Discussing expectations with regard to ‘career and baby’ and ‘home and baby’: Parenting roles for modern couples

The PREPARE/ENRICH inventory provides facilitators with plenty of scope to explore the impact of a child on the couple relationship.

Encouraging individuals to discuss their expectations with regard to ‘career and baby’ and ‘home and baby’. What happens now, how that might change and more importantly how the couple might feel about those changes is vital.

Of course all this discussion is being conducted without having had the experience of becoming a parent – so nothing can be set in concrete. It is however a great opportunity to raise the issues for further thought and to examine the assumptions we often make about this transition and about one another.

It is important to be on the lookout for divergent views between the couple about having children. PREPARE/ENRICH couples can sometimes expect a partner to change with marriage and ‘come along’ with the decision to have a child even if they seemed different while co-habiting

For couples with different faith backgrounds, “My partner and I agree on the type of religious education for our current/future children” becomes relevant. While this difference may not impact on the couple as much, when it comes to children it can often be an issue. The expectations of the extended family can often be ‘played out’ here – in particular where there are very different cultural expectations.

In summary, the statements in PREPARE/ENRICH cover most of the key areas including, seeking a difference of opinion about number of children - difficult when one party does not want children) and the timing (very interesting in view of the older couples seeking relationship education or counselling). There is however an assumption that couples will succeed at becoming parents. 

There is no question that relates to the impact on the relationship of not being able to have a baby – this topic is a challenge for the facilitator and one that requires sensitivity.

Getting Started:

For Parents:

  • To get started with the Parenting Version of PREPARE/ENRICH, you will need to locate a qualified facilitator of relationship and parental education. PREPARE/ENRICH Certified facilitators can be located in your area by contacting PREPARE/ENRICH or by using the search facility on the website: For Couples

For Facilitators:

  • To get started with the Parenting Version of PREPARE/ENRICH, you will need to become PREPARE/ENRICH Certified by attending a Workshop.
  • Once trained, Contact Us to activate the Parenting Version in your facilitator account.
  • The cost to activate the Parenting Version is $40

The PREPARE/ENRICH Parenting Version is Now Available: Register here >

PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on the Parenting Version or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich

This article is written by Jenny Cleal (one of our Trainers in Victoria and Co-ordinator of the LifeWorks Marriage Relationship Program) and was first published in Threshold March 2006. Threshold is a magazine about marriage education and is available to all marriage and relationship educators, celebrants and counsellors in Australia and New Zealand.

This article is reproduced here with permission of the author and editor.

Recent Posts


See all