Small things make a big difference
Impact of a new baby on a couple relationship
Most parents, whether they already have children or not, find the arrival of a new baby the most exciting and most demanding stage of their life together.
It is not surprising when loving and caring has to be shared between new baby, possibly other children, and each other, that there sometimes seems “not enough” to go around.
Big changes happen to the couple’s loving and intimate relationship without anyone really being aware. Small things build up and are often ignored because it takes energy and time to resolve them, so they get swept under the carpet. They don’t go away however, and for some couples this creates a brick wall that at some time will need even more energy and time to break down.
How can couples grow their relationship alongside the growth and development of their baby?
- This is not just for Mums, Dads need reassurance too. “I think you are doing a great job, by the way” is a statement that applies to both.
- 1 in 5 of the recent Daybreak/NetMums survey Mums said that their partner isn’t pulling their weight: It can be really hard for some partners to actually know how to help. Try to imagine a good friend calls round for the day, and says “Here I am, I’ve come to help, what do you want me to do?” – as a new Mum, what would you say? You may say, make a cup of tea or coffee and just talk to me! Or you may say run the vacuum through and then you can relax knowing the room looks good. Or you may say come for a walk with baby and me, take me out for lunch, stay here and be in charge while I have my hair done, and so on.
- Most men want to help, most need to be told what would help most.
Getting close again intimately –
- Being intimate is not just about sex or making love
- Hugging, cuddling, kissing, laughing together, being physically and emotionally close all help the process of re-connecting
- Find time to do things as a couple again – if finance is a problem, walking together without the pram can be a good way to connect. Going out for a day-time meal together might be easier than arranging a baby-sitter in the evening. Planning future projects for the home, holidays, and working out together how your separate interests can still be managed now that baby has arrived, can all help to communicate in a way that just involves the two of you.