Becoming Parents: What It Means for Couples
Having a baby changes many things at home, including your relationship with your partner. The following are some tips to help you keep your relationship strong.
Spend time together as a couple.
Taking care of a baby is a 24-hour job, especially in the first few months. Between the feedings and the diaper changes, it can be hard to find time for yourself or each other. It helps to share the childcare responsibilities with your partner. This will help you to appreciate each other. It will also give each of you a break.
It is also important to spend some time alone together as a couple. Try to connect with your partner each day, even for a few minutes. Also, try to plan a date every week or two, if possible. Ask a friend or relative to stay with the baby so that the two of you can go on a date. If you don't have anyone to babysit, plan a date at home. When the baby goes to sleep, have a nice dinner or watch a movie.
Talk about your feelings.
Having a new baby is a happy, but also stressful, time. You will feel lots of emotions. Feelings like anger, jealousy and sadness can build up when you have less time for each other. If you don't work through these feelings together, they can hurt your relationship. Be sure to take the time to talk about your feelings with each other. Look for opportunities like doing chores together, talking before bed or having a meal together while the baby is sleeping. If you find the time each day to reconnect, you'll continue to strengthen your relationship.
Every couple has disagreements, especially in stressful times. When you disagree, remember to fight fair. Be direct and honest when something bothers you. Don't call each other names or blame each other. Explain why you're upset and how you think the problem should be handled. Listen to your partner's feelings. And make up when the argument is over.
If you argue in front of your child, be sure that you resolve the problem in front of them too. It's important for children to know that their parents love each other and to see them work out problems.
Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians
This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.