Future Work Plans
Well before your baby's due date is the time to consider future work plans, including possibly working from home. Your employer may offer this option, though you'll likely cut your hours in the first month or two after delivery as you adjust your schedule to caring for your baby.
If you'd like to work exclusively from home, begin researching work-at-home opportunities in your field of expertise while you're pregnant. Be wary of "opportunities" directly marketed to new moms. Instead look into more specialized careers. Create a business plan with time frames and a budget and discuss this in depth with your partner. Although you can do much of this start-up planning before the baby's arrival, count on a few months of low productivity after childbirth.
"There is no way to truly prepare for the birth of a child, except to expect the unexpected," says Fay. "Expect your heart to explode with emotion in ways you have never anticipated; expect to be more tired than you ever thought humanly possible; expect times of genuine sadness even in the midst of this greatest joy, as one life chapter ends and another begins. Expect to grow and change and be willing to do things for your child you would never do for yourself. Expect it to change every day, every minute, and remember what a huge responsibility and blessing it is all at once."
Fay adds that most importantly, don't expect everything to be perfect. When children are concerned, inevitably someone's feelings will be hurt or someone's expectations may not be met. "New parents can't please everyone, but they can handle delicate situations with open communication and understanding, while always remembering that they, as the new family, are the first priority."