As new parents, we are so focused on our babies that we often overlook our partner. Having a baby can be really stressful. You have to learn to function on less sleep, while still trying to do everything that you used to. The parent who stays home can sometimes feel jealous of the one who gets to walk out the door away from the screaming baby. Money is often tight since most mums stay home for several weeks or months.
Having a baby can be hard on your relationship and even though we all know how important it is to take care of our babies, most new parents forget about our relationship. Here are some tips to stay connected to each other as new parents.
- Work on your friendship. The best way to keep a marriage strong is by remaining friends. This is important to keep anger and hostility down. You also need to stay connected as you go through this transition together.
- Take time to talk about your day. It is important to find at least a few minutes a day to talk about what happened through the day. It can be helpful to talk about how the baby is doing, as well as how work went. You both can vent and then comfort each other.
- Try to stay positive. Unfortunately, it is much easier to talk about negative things. Instead, try to respect your partner and praise him or her for doing a good job. Thank him or her for helping with the baby. Try to find something to be grateful for every day – your marriage and family life will be much happier.
- Work on your intimacy in other ways. Though you (or your partner) may not be interested in being intimate, especially after a vaginal birth, it is important to continue to show affection for each other. Make sure that you find time to hold hands, hug, kiss, and laugh together. This is good for your overall marriage.
- It may help to remember that you are in this together. Though most mums start to feel a little angry at the partner who gets to resume a normal life and go back to work, it is important to remember that you are a team. You need to work together and help each other as you learn how to raise your little one.
- Don’t try to fight. Both of you are sleep deprived. As a new mum, your hormones and emotions can be out of control at times. This is not the time to bring up things that are going to cause a fight.
- Instead, find ways to talk about issues. If you do need to talk about sensitive topics, take it gently. Talk about your feelings and what you need from your partner in the future. Make sure that both of you keep your voices calm and stay rational so that it doesn’t get out of control. Instead, you should be able to discuss it until you find a solution that will work for both of you.
- If you are having an argument, focus on constructive problem-solving. In order to discuss any problems while keeping your marriage strong, it is important to be constructive. Don’t criticize your partner. Instead, talk through the issues and work together to find a solution that works for both of you.
- If the arguing escalates, take time away instead of saying something that you will regret. Too many arguments get bad fast. Hurtful words get spoken that can’t be taken back. It is much easier to walk away and try again when both of you are calmer and have had a little sleep. If not, one or both of you may hurt the other in ways that may not be able to be fixed.
Having a baby is a joyous time. It can also be difficult, especially for parents. Conflicts do arise. You need to keep in mind that this time is temporary and, before you know it, your baby will grow up. Because of this, you don’t want to do any permanent damage to your relationship. Instead, you should work to come out of it on the other side as a much wiser and closer couple. All of the work that you put into your relationship will be worth it!