Three Ways to Stay More Connected After Having a Baby.
Few new parents find themselves prepared for the life-changing event of having a child. The activities you both enjoyed together as a couple are replaced with sleepless nights and endless nappy changes.
Many couples feel disconnected after the birth of their first child. The focus (especially for the primary caregiver) very suddenly and dramatically shift towards the baby, sometimes away from all other aspects of life. Couples find themselves spending less time focused on each other’s needs; intimacy takes a back seat, and resentment and anger can creep in.
Below are some suggestions for new parents to help protect their commitment to the relationship.
Keep Your Friendship Alive.
Couples who can be each other’s best friends bode well during these stressful times. It is through deep friendship that intimacy is trusted and can thrive. When you are both exhausted, anxious and frustrated, it is easy to treat each other poorly and not to be a good friend.
If you want to support your intimacy, you need to focus on keeping the friendship vital. Use whatever you have left at the end of the day to be actively kind to one another. Ask how each others day has been, or offer to do what needs to be done around the house. Keep laughter alive. Make a special effort to remember the small things, the fact that they like their feet rubbed, remember to pick up their favourite snack during the weekly shop. Small kindnesses will go along long way to helping you feel close.
Allow Each Other to Vent.
As well as a little one, who needs something every half an hour, or maybe throughout the night, there will be other life stressors going on. It helps if you allowed each other to vent about the frustrations of the day, frustrations seperate from the relationship. This will help you feel like you’re on the same side, that you have got each other’s back. When both of you feel heard and supported, you stand a much better chance of getting rid of any unwanted tension and not projecting it onto the relationship
Be Gentle With Each Other.
When you are fatigued, at your wit’s end, it is so easy to take it out on each other. When this happens, be sure always to treat your partner gently, as gently as you’re managing your new baby.
Be Aware of Each Other’s Different Needs.
Being aware of each other’s needs during this stressful time will go a long way to help you stay connected emotionally. If you spend time and energy, focusing on creating a healthy relationship, you and your partner will thrive during 3am feedings and beyond.
Many couples talk to a couples counsellor during this time to help them process the profound changes they are going through. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring this further, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I offer a free 20 minutes phone call consultation. I would be happy to speak to you both about how I can help. I offer appointments from my office in Hove and online.