For starters, parenthood is going to require a huge shift in focus for you. After all, you will be three (or more) rather than just a couple. This can be an intimidating thing, but it can also be one of the best times in your life.
To prepare, explore how your new baby will affect your relationship.
You Can’t Continue As Is
As lighthearted as it may sound, I say this in all seriousness—a baby will rock your world.
It’s exciting and amazing. There’s nothing in this world quite like welcoming a new baby. But, his or her arrival does signal the end of certain things in your relationship and life.
For instance, your helpless baby will come first now, not your partner. You simply won’t be able to continue living your life or nurturing your relationship as you once did. It’s not a bad thing, but some couples do get shell-shocked by the extreme shift in focus.
You Might Resent Your Partner (Temporarily)
Keep in mind that directly after having a baby, a woman’s hormones surge and can be a lot to deal with. Also, new babies tend to produce sleep deprivation and an overall feeling of overwhelm. This concoction of emotions often feeds into any negative thoughts you might already have.
For instance, you may get annoyed with how your partner changes a diaper or warms a bottle. You may even get jealous of the time they spend away from the new baby responsibilities, like at a job or social event.
While these feelings are all natural and can be resolved, it’s not uncommon for a little resentment to show its ugly head.
Sex May Take a Nosedive for a While
Giving birth is no small feat. Pregnancy and childbirth take an enormous toll on a woman’s body. It’s only natural for sex not to be on her priority list in her transition to parenthood.
For at least six weeks after birth, and usually longer, sex is not at all recommended or comfortable for a new mom. Add exhaustion, hormones, and new-parent demands, neither of you will probably be raring to go like you used to.
Not only will your sex life change, but the connection you felt during sex before will be different, too. Now is the time to think of quality over quantity.
Connecting Could be a Challenge
In addition to your intimacy during sex, achieving intimacy in general will be different. You won’t be able to snuggle on the couch for two hours watching Netflix anymore. Your alone time at home won’t really be alone time.
Hiring a babysitter and going on dates is a great idea, but new parents often have trouble with this. Be prepared for those first few dates with your partner to be filled with thoughts of your baby.
Achieving intimacy won’t be as easy as before, but with a little determination and creativity, you can make it happen.
You Are In This Together Like Never Before
Many, many things you will do once your baby is born are incredibly unattractive—think of cleaning up spit-up or a diaper blowout.
As you wipe and clean and cry and drink caffeine, you’ll undoubtedly create a new bond in your partnership. This child-having business is not easy and neither is embracing your new roles as you transition into parenthood.
But, it is real.
More real than anything else in your life. You will soon find that you two are in this together and that is the most welcomed change to your relationship in this journey of parenthood.
It’s true that big changes are ahead for you as a couple in your transition to parenthood. Whether these changes bring you closer together or push you apart is determined by you and your partner.
It can be difficult to navigate through the new challenges, feelings, and even hormones. If you’re concerned for your relationship during this time in your life, please contact me. I’d enjoy offering you my support and help as you navigate through the surprising twists and turns.