You probably suspected that life will change once you have a baby, but the reality of parenting often exceeds both our best and worst expectations. I was unprepared for the deep love I felt towards my new baby and how it radiated towards everything else in my world. I was also taken by surprise just how much time and energy my new bundle of joy demanded. Of course, everyone tells you that you won’t have time for anything anymore, but you can’t even begin to fathom it until you experience it yourself.
The changes will inevitably affect your relationship with your partner. In some ways your relationship will become deeper and in other ways it may crumble under the pressure. Here are some tips on how to keep your relationship strong. Some of them I had to learn the hard way. Some of them I’m still learning.
Talk about the changes before the baby comes
Have a conversation about your money plan, who’s going to do the chores and how you’re going to make sure that each of you gets some time to yourself to recharge. You’ll most likely find that the reality of early parenting is very different from what you thought, but at least you’ve set the expectation that these are the changes you’ll need to address and not just hope that everything will sort itself out by itself.
Share your feelings with each other
When you’re completely consumed by what you’re experiencing it’s very easy to assume that everyone can see how you feel and that your partner should automatically be able to relate. But unless you tell him, he won’t necessarily know what’s going on. For example, if he’s not getting up several times a night to settle a baby, he doesn’t know what it feels like not to have had more than a couple of hours sleep at a time for a few months. Think about it, you probably didn’t know just how severe sleep deprivation could be until you were right in the middle of it. So if you don’t feel that you’re getting the support you need, there’s a good chance that your partner simply doesn’t understand what you’re going through. Talk about it.
Make time for just the two of you
It was one of my own biggest mistakes that I didn’t see the need for couple time from the start. I thought that because we had a strong relationship, it would stay strong no matter what. In fact, if I have to be honest, I didn’t think about it at all. It was just something that was there and I took it for granted. It takes a lot more effort to reconnect once you realise you’ve drifted apart than to keep a strong connection going. Find friends or relatives who will look after the baby so that you can spend some time with each other, or even organise dates at home while the baby is asleep.
Remember that you’re both going through big changes and it’ll take time to adjust. Having a baby together places big demands on you, but it also has the power to bring you together like nothing else can.
Image by PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com
By Tatiana Apostolova