First Comes Love. Then Comes Marriage. Then Comes...
Can a new baby cause Relationship Problems?
You have fallen in love, you have gotten married, and now you are wanting to experience the next major mile stone in one’s life: having a baby.
Depending on where you are in your thoughts about pregnancy, we are here to tell you that having a baby will change your relationship forever.
As with any transition, it can be hard to let go of your old identity – for mother and father. For some couples, having a baby will bring you closer than ever to your partner, whereas others (and there are many), this transition can be fraught with difficulty. Many couples experience what feels like serious setbacks in their relationship at the onset of a child. Our hope is that if you experience these setbacks, to either seek couples counseling or utilize resources to help you navigate this new unfamiliar territory.
We like to arm our readers with helpful tips for the many issues that can arise with the birth of a child. Although every couple is different, as is every relationship – so will be the uniqueness that you bring to this transition. This list is not a catch all – but simply tips that have helped couples enter into this new phase of life.
You will change, and so will your partner. Give it time.
Becoming a mother or father absolutely will change you. Your schedule will be different, your priorities will shift, and the sheer exhaustion that you may experience will cause you to be very careful with how you spend your time. With the many changes that you experience during both the pregnancy and the birth, remember that your old identity and your new identity might be at odds with each other. It can be hard to let go of your old life. It simply takes time.
During the first 12 months of your baby’s life, almost everything is a phase.
Simply put: the crying from your infant won’t last forever. The sleep deprivation won’t last forever. The frustration that you experience or the moodiness following the birth of your child…won't last forever. You can expect that about every 3 months or so, your baby will become different – stronger, smarter, and more complicated. But so will you.
Make time for yourself – no matter how much you talk yourself out of it.
We cannot stress this enough. Find time for yourself. Both of you. Go for a walk, get your nails done, sit in a room by yourself. Anything. Going to work doesn’t count as time for yourself! You want something specifically dedicated to you.
Educate your partner on your (New) needs.
As with point number 1, you have changed, and so have your needs. It’s important to recognize what those new needs are and to communicate them to your partner. Don’t expect your partner to mind read – talk to them and come to a compromise.
Sleep deprivation is real, as is hormone fluctuations.
Not sleeping a full night’s sleep for 3 months will cause you to act, think and behave differently. There is no way around it, except to know that you might be moody, inpatient and easily frustratable. If you start to recognize these signs, and it’s possible: have your partner take a night shift for a few nights so you can catch up on your sleep. You will be a changed person.
Seek couples or individual counseling if you feel like you don’t have a handle on yourself, or your relationship.
If you’re feeling depressed, angry, lonely, and frustrated and you simply don’t have the tools, bandwidth or resources to navigate your new relationship, consider couples counseling. It can be a world of support for you, your partner, and ultimately, your beautiful baby.