As gratifying and exhilarating as it may be to become a parent, it does take a toll on other areas of our lives. For a woman, pregnancy and childbirth can be physically traumatic, and her body needs time to realign because of all the changes that it goes through. For a man, becoming a father may mean greater responsibilities – financially, emotionally, as well as socially. And for the couple – the new parents – a child brings about many changes in their marriage.
Contrary to what you might have heard, having a child does not automatically bring you closer to your partner. You have to work at it! After all, now they have another human being they are responsible for, and no matter how alike the two of you may be, clashes are inevitable when it comes to parenting decisions, as well as how you prioritise each other.
Learn to prioritise each other!
Don’t forget that the child would not have come into the world if the two of you hadn’t co-existed as a couple. Understand that it was being teammates and companions that brought you to this stage in your relationship. It’s still the two of you against the world.
Be teammates in parenting
Discuss parenting issues with each other openly, and approach them as a team, and not facing off against each other. When you disagree about something, try and find a middle ground, as opposed to making it about whose way is the right way. Keep in mind that both of you have the best interest of the child at heart.
Up your communication
Communication is the bedrock of a good relationship, and it becomes especially important when there is a change that the two of you are dealing with. Don’t shut down when you become new parents – talk, talk, talk. Talk about everything! Baby issues, non-baby issues… life, love, and the universe!
Share the responsibility
Mothers, trust your partner to take care of the child that’s his as much as it is yours! Fathers, you are more capable of parenting than you’d like to believe and save for breastfeeding, there isn’t anything that you can’t do that the mother of your child can!
Set aside time for each other where you don’t talk about the baby
This may be difficult initially when the baby is an infant. That said, even if you can get 15 minutes a day that are exclusive with each other, and not talk about the baby, that will go a long way in working for your relationship!
Connect with each other physically
Because of all the changes that a woman’s body goes through during and after pregnancy, her sexual appetite may go down. That’s okay. But, having sex is not the only way to keep the sexual and sensual part of your relationship alive. Like everything else, you need to keep the conversation about sex alive, but remember that you can show affection, and maintain some semblance of physical intimacy by holding hands, giving each other kisses, and cuddling.
Don’t forget your own self
10 minutes a day, if you can’t afford more time, on yourself is enough to keep your sanity as a new parent! The reason why taking time out is important for your relationship too is because if we lose the connection with ourselves, it becomes difficult to connect with another person.