First time expectant parents have a lot to look forward to when their little bundle of joy arrives. Obviously life is going to change dramatically, and much happiness lies ahead. While those about to become parents usually realize there are some challenges ahead, their focus is often so much on the expected baby that they can easily lose sight of each other. That’s normal, but the hurdles a couple will face as parents will seem a lot lower if they are prepared for the impact of parenthood on their relationship. With couple counselling, parents to be can improve their communication and be better prepared to face the challenges of parenthood side by side.
While many new parents have some idea what to expect from their baby, they can be quite surprised by what can happen to their relationship. Sleep deprivation and the overwhelming needs of a new baby push most relationships down the priority list. Trauma Counselling Vancouver Here are few ideas to help your relationship stay strong as you adjust to being parents.
• Acknowledge that the first few months will be intense and challenging. Forgive each other in advance for any hurt feelings that can arise from the stress.
• Talk about what sort of help you might need and you are both comfortable asking to help you. Maybe certain family members are eager to stay with you in the early days, but this only works well if both partners are happy to have that individual in the home during this time. If one finds it invasive or stressful, talk about how that person can help without actually staying in the home.
• Discuss some parenting books. Don’t view any of them as the only right way to do things, but talk together about how you feel about different approaches to sleep and feeding.
• Make a date to spend some time alone together when you’ve had a chance to settle into your new routine. Before baby arrives, choose a date a few months after the due date and arrange for a trusted relative or friend to mind the baby for a couple of hours. Try to keep up regular date nights where you can focus on each other away from the baby, even if it is only once a month for the first six months.
• Attend a few sessions of couple counselling before baby arrives to prepare for the impact on your relationship and learn more about supporting each other as new parents.
Yes, a new baby is a wonderful, joyful thing, but parenting is still hard work. The stakes seem so high, and many new parents put themselves under tremendous pressure to be perfect. The baby’s needs are so intense at first that both partners may feel neglected by the other. It is normal for any major life change to bring some stress, but with some preventative couple counselling parents can prepare themselves not only for the new baby, but for their new roles parenting together.