By Mona Williams
You and your spouse know that having a baby is going to change your relationship and you prepared for it, but no one ever told you that it’s going to be this much work. The bad news is that you and your spouse are new to the parenting business and in fact you are both just re-adjusting to this new phase in your life but it’s causing a lot of strain.
However, the good news is that if you two can work on this together, then you are both in for a lifetime of bliss. That’s a promise! Besides, you are not alone in this; it is common to every race all over the world. Child birth breeds common challenges. No matter how rich, liberal, conservative, modern, or understanding, you two are, you will find that you have some or all of these common problems.
Problem: There is too much work
You see at this stage, 24 hours will never be enough, you have work, you have a baby to take care of, you have to look after yourself, and you have to also care for your spouse. Many times, it seems like you’re the only one doing the work. The thing is, that this is also how your spouse feels.
Solution: Assign duties (be specific, don’t suggest), and appreciate each other – say thank you.
Problem: There is no time for you both
Before the baby, you two were a dream couple, but after the baby, you are now a family, and it’s not easy transitioning. You often find that you spend time together with the baby and only because of the baby, and no longer with each other. You start feeling like your partner is aloof, and doesn’t ask about you anymore, offer conversation or provide emotional support. In fact, all your conversations now may perhaps be only about the baby.
Solution: Create a Schedule
Planning out your week in advance is the best solution to ensure you are allocating time to be together and connect. Even if your spouse can’t have as much time hanging with the boys anymore, this will create space to have some leisure time, and time to be alone and reflect with one another. You also need to have a time for yourself. Spend time with each other like you are not yet parents. How do you make that time, how do you create an ambience where you can chat like used to before the baby? Date. That’s right have date nights and make it a plan and a priority.
Problem: Your spouse becomes annoying
When it was just the two of you, clumsiness could be spontaneous and romantic, while perfection could be lovely. Now, he just can’t cope with the idea of you eating at the same time that you’re breastfeeding the baby and you are baffled or don’t understand why you need to have separate space for everything.
Both of you have different philosophies for raising children, so you have to learn to accommodate each other’s ideas and suggestions with an open mind and an open heart.
There are many other challenges including sex, money problems, in-laws, etc., but the more you two are open to talk about everything, the less tense the atmosphere will be. The key is to be free to talk about the issues, improve your communication and know that this is just a temporary transitioning phase.