Let’s talk about all the changes after the arrival of your new little one

Let’s take a quick look into the areas of your life that may have taken a hard hit after the arrival of your precious little love.

adjusting-life-newborn-baby-marriage-parenting-e1583230189156-1024x676 Let's talk about all the changes after the arrival of your new little one

Life with a newborn is not quite the same. Adjusting to differences in your relationship can be quite the challenge. It’s time to talk about it.

 

Income/financials, Sex life, motivation, friendships, sporting commitments, fitness, career, family, alone time, hobbies/passions, social events, self esteem, studies, just to name a few.

Now under any normal circumstances if those things had come to a seemingly abrupt end all at once our entire life as we knew it would be dishevelled and that could bring great trauma.

We can experience a feeling of loss when we become parents

Did you know it isn’t uncommon for most of us to experience a significant feeling of loss in one or many of those areas when we become parents. Many of those things awarded us, connection, certainty, growth, significance, contribution, achievement, the feeling of oneself.

Checking in on the relationship with yourself

Guess what is a key ingredient to successful relationships – the relationship we have with oneself. So it’s no wonder that when you remove even temporarily the key things that gave a man or woman a feeling of self this may impact the partnership. Feelings of resentment, regret, unfairness and rebellion are typically expressed throughout my work with families and when we look at the loss of self it’s no wonder these feelings may surface.

Here are my tips for dealing with these feelings

So with that said my first tip —

Give yourself a break. It is FULL on, you will experience both the greatest GIFT but with that may also come a sense of loss, especially for those who don’t feel that automatic bond with their babe.

Understand that you may feel more fulfilled than ever but that your identity has taken a significant shift and it may take you and your partner some time to recognise one another again.

Be PATIENT.  Young babes are physically, emotionally and mentally draining. Their naps will lessen, you will get to stay for dinners once more, you will find your feet and have time to re engage in the activities that made you, you but for now don’t compare to how you or your partner used to be.

Find new things to appreciate in one another. You must keep your eyes open for the small things, the small gestures and I encourage you both to commit to even doing one or two small gestures a week. Then I encourage the receiver to notice it. One note, one cup of tea, one text, one chore, one night off cooking.

The date night drowned when the village collapsed and we need to be real on the limited amount of resources parents have these days. Find other ways to appreciate and connect with one another.

It means shit got real and let me tell you something comforting. 99% of other parents are wondering where it went also

F*$ck the spark. Losing the “spark”doesn’t mean you chose the wrong person. It means shit got real and let me tell you something comforting. 99% of other parents are wondering where it went also. The spark is a chemical reaction and no matter who you chose at some point it usually turns into a teeny tiny little light at the end of a tunnel called life. It typically stops lighting up the whole room and it simply turns into a choice that you make each day to get through the tunnel together.  Can you do things to keep it?  Of course. Will you have the energy, time and motivation to do that in the early parenting years? Possibly not.

So my advice here is to team up together instead. Change what you are looking for, for a while and instead of romance look for comradery for example. Know that the early years are taxing. Of course it’s not to say as they get older you wont face hardship but the energy physically and emotionally required, paired with a new identity in self during the early years is quite the journey.

In my experience, the main reason I have found that Fathers who are eager to do the right thing check out or stop trying is a loss of confidence or encouragement to keep trying.

Now here’s one for primarily the Mums, [of course not always but I’ve worked with thousands of families to date so I feel that my generalisation is warranted]
Sorry ladies, I do have great love for you but this has to be said, even though it might hurt.


In my experience, the main reason I have found that Fathers who are eager to do the right thing check out or stop trying is a loss of confidence or encouragement to keep trying.

Each time they “do it wrong” especially when it comes to the baby, or each time you take over, their confidence and enthusiasm takes a hit.

Listen, I GET IT, but even I had to learn to let go and tbh, most of the time you might be presently surprised at how just letting go and giving over some of the care brings ease to the entire family.

Please give your partner space to try and contribute. I am going to leave that there but I had to say it because it’s a biggie.

P.S I am well aware there are many times this may not be the case.

So here in dot points are my top tips for relationships during early parenting.

  • Don’t over schedule…. I’ll say it again – do not overschedule
  • Pre do some meals if you have the time so that once bub is asleep you may actually get some time together.
  • Small things. Don’t wait to finally get a night out once every 3 months, do small things for one another and please do small things for yourself too.
  • Create little elements of routine that bring you connection and certainty this may be as simple as visiting the same coffee shop or the same park.
  • Engage when and where you can in something that helps you feel like yourself again.
  • Encourage one another and make it easier for one another to get to an old sport or activity once a week.
  • Be aware of one another’s love language and keep that in mind for your small gestures.
  • Schedule time together with friends, even if its once a month. Lock it in and go. Even when you can’t be bothered you will more than likely be glad you went.
  • Be kind to one another, be empathetic and know the change in your life is so large that of course after shocks will occur, find your friendship and ride it out together.

You do not get a medal for not accepting help and only you are worried about what other people may think if you do.

PLEASE I implore you to get sleep sorted! It changes the entire experience, relationally, emotionally and physically. I have worked with too many couples that regretted the depths of despair they had been in.

I have worked with too many individuals who attribute sleep deprivation to the undoing of their marriage. It is NOT worth it.

I have worked with too many couples that regretted the depths of despair they had been in. I have worked with too many individuals who attribute sleep deprivation to the undoing of their marriage. It is NOT worth it.

Talk about how you feel both women and MEN and if that can’t be with your partner then do your best to find someone. We lost the village and it’s ok for both Dads and Mums to feel the effects of that too.
 Interlock your fingers with one another and imagine this, your relationship is significantly important because when your babies are young your hands make the cradle that carries them, when they grow still joined together they make the roof that houses them.

Be that in a relationship or not know that just as all you want for your little loves is happiness that to is what they want for you.

Never underestimate the power of taking care of yourself and your relationship when it comes to great outcomes for your little ones too.

[As I mentioned earlier I am no expert this is just based on observation and years of working with incredible families.]

 

Image credit: Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Tara Mitchell

Tara Mitchell

As a qualified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant, paediatric nurse, and mother, I have supported thousands of parents and families to create healthy sleep habits with their little ones. My caring nature enables me to build lasting rapport with families and create the best plan based on each individual child. Sleep provides much needed help to the physical, emotional and mental well being of the child and parents.