Having a baby is undeniably one of the greatest joys in life, however no-one can ever prepare you fully for the huge adjustment. Not to mention the changes to your relationship with one another.
Making the changes and the great leap from being a couple, to baby making three is initially exciting and exhilarating “we are a family”. Then reality hits and all of a sudden things that didn’t used to bother you do, anxiety seems to peak for no apparent reason and your once loving relationship with your husband, partner and wife becomes so annoying.
The truth is that maintaining a successful and happy relationship post baby, is not easy it takes changes in mindset, working on personal issues, managing to stay mindful of one another’s needs whilst caring for your newborn.
Mum’s role is primarily nurturing, caring and trusting your intuition as to know how to provide for this new little person’s daily needs. At the same time still having her own met.
This little person has been in you for nine months, growing, developing where every need was met automatically, making sure you ate correctly and got enough sleep.
Now there is a lot more to take into consideration with this precious gift you have received. It is a huge adjustment for both Mum and Baby. Something that is difficult for Dad to comprehend or understand.
There are going to be financial changes and additional responsibility; Changing from individual responsibilities to that of a couple sharing responsibilities. This being both challenging and difficult. With managing and scheduling these responsibilities. A decision for one parent to be a full time Dad or Mum, until the time feels right to resume somewhat of a duel income couple once again.
Understanding one another’s strengths and weaknesses to bring together balance as to household chores, cooking, cleaning, gardening all the elements that come into play when running a house now that you are a family. Being fair is a key element here, an example of the might be that the person whom has chosen to be the stay-at-home person is the one with the majority of household chores. Making the chores or support from the working person a little less stressful. The importance here that will make life a lot easier for both is to clean-up-as you go. Don’t leave dirty laundry around the house put it in the dirty clothes basket.
And if it all gets too much don’t hesitate to get help, someone to mow the lawns, someone to come in once a fortnight to vacuum and wash the floors. Because it isn’t possible to have “Super Person” skills for a long period of time. This is where arguments and feelings of despondency will come into play.
Develop a close relationship with your parents and in-laws. Not to allow them or expect them to take over parenting roles but to have a talk with them and see to what level they want to become involved. It might be once a fortnight for a couple of hours that they will have their grandchild, while you go have your hair done or do some personal shopping or just some time home to yourself. If you don’t have family support or back up then you may have a close friend to help out, now and again.
Even if it isn’t something that is arranged on a regular basis, just having someone as backup can give you a sense of not being all alone at doing this parenting role. That I might say will be the most challenging, yet rewarding role of your life. Remembering that you will always be learning no matter how old they are.
The most important thing I want you to know here is that building your relationship together is going to bring rewards that can never be explained. Always to remember that the two of you are your child’s examples. They will learn more from what you do, how you behave than they ever will by what you say.
Fighting is inevitable in any relationship no matter how much in love you are, there will even be times when you won’t like each other very much. The important thing to remember here is for your children to not just see you fighting but to see you working through the solutions. I am not going to tell you to never fight in front of the children because I think that is an impossibility, but what I am going to ask of you is to firstly pick your fights. Everyone becomes angry, anger mostly comes about because things aren’t working out the way we want, we are tired and not thinking rationally, or someone isn’t behaving the way in which we want. No matter what the reason it is important not to react when you are feeling this way and wait to you are feeling in a better mindset. You will both do things wrong and you will both do things right. You will find that if you concentrate on focusing what each of you does right, this will make the arguments less frequent and more amicable when they come around. When standing up for yourself, which I might add is a vital necessity for a happy and successful relationship, always remember to take the other person’s thoughts and feelings into consideration. No matter how unrealistic they may seem at the time. As down the track you may actually see their point of view or not. That’s when you agree to disagree
Some Hard and Fast Rules:
Enjoy a date night – Don’t leave this longer than a month. It doesn’t have to be an expensive restaurant but a somewhere, where the food is nice, reasonably priced. This is where Asian or Chinese is great. And talk – Not about the baby, your parents, his parents. But talk about you, your thoughts, and your dreams both together and what you want individually. Then Listen to one another.
Family Time: Always sit down together at least once a day and eat a meal together. Enable extended family get-to-gethers picnics, having family over for a meal on a regular basis, once again if possible don’t leave this longer than a month or six weeks.
Grandparents: Grandparents play a vital role in your child’s development. They have been where you are and know how it feels. So they bring another dimension into your child’s life and to your life. It’s important that grandparents take the back row and not the front row.
I guess the secret here is that for your parents and parents-in-law, this is all new for them. If you don’t want them just dropping by, then ask if they could call first. Most of the time grandparents don’t want to take over your role as they have already raised their children, but they want the pleasure of enjoying their grandchildren.
Like everything else this is a step by step process and an area where clear communication is important. I know that for me as a grandparent I tend to go with the flow, having made it clear to my son and daughter-in-law that we are here if they need us and organizing catch ups if it has been a few weeks since we have seen them. Always to remember that their lives are busy but that it is important to share time together.
Stay True to One Another – By this I mean not to allow anyone or anything to come between the two of you and your relationship. Sometimes it can be helpful if you are having difficult times to seek a Professional Counsellor, this gives you an opportunity to really brainstorm your thoughts, your feelings to get back in touch with your heart and the importance of your relationship. It is important when you are choosing people to confide in that they don’t answer your dilemma or concerns but bring the thought processes back to you because only you know the answers.
Don’t Forget To Have Fun! Having fun isn’t about expensive houses, cars, holidays. It’s about finding happiness and pleasure everyday with one another.
There Are No Perfect Relationships! Each of us have our own unique faults and we all make mistakes. The key is to learn, grow and understand this. Seeing the Good in your Partner and Friend. You become best friends by sharing your weakest moments! You become great friends by sharing your LIFE!