Dreaming of Happily Ever After? Oh Wait! It’s not always meant for every couple.Bringing a newborn home is wonderful but the birth of the baby is indeed the biggest challenge a woman faces in life. The life of a couple gets upside down after having a baby and researchers say that almost 70% of couples experience a decrease in marital love and satisfaction during the first year of baby’s life.
The transition from a couple to parents is shocking and a lot of couples realize it after a few months of baby’s birth. Things become dull and negative between the two. Lack of sleep, no intimacy and conflicts over new roles and parenting styles are some of the issues cited by almost every new parent. But efforts and communication can easily solve these problems. Instead of blaming one another you can build a strong and committed relationship through this transition to parenthood.
Let’s get started and look at the most common conflicts new parents have and the ways to deal with them.
#1. There’s no “Us”
About three months after giving birth to my baby, I realized how lonely I was. I missed my husband so much. All day long I was busy with the baby stuff and being at the new mom’s group discussing the baby and diapers. I slept beside him everyday but I felt like I could hardly cuddle him anymore. After becoming parents, maintaining the friendship, love and passion that binds you as a couple is difficult. As both the mom and dad are focused on the baby, they barely get the “us” time to celebrate their love and relationship.
As a couple, you must find ways to stay close for a happy married life. Make some effort to connect to each other by sending sweet notes over chat or plan a lunch date or go for a walk together.
#2. There’s no “sleep”
During the first year after the baby’s birth, neither of you is going to have a good night’s sleep. I remember after being a mom, I used to remain so tired all the time. I was really stressed and wasn’t able to handle the littlest of things. Lack of sleep is one of the major reasons why couples find it hard after having a baby. Irritable, cranky and exhausted couples have little left over for one another.
Being by each other’s side in this tough situation is the only game plan to win. You can let one another sleep late on weekends or have rotational sleep shifts while the baby is awake. For breastfeeding moms, there is no checking out. But you can compensate for the lost sleep by taking a nap in the afternoon after your partner leaves for work. You can also take some help from relatives or friends to look after the baby and have a nap.
#3. There’s no “sex”
So, you are not getting any sleep and “sex”. That’s the hardest thing about having the baby. Couples do not get the opportunity to get intimate even if the mood strikes. Babies are very smart and they seem to intuitively know that something is going on with mom and dad. Intimacy is crucial so you must find ways to express it outside the bedroom. Make time for plenty of cuddling, loving and touching and communicate your feelings about how you feel.
#4. Different Parenting Styles
Having a discussion about how to raise the kid is vital, but sometimes those discussions take the form of arguments and that’s the point where things start falling apart. Some new parents argue on small issues like feeding on demand, schooling, schedule and discipline. My husband and I have different parenting styles. He is fun loving which frustrates me at times because I try to set limits. Parenting conflicts are another big hurdle that couples face after having a baby. The only way to resist those arguments is to communicate like grown ups, negotiate and compromise. This way you both will agree with each other and follow a positive parenting approach. If you can’t find a compromise, consider professional counselling. A parenting course or a good book could help you find common ground for the future.
#5. So much of Work
A new baby comes with a whole new to-do list for parents. Millions of tasks are added to a couple’s life. There’s so much more work and no one can ever do enough. So much work and tensions can lead to marital dissatisfaction. Both mom and dad need a break and neither of them gets one. Both have a full-time job and don’t get holidays. Being a couple, you must strive to manage without blames and complaints and not allow disagreements to escalate. Appreciate each other and recognize each other’s efforts for a happy marriage.