There are many hurdles and difficult obstacles to overcome when you have your first baby, not least of which is your relationship with yourself and with your partner. Your family has grown by half overnight, and now all your energy is channelled in a completely different direction. It is totally natural for the relationship between the parents to change quite significantly, so let’s embrace these changes and learn and grow with them. One of the first things you may notice is the way your conversations go.
You no longer sit nurturing a cup of tea together and discussing your day. Both your heads are filled with thoughts and concerns about your baby: do need more nappies, how is the baby sleeping, will you need to express more milk? Your focus is different now, and this is okay. But try to wedge in a few minutes every day just to say “How are you?”, or “Tell me about your morning”.These small, non-baby moments help you keep connected to each other, even if just for a moment.
Dealing with Chores:
Unfortunately, housework never goes away, and after a baby it piles up at an even more alarming rate. With little time and a lot less energy, this can seem like a daunting task. Don’t expect your other half to be a mind-reader, just ask for them to help out. Please and thank you goes a long way, too. Appreciate the little things each other does, because on certain days, a full bowl of washing up may drive you crazy.
It’s true that after a baby –especially for a woman – sex is pretty much off the cards. If it is on the cards, it must be planned meticulously. So, plan it. If, after a few months, you have both ‘got the hang of it’ a little bit, get a sitter or a grandparent for the night and go out for a date. Visit a favourite restaurant or bar, get dressed up, and have an evening with just the two of you. Keep baby talk to a minimum and enjoy yourselves. Sex may still be a no-no at this point, and that’s fine. Just take small, enjoyable steps.It’s not just mothers that experience an overhaul in the hormone department, either. Your relationship may change because you are both changing with your baby. A man becoming a father can lessen his testosterone and increase his affection and bond to his child. This may help you understand what you are both going through, and why you may be snapping at each other more read. In the end, your duo is now a trio.
In learning to enjoy your relationship as parents, you can also learn to enjoy your relationship as a family.
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