Relationship After Baby

Not matter how confident a couple is in their relationship before having a baby, everything will quickly change once the baby has arrived. For first time parents, this means they will have to endure role changes, along with adjusting their lifestyle and learning how to use their finances properly with a third little person which needs constant provisions, especially food and diapers. At the same time, more experienced parents will have to endure the balancing of demands between baby and their older children, whom may not understand the needs of the baby.

While some decide to have a baby to either celebrate their relationship or strengthen it, they both believe that having a child will help them continue to grow closer together with a lifetime of tenderness, intimacy and maturity found in their new little bundle of joy. However, many couples head to a relationship counselor after their baby is born for various reasons, but most notably to keep their relationship strong while caring for their child.

What Are the Problems in Relationship After Baby?

After having the baby, couples will go through a variety of problems, including lack of sex, money and time together. Not to worry though, as there is a solution to every problem, including those that arise after the baby comes home

1. Too Much Housework

Before baby, you may have waited until the very last second to do laundry, wash the dishes, or even clean the house, but now with the little one at home, procrastination has quickly become a thing of the past. Some couples result in keeping score, saying that since they did the dishes, it’s the partner who should wash the bathroom. While this may work for some, others may need to remember that while women are constantly concerned with the state of the house, they need to ask the men directly and then thank them once they follow through.

2. Discrepancies in Parenting Styles

Oftentimes, parenting styles will cancel each other out and no matter how much it has been discussed beforehand, issues that couples had not yet considered will arise. Determining how you want to handle sleep-training is not ideal in the middle of the night, nor is determining when and where playtime will happen. Along with these schedule like issues, parenting styles may differ on when to introduce certain foods as well as what is considered as good or bad behavior. Parents will typically resort to how they were raised themselves, which could be drastically different, thus causing several arguments even in the first few weeks the baby is home.

3. Lack of Sleep and Sex

With the arrival of a baby, couples can say good-bye to what they knew as sleep, which often results in cranky and constantly annoyed new parents that may react negatively both to each other and the baby.

Additionally, couples will often either not find time for sex, or the woman may still feel unattractive or tired. While women may be afraid that sex will be painful or that they’re no longer sexy, this causes the men to feel alone and excluded.

4. Less Time for Each Other

Even though couples will still always be together, it is now with baby and not just the two of them. Couples need to remember that anytime they go anywhere, unless they have a permanent nanny, they are going to have to either hire a babysitter, or bring the baby with them. More often than not, this means a drastic change in lifestyles. Before baby, couples may have gone out to eat and to the movies on a regular basis. They may still want to, but will not be able to for at least the first several weeks the baby is home.

5. Financial Problems

One of the largest stressors for new parents is the issue of money. Before baby, both parents were probably working and bringing in a significant amount. However, depending on the maternity leave policy and whether or not the mom wants to stay home with baby, the family’s financial standing can drastically change in only a few weeks’ time. Now that the baby is at home, couples have to consider the cost of formula, diapers, baby clothes, and even possible childcare expenses. Unfortunately, this often overwhelms parents and only causes disagreements.

What to Do to Improve Relationship After Baby

1. Ask for Help

Hiring a midwife or doula, especially for the first baby, will help both partners feel more secure in their relationship and ease any emotions of feeling that one did not do what he should have done and vice versa. A support person could also be a grandmother or close friend, whomever both parents feel would be a good choice in keeping all parties calm, while assisting with caring for the newborn. At the same time, this will allow either the support person or the parents to better care for themselves and their surroundings without quickly getting overwhelmed.

2. Listen to Each Other

Unfortunately for all couples with a newborn, there is no physical way to read each other’s minds and, regardless of how close a couple was before their baby, they are certainly going through a huge life change. In order to allow this addition to the family to be a more smooth transition, it is vital for both parties to listen to each and discuss exactly what they need. Both need to be honest about their needs, sharing the housework, and, if needed, should call someone over to watch the baby so the couple can have some quality time together without being in a constant state of worry or frustration.

3. Get Intimate in Other Ways

While a new mother simply wants plenty of time to cuddle with her child, her form of feeling loved and intimate may be cuddling against her husband while holding her newborn, and not necessarily by having sex. On the other hand, men feel as though they are nurturing their partner and feel closer to them while having sex. In order for the two roads to cross, guys should consider pitching in more with the baby and housework and should remember that they are more likely to get lucky if they’ve helped with housework.

4. Have a Date Night

New parents are sure to be in love with their newborn, and may seem to want to spend an abundance of time cuddling and caring for their child, but that doesn’t mean they should forget about spending time as a couple still. Couples will need to plan ahead by creating specific date nights, getting trusted child care, and heading out for dinner and a movie. If a couple doesn’t quite trust leaving their child with a babysitter, they can also ask their friend or family to come over and watch the baby while the couple orders in.

5. Work Out a Plan to Cut Costs

As soon as a couple knows they’re expecting, or when they begin trying to conceive, they should start increasing their saving funds as much as possible. Couple will need to sit down and determine a workable budget, which does not include consistently dipping in to savings. Instead, the budget should concentrate on becoming a one income family while communicating what both sides simply cannot live without, even that means a mom’s yoga class and the latest video game. They may also need to consider downsizing in areas such as eating out, cable service, and even where the grocery shopping is done.

For more practical tips on successful relationship after baby, watch this video: 

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