Will having a baby change our relationship?
February 26, 2014
It's no surprise, when you have a baby, nearly all aspects of your life will change. As your household grows and the new routine and responsibilities of parenthood set in, the dynamic of your "twosome" will naturally adjust.
Surely, lack of sleep and time for yourselves may cause you both some stress, but the birth of your baby will also bring an incredible new intimacy to your partnership.
Here are some tips to help keep your relationship strong:
As always, communication is the best tool in a happy relationship. It’s very important to share your thoughts with your partner at each phase of your journey toward starting a family. Before your baby is born, or even before you conceive, it is a great idea to discuss issues related to childcare, household responsibilities and finances so you both feel good about your plan moving forward. After the birth, parents may get so caught up in caring for their baby that they forget to take time to talk to each other. And, as we all know, small annoyances can grow when you don't get them out in the open. So, finding just a few minutes to share your feelings can prevent most arguments and quickly soothe anger when conflicts do arise.
Remember, communication is important now more than ever
Determining who will tackle which baby care and household duties, like cooking, laundry, and early-morning feedings, will help you transition into your new routine. When both partners know what is expected of them, the household will run more smoothly. While you are still pregnant is the perfect time to discuss your roles.
To keep you both on track with your chores, you may want to make a list of each partner’s duties and post it on the refrigerator. For tasks that are more draining, like nighttime feedings, take turns whenever you can. If you both help out, neither of you will wind up feeling resentful because you have to do all the work.
Make time for yourself
It is very important to take time for yourself. Make sure you get enough rest; call on family and friends for help when you need a break. Get your hair done. Go for a run. Check out online parenting blogs and forums…whatever you enjoy doing to reduce stress. You may also consider joining a local mothers group.
The happier you are individually day-to-day, the happier you will be in your relationship.
Make time to spend together
Even though your baby will make you a family of three (or more should you have multiples), the two of you will still need time together as a couple to keep your relationship strong. Because parenthood is so busy, the best way to find time to spend with your loved one is to plan for it. Try to get together for a date every week—schedule a sitter and head out to dinner or a movie; meet for lunch while a loving grandparent watches the baby. Or, if you don't want to leave the baby with a sitter just yet, make a special dinner at home after you put the baby to bed.
Staying up after the baby is sleeping can also give you time to connect daily. Aim for at least 20 minutes a day to talk and share feelings; you can do this while you wash the dishes together or as you get ready for bed. On the weekends, get out of the house and do something as a family, like visiting a museum or a park. Even short family walks when you get home from work each day will give you a little time together while your baby enjoys a ride in the stroller. Use your creativity to find ways to spend time together that works for you.
A little thoughtfulness and your shared love for your growing family will bring you and your partner closer together than ever.