Are you a New Mom or Dad?
Are you a new mom or dad? What a miracle and a joy. And, what a huge responsibility.
Stress can occur even in the best situations. This tiny bundle of joy can disrupt even healthy marriages. Are you experiencing marital problems after having a baby?
You aren't alone. Keep reading to learn about marital issues and strategies for coping with them.
1. New Parent Tension
The reality of a new baby often differs from expectations. They are warm and soft and so beautiful that you feel like your heart melts. Then their diaper explodes in the middle of the night and one of you must get up.
When these expectations crumble, many couples feel doubt and frustration. Am I failing as a parent? Why can't my partner help more?
Talking about your concerns with friends or family members can provide guidance. Consider asking other parents you know for help.
You may even want to join a new parents' group. The group may provide support and tips to make baby care easier.
2. Unequal Workload
When a new baby arrives, it's often difficult to tend to the baby and usual household tasks. Many couples experience marital tension due to perceived unequal division of labor.
Who gets up with the baby at night when both people have to go to work? Who is going to cook and do laundry? This becomes a greater issue when both parents are working full time.
Make a list of necessary tasks and decide how they will be accomplished. In the first few weeks, just skip some chores and focus on newborn care.
3. Maternal Gatekeeping
When trying to be a great mom, the wife may become a maternal gatekeeper. This describes behaviors that push the father out of caregiving. Mom may criticize his methods or choices about the baby.
Since the child can't speak for themselves, Mom may feel more qualified to interpret the baby's wants and needs. This can create a division in the marriage.
Consider counseling to have a third party moderate discussions about parenting behaviors. The mom must first recognize her behaviors. Next, create a strategy to release some of the control.
Allow the father to care for and make decisions about the baby without criticism. Look for balanced ways to discuss parenting choices. This requires commitment from both partners.
4. Decreased Intimacy
Everyone focuses on the baby's needs. The parent's needs must also be a priority. It's important to keep your adult relationship.
Plan time for the two of you to spend together. Ask a friend or family member to watch the baby and have a date night. Leaving your baby may seem stressful, but you will feel energized and refreshed when you return. You can even schedule date night at home too when the baby goes to sleep.
Find a time when you both feel more rested and have more energy. Don't wait for intimacy to happen, make a plan.
Have You Experienced Marital Problems After Having a Baby?
Even after months of preparations, the arrival of the new baby can feel overwhelming. It's not uncommon for couples to experience some marital problems after having a baby.
Over time, many relationships grow tense. Conflict arises as the two people feel more disconnected, sad, and lonely. The good news is that, with help, these frustrating and hurtful patterns can change.
For further inquiries:
Check out Rachel Moheban-Wachtel, LCSW, at www.relationshipsuite.com
Phone: (917) 273-8836