Child care transition, living together before marriage

Hi Mary Jo, my 1 ½ month old begins daycare for the first time. What can I do to make this transition easier for both of us while I’m at work and she’s with a caregiver?



Dear Michelle,

Your one month old will adjust as well as you do. Therefore, keeping yourself grounded and preparing for feelings of guilt, grief, and conflict are to be expected.  Here are a few reminders that will help:

  1. Be patient with yourself. Many moms going back to work report feeling frazzled, worried, and angry. Remind yourself that your schedule and your baby’s schedule will somehow come together. Moms who keep outside interests are more aware of the time they do have with their child and create healthier work/home boundaries.
  2. Don’t make drastic changes at work due to temporary transitions. When you’re feeling out of control you make quick decisions that are based on feeling rather than considering long term effects. Transitions take about two to six months; after that time, you’ll be in a better place to take on more work or scale back.
  3. Have a supportive team close by. When life gets busy, we don’t take time to be with friends. You need your friends. Moms who have a supportive network adjust much better through work transitions. Plus, having a friend going through the same challenges helps you feel understood. 

Hi Mary Jo, if you live with someone before marriage what kind of problems can that create?



Dear Tranisha,

The answer depends on the couple, but the majority of problems begin when you decide to cohabitate out of convenience. That includes financial pressures, an expired lease, or because you have inertia about the relationship and are looking for clarity. Research studies suggest that women tend to perceive a partner who won’t commit as having less relationship confidence and dedication. Since women initiate the majority of divorces, the marriage begins on an unsteady foundation. Cohabitating after engagement does not negatively affect the quality of marriage because the couple is already committed to one another. It’s important to remember chemistry works in the lab, but eventually you leave the lab. The best marriages are created by partners who commit and value their relationship more than getting their own way.