Your home won’t be the only thing that will need to be baby proofed as you wait for your precious new family member to arrive. The baby will change the dynamic of your family life and inevitably, your relationship. You may have already started to notice some changes in the way you and your partner interact. You may be drawing closer together so that you will work as a team when the baby arrives, or one or both of you may be feeling some insecurities and fears about the future. In either case, those are normal reactions. Going from “couplehood” to “parenthood” is a major life change and is often the source of relationship issues. As hard as we try to be ready, we all have to deal with the unexpected.
You’ve probably heard stories from friends, relatives, and even your own parents about what their lives were like after their baby arrived, but their experiences will not be yours. Your family will be unique, and you have the chance to build it in meaningful ways. In order to do that, you will have to preserve your relationship as it evolves with the growing demands of your new little one. These are some things you can do to stay connected.
Share Your Feelings
Memories are a great place to start. Remembering how you met, what brought you together as a couple, and good times you’ve shared along the way will reinforce your connection, but you will also have to recognize that your lifestyle will change. It’s okay to acknowledge the things you might miss about your more carefree days, but also discuss the exciting experiences you can look forward to sharing with your child.
Appreciate Each Other
Even the smallest favor deserves appreciation. Knowing that our partner or spouse notices what we do and offers gratitude goes a long way toward keeping a relationship secure.
Spend Time Together
Planning special date nights, taking walks or drives, or just having a thoughtful conversation are ways you can feel close and keep the romance alive.
Clarify Expectations and Responsibilities
No one likes to be surprised. Planning around work schedules and determining which tasks each of you can be responsible for may prevent arguing and tension after the baby wakes you up in the middle of the night needing to be fed or changed.
Take it One Minute At a Time
Your perception of time will change after you begin caring for your newborn. Time will feel like it is flying by and standing still in the same moment, and it can be disconcerting. Slow down, take a deep breath, and deal with issues one at a time with the help, support, and input of your partner or spouse. You can do everything together.
There are times when caring for a baby can stress us to our limits, especially if the baby has special needs or if there is a lack of support from friends or family members. If you feel your relationship begin to suffer, there is help. Couples therapy for young families is available and can help you keep your focus and enjoy this fleetingly amazing time in your baby’s life.
A Caring Approach is here to provide individual and couples counseling to help you improve your family life and relationship. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.