pamper and support her. Do not take it personally or in competition with nurtured child for self-serving attention. Remember it is not only about you but about the well-being of the spouse too. Compared to the man, the woman has greater emotional needs at this point so make allowances for pleasant harmonious environment.

Some women feel drained by raising their immature husband so recognise the transition to adapt to need although natural to look out for oneself first. One changes from looking after self to taking on family’s needs which comes first because a child is for life. Some think they made a mistake when the going gets tough especially when the woman does not feel glamorous about herself. Find alternative methods of showing romance, affection, enrich pleasure of intimacy to feel better. Seek medical advise if worried about fear of intimacy causing possible miscarriage. She may not be in the mood to be intimate as before. Some men feel rejected and abandoned after going the extra mile bending over backwards to help yet still not have the affection of the woman so feel used and abused. May massage her, run baths for her, help with cooking, cleaning, laundry, bins, child care but endure challenging practical realities of burdens not anticipated before marriage to ease effects of pregnancy. Yet watch her shower unconditional love on toddler if in good mood or ignore child for interrupting phone call, game or other activity. As if to rub it in to mock him but it is necessary the woman learns not to talk to the man like she speaks to another woman. She must not assume the partner must read her body language, mood swings, pick on her gut feelings and intuitive feelings to help her.

Snap1Woman must understand women multi-task better so be specific to ask for one thing to be done at a time. Be willing to compromise for the sake of peace not to argue in favour of having the last word to cause resentment. Ask and accept help from experienced couples and people because it is not guilty weakness or bad parenting. It takes a whole community village to raise a child and no one is an island. God created people to live in families to support one another. Do not burn bridges by antagonizing extended family. Timothy was raised by his mother Eunice and grandmother Lios who taught him the word of God from infancy in 2 Timothy 1:5. So blessed by his mother and grandmother’s faithfulness. The 2 women raised Timothy in Godly instructions in a faithful Jewish home to build his faith. Although it is true that children are the awesome blessing of God, raising children can be often overwhelming and often a thankless job. Do let not pride and ego dominate decisions and choices to cause chaos. Focus on building the child’s present needs, motor skills and motivate them to establish good routines. Be firm and sustain a united front as strong team on the same page with regard to discipline age appropriate to build a good strong sound foundation. Do not be fooled by the innocent look to become a push over to let the child dominate and control you by playing parents against each other. Ensure fair balance of balance of power by being flexible if they are unwell. Toddlers do verbalise emotions but anxieties picked from parents are internalized and implode through illness or tantrums. Too much constant crying to make them ‘men,’ to ‘grow up’ is unacceptable. The child must be allowed to enjoy innocent years with fun and playfulness. It is all right to get down on the floor with them but still be the leader in control as the adult. Stay calm at all times using appropriate tone of voice suitable for the occasion. REMEMBER CHILDREN ARE LIKE VIDEO TAPES SO REPROGRAM WHAT YOU PUT IN THEM or mimic and copy your actions and behaviour more than what you tell them to do. The child manifests what they see or hear so take responsibility for how they learn from you at home. Be conscious of your body language to diffuse tension to distract them from having tantrums. Have back up interim plan to introduce toddler to good routine and ability to eat well. Do not feel obliged to prove child belongs exclusively to you so demand punishing schedule to battle on at personal cost. Do not let child become your majesty spoilt brat to self-destruct. God Says train child so when they grow they will not depart from good Godly life skills planted in them. Though a couple enjoy personal me times for personal space not to lose yourselves. 2 becoming 1 flesh does not mean joined at hips 24/7 so recharge your own batteries. Remember, that a happy stable mother means a happy family home atmosphere. Do not constantly criticise partner who dares help by fault-finding on all the things not done perfectly. Nobody is perfect so be accommodating and compassionate and ask God to help you forgive and maintain love for one another. After family time and personal me times reunite as a loving couple and do not let events ruin the genuine love you have each other. Maintain the love even in tough times. Do not neglect each other at the expense of children as stewards doing good job after they leave the home you experience empty nest syndrome. Children grow quickly and leave home very fast before you know it. Do not lose track of each to let children ruin spouse relationship and love for one another. At least every two weeks, get a baby sitter to have a break as a couple. The woman may feel obliged to call home many times to ensure children are safe because she may feel as if she lost an arm or leg without them in sight. This maternal bonding and strong attachment can disrupt dates so discuss this to prepare spouse to better understand intensity of mother child bond. Remember to give little tokens of love based on 5 love languages. God comes first in marriage followed by couple then the children so appreciate, respect and value each other.

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