Having a baby is bound to change things at home and at work. Here are 3 ways to prepare for baby to arrive on scene—from mamas who have been there.


1. Examine your career goals—then rock them

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If you’re on the exact track you’ll want to stay on when baby arrives, do what you can to push ahead at work. Take on additional responsibilities, ask for a raise, tackle a new challenge or push for a title change/ promotion, suggests working mom expert and creator of the “Mindful Return” e-course Lori K. Mihalich-Levin. By making yourself even more valuable at work, you’ll have more to leverage if and when you want to ask for flexibility—or look for a new role.

If you’re not on a long term track, examine what steps you can take now to move in a new direction. Can you volunteer on the weekends in a new industry? Take on a flexible, remote-work internship? Begin night classes in a new field? Now is the time.

If you need to go back to school for a career change, start looking at your options. Night classes? Online courses? Do your research and determine what you can do now to be on the right path for your degree. Believe it or not, new motherhood can be a great time to be in school.

2. Get smart on budget

First things first—make sure you know your current monthly spending—and your monthly income.

Evaluate how life will change when baby arrives. The cost of childcare, for example, can vary wildly city-to-city. (See the average cost of childcare in your state here.)

If you think you’ll be scaling back at work—adjust your income to part-time levels.

Evaluate your current housing situation. Will you need more space? To move to the suburbs? Do you have family you’ll be living with? Housing expenses can change dramatically over a few years as your family grows, so understanding your options in your neighborhood can help you give a better picture.

You don’t need to make the numbers all line up yet, but it helps to have a sense of how your budget will change.

3. Protect yourself

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Make sure you’ve got all the insurances covered—health insurance, life insurance (yes, for mama too!)—as well as homeowners/ renters insurance to protect your family and investments over the years to come.

Far fewer women have life insurance than their male counterparts—even though Millennial women today earn breadwinning salaries that support their families. Protect your growing family by making sure that you’re covered if anything were to happen.

Write a will for you and your spouse. It’s not pleasant to think about, but in case anything ever happens, you’ll feel better knowing you have a plan for your little one.

Look at you, responsible adults. Next stop: Parenthood!

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