your relationship after children

Featuring Melissa Brown, PsyD

Our relationships are something that we need in order to get through our everyday lives. The healthier our relationships the happier we tend to be and it is easy to nurture them when it is only the two of you. The birth of a child adds a unique twist to the everyday life of a couple. It is typically a wonderful, joyful time yet it can be stressful and overwhelming. However, the new addition does not have to mean your partnership has to suffer because of the new responsibilities. There are some things that can be done to ease you into this new status of Parenthood.

First, make sure that you are taking the time to nurture your bond. Take five minutes when you are getting ready for bed or at breakfast in the morning and ask about each other’s day, give each other a compliment, give support of each other’s parenting style, spend some time in quiet solidarity, or even talk about your worries or fears. The more you communicate the less likely either of you is going to make assumptions about the other.

Try and make sure that you communicate with your partner the things which are particularly stressful and make a plan together on how to improve them. Things are ing to be different now that your little one has arrived but they do not have to be horrible or overly painful. Try to embrace it and enjoy each other. Change is not always bad and it can be exciting and fun.

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Reduce your expectations of your partner. Neither of you will handle a situation in the exact same manner. This alleviates the stress of having things done perfectly or “just right.” It is od enough if things are not done how you would have done them as long as they are done. Letting go of these unrealistic beliefs will help you grow stronger in your relationship. And it is acceptable to ask for help. Take up your friend on the offer to help get some of the tasks done so you can have some downtime. Try and remember that new mothers usually feel overwhelmed by this new role. And new fathers can feel left out and isolated

Be sure to make time for intimacy. Sure, you will be tired from the sleep deprivation but being intimate es beyond having sex. Find ways to express your affection in other manners such as hugging, cuddling, snuggling, massaging, kissing, or touching. Physical touch can be a great way to connect on a new level. Again make sure you are communicating with each other so that there are no misconceptions. Women often fear having intercourse after the birth of a baby which is not always something a male partner would be aware of.

Take control of the added responsibilities. Again, communicating with each other on who is doing what and when is rather important. It is not uncommon for one partner to feel he or she is doing more than the other. Try and prevent resentments by having discussions about who is responsible for getting a task completed. Be sure to make a list of the priorities and remember that some small things might have to fall by the wayside. That is ok!

At the end of the day having a child is an amazing miraculous experience. However, it does not mean that your coupleness is ing to get lost in the process of raising this new addition in your life. At least with a little work, your relationship will be able to grow and be stronger than ever.

About UPMC Harrisburg

UPMC Harrisburg is a nationally recognized leader in providing high-quality, patient-centered health care services in south central PA. and surrounding rural communities. UPMC Harrisburg includes seven acute care hospitals and over 160 outpatient clinics and ancillary facilities serving Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Juniata, Franklin, Adams, and parts of Snyder counties. These locations care for more than 1.2 million area residents yearly, providing life-saving emergency care, essential primary care, and leading-edge diagnostic services. Its cardiovascular program is nationally recognized for its innovation and quality. It also leads the region with its cancer, neurology, transplant, obstetrics-gynecology, maternity care, and orthopaedic programs.

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