You & Me Plus a Baby

How does a new baby affect your relationship?  What can you do, as a couple, to keep the romance on track? Whether you are thinking of having a baby, or you just gave birth, this is definitely the article for you and your partner.

It seems to be common knowledge that with an added baby comes added responsibility. There are some things your friends and family don’t give you a heads up about. Perhaps you’re aware that having babies can impact relationships. Perhaps you think you already have a handle on what to do–You may not. Below are examples of new challenges and a few wonderful tips to help you navigate the new changes in your life and in your relationship.

Tit for Tat

Here’s an example: “I have done the laundry, changed her diapers, breastfed all night and all you have done is come home and do the dishes.” It is best to remember that every household duty that you previously bickered about could increase 10-fold. “Be patient with one another, and realize your partner may be doing a lot more than you see. If, however, you feel like you are carrying the entire load, ask for what you need instead of storming around folding laundry”-(Carol Ummel Lindquist, P.h.D).

You will learn who the laid back parent is and which of you is more particular. It will be hard at first, but patience and appreciation are key. If you can take the compassionate approach you have for your children and offer that to your partner, it will go a long way. Another tip is to go over different ideas such, as what to feed baby and sleep schedules. Use articles or research to determine the best course of action and come together to formulate a plan.

You Are Surrounded

Soon, alone time, quiet time, quality time, basically anything involving time has flown the coup and won’t be back until next Spring. Prepare for the deafening sound of your social life going down the drain. Your relationship will be affected because you’ll need time to be alone, or away. Know this will pass. Once the chaos dies down, start reintroducing things you enjoy.

Sex is Like a Unicorn

Some might think, “I love sex” or  “We connect so well! I am sure it’s just a problem other couples encounter. ” A crying baby will always take precedence over foreplay. When you do have a little time, you’d rather catch up on much-needed sleep. There may also be the issue of your new body that has not quite bounced back. There are little things, that you and your partner can do to re-introduce the spark, in your relationship.  Holding hands, leaving love notes, & using pet names are just a few ideas. One article for new parents stresses the importance of flirting to re-introduce that spark (Marisa Cohen – 4). It is important to remember that sex will work itself out in time.

In-Laws

Yes, I bet you didn’t see this one coming. In-laws are often an overlooked change that causes a fair degree of stress. Your in-laws will want to visit more. after you’ve had the baby. Your mother-in-law will want to spend more time with you and your father will make you uncomfortable. These changes may cause some type of inner turmoil in your ability to parent. Establish boundaries! Give in-laws clear visitation times.

Now that you’ve been briefed on what to expect, here is a list of things to do when you encounter those baby blues.

  • Have a Regular Date Night. Regular date night is essential to reestablishing romance. Putting your love life on a schedule can seem less spontaneous and romantic, but it will lead to more communication and initiate the start of your spark.
  • Show affection. When you have a child, you and your partner become task monsters with countless to-do lists, When you can, go in for a bear hug, or a butt grab, and don’t forget to give compliments.

  • Appreciate. Appreciate. Appreciate. “Thank you” and “I love you” are very powerful words. A little “Thanks for doing that,” or “You are an amazing dad,” will go a long way.
  • Unplug. This one is simple-turn off your phone. Unplug phones, TVs, and laptops and take time to talk, engage with, and enjoy one another.
  • Write a love note or a love text.  Texts can be sexy, but writing things down can also be sweet. The effort is minimal, but the outcome is a happier partner with a twinkle in their eye.

  1. Know when to ask for help. Ask your parent, friend or partner for help. It’s important to ask for support to avoid mental, emotional, or physical break down. Your child needs you at your best. Your well being is crucial for communication and stable relationships. Postpartum depression affects 15% of mothers according to the Center for Biotechnology Information and the National Institute of Health. Let your partner know about your emotional state. It will strengthen your relationship in the long run.

We hope these tips will help you adjust to your new life. Remember to have patience and listen to one another’s needs. It takes a lot of energy to be a parent. It’s important to support one another and work together as a team.  It will strengthen all aspects of your life.

If you need a little (or a lot) of conflict resolution advice for your family, here are my favorite strategies for surviving the holiday season, drama-free.

At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose. If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.

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