For many new parents, there’s nothing more exciting than bringing their little one home. They’ve been dreaming of this moment for months. The nursery is all kitted out, fully stocked with all the essentials. They’ve been so focused on everything baby related that they’ve overlooked one very important detail. Something so crucial that spending a little time on it before the baby arrives – and making a point to tend to it after baby’s home – can make a colossal difference.
If you haven’t guessed, the thing being referred to here is your relationship.
There’s no denying that a baby draws a line in the sand: before and after. Introducing a new person to the family means a change in the relationship dynamic as priorities and obligations shift.
Every parent wishes the best for their child. It’s no secret that bringing a youngster up in a warm, supportive, loving and communicative atmosphere is an excellent way to set them up for success. To ease you through this transition and point you in that direction, here are some top tips to keep your relationship rock-solid the first year and beyond, better able to withstand the changes that await.
Before the baby arrives, spend time together discussing how you’re going to navigate some of the inevitable challenges.
You may have discussed a schedule, meticulously planned out who will assume what role. But bear in mind, there are plenty of other challenges that you may not foresee. And if these challenges should occur, without discussing them first and hatching a plan, you may be too worried or even ashamed to divulge them. It’s important you’re both aware of them from the get go so as not to be taken by surprise.
These challenges include:
Decline in Intimacy
It is normal for sex and intimacy to decline drastically after bringing baby home. How are you and your partner going to manage? What other ways can you be intimate with one another, and how will you keep emotional intimacy alive throughout the transition and into the future?
Shouldering the Responsibilities
Tiny humans can be very demanding, and attending to them exhausting. How will the two of you communicate when you’re depleted? How will you share what you’re feeling, without blaming? How will you not become resentful?
The two of you are part of the same team, and it’s important that your strategies are enacted from that perspective.
Becoming a new parent is a major change to identity. Shifting from who you were pre baby to your role as a caregiver means giving up some of the things you once did. Some can find this transition especially challenging, and feel as though they are losing themselves – whoever they once were now buried deep under formula, diapers and sleepless nights.
Your Role as Parents
Have you discussed how you’ll raise your child? How you’ll navigate challenges, such as conflicting beliefs in child rearing?
A dynamic that plays out often is women receive a lot of support around a new baby, far more than men. Some men tend to withdraw – delving into work as a means of escape, but also to meet the increase in financial obligation.
Knowing that this may happen, or another shift like postpartum may occur, how will the two of you move through this challenge, without losing sight of the bigger picture?
Don’t Be Afraid to Share
Being new parents means you’re going to experience a wide range of emotions. It’s totally normal.
By opening the lines of communication, being aware of how operating on less than an ideal amount of sleep for an extended time can affect you, and understanding the damaging consequences of taking out your frustrations on your partner, you’ll have a much easier time adjusting.
Remember, you’re going to feel frazzled and stressed, like you have no idea what you’re doing. It’s important to have a plan that takes into account how you react to overwhelm. If you tend to bury things, and then lash out after they’ve been building for a while, this can have devastating consequences.
Discuss how you’ll communicate in times of stress.
Seeing a counselor in the months leading up to bringing baby home is an excellent way to ensure you’re as prepared as possible. Under the guidance of your counselor, you and your partner can create an airtight plan. To find one in your area, go online and search counselor near me.
If you live in Northern California, the Relationship Therapy Center offers counseling in Roseville, and counseling in Fair Oaks. Additionally, we provide virtual sessions anyone can attend from anywhere.
Bringing your newborn home is a huge milestone; an incredible emotional journey. The more aligned you are as a couple, the easier it will be to share in the joy and navigate the challenges.
Begin Couples Counseling in the Sacramento Area:
If you are ready to learn how to deal with the problems in your relationship, the therapists at The Relationship Therapy Center in Fair Oaks, CA and Roseville, CA can help! Our therapists are ready to support you and your partner in your journey towards creating a healthy and happy relationship. To begin counseling in Roseville, CA area, or counseling in Fair Oaks, please follow these three simple steps:
Contact our counseling office to get more information about couples counseling and to schedule a free consultation
Make an appointment with one of our Gottman Method trained therapists
Find support and healing in your relationship!
Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
In addition to couples counseling, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.