LIFE AFTER BABY
There is no doubt that a new baby is the most joyous, wonderful, miraculous and bonding experience in a life of a couple. When you baby comes, his or her arrival redefines you from a couple to a family. It bonds you for life in inexplicable ways that are too profound to be apparent right away.
However, even if you thought you were ready for this, figure out all the ins and outs, this event brings with it issues that could not be anticipated. Besides exhaustion, sleep deprivation, general overwhelm, a feeing of incompetency at least at the beginning, it magnifies many issues that you as a couple thought were problematic and even brings into light some new ones that you did not know existed.
It is my strong suggestion as a marriage therapist for over 20 years, dealing with many couples that you address and try to resole chronic "problems" you have a s a couple before having you first child. A baby does not solve your problems by making you a unit and giving you a common project. In fact, often, arrival of a child magnifies whatever issues you may have had before.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE HAVING A BABY
- Are you and partner on the same page about starting a family
- Are you ready financially
- Are you in agreement about work/career plans
- Realistic assessment of your partnership and making things works day to day, chores and responsibilities
- Can you make space for time alone with you spouse
- Do you have a solid intimate and sexual relationship
- How well do you deal with new challenges
- If there are issues of different religions, need to come to an agreement on religious affiliation(s) of the child
WHY COUPLES HAVE CONFLICT AFTER A BABY
- Less energy and time for each other
- Baby becomes a priority
- Numerous potential areas of conflict such as approaches to parenting, schedules, childcare
- Potential issues with in-laws, allocating time, possible intrusions, judgments, etc
- Baby brings into light and challenges core values, beliefs
- One of the partners (usually husband) feels left out, there is a sense of "what happened to us"
- Decrease in sexual relations due to pregnancy, labor and childbirth, at times linger and evolve into estrangement and disconnect.
- No or little alone time
If you are getting stuck and experiencing difficulties with all or some of these issues before getting pregnant or after the baby comes, you may greatly benefit from getting professional help from a therapist who understands how to work with these issues.
It is my belief that the best thing you can give your child is an example of a good relationship between you and your partner. Your relationship needs to always be a priority along with good parenting.
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