Guest Post by James Green.
After nine months of pregnancy, a tiny little person has arrived in the center of your lives with an explosive force that has all but destroyed your previous life style. Having dinner out, going to the movies, and spending quality time with friends has become a distant memory. Your new baby consumes all of your free time, and your energy too!
So, how do you stay on track with your relationship with your husband (or significant other) when you are so tired you can’t think straight? And you can’t even remember the last time you were alone with your partner?
Try Not to Stress Out
Firstly, don’t worry. It’s normal to feel clueless in the face of the new human sized challenge presented to you; all new parents feel like this. Having a baby is a new experience for both you and your partner. If this is your first child, accept the fact that you will make mistakes and you’ll learn from them. Parenting is trial and error, and it’s very subjective. There’s not a right or a wrong choice.
After having a baby, you will find out what works for your individual circumstance and what doesn’t. Babies are human; they are all unique with different temperaments and personalities. So, don’t worry or feel stressed about being a new parent.
Get Your Partner Involved
Secondly, involve your partner. If you are a mother, having your baby inside of you for nine months creates a strong bond, so it is important to give your partner a chance to bond with your baby. Remember that it is his baby too. Some fathers may feel jealous at the amount of attention their wives or partner gives to the baby – though not many will admit it! Allowing your husband or partner to spend time with the baby might reduce this jealousy.
Men love compliments – even if they’re too prideful to admit it. So remember to try to give him the occasional loving look or comment, as well! Touching your partner or husband may also help him feel better and improve your relationship after having a baby. Even a hand on his back will give him the reassurance that you still love him just as much.
Also, be considerate. Your baby will benefit from both of your styles of parenting, because there is often more than one way of doing things. That is the good thing about having a mom and a dad. Sharing the load is what parenting is about.
Look After Your Health and Well-Being
Thirdly, look after yourselves. It is easy to forget your individual needs in the face of the overwhelming demands of a new baby. Your health and overall happiness will help you become a better parent. When you’re sick, feeling anxious, depressed or just plain emotional, it’s hard to be a good parent. So always take care of your needs.
Grab a moment to have a relaxing bath, or ask your partner to take charge while you have a cup of tea and read a book. Try to slot in exercise into your routines where possible. When there is nice weather outside, put your baby in a stroller and go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Your baby will get the vitamin D he needs from the sun, and you’ll get some much needed exercise.
If you are feeling down get yourself checked by a doctor or speak to your health visitor. Postnatal depression is more common than you’d think.
Establish a Nap Routine for Your Baby
If finding any magical ‘free’ moments seems impossible, managing your child’s napping may help. A reclining pram will encourage your little one to nap, or if they are very tiny, a baby sling should aid their slumbers. When your baby naps, you can indulge in a meal out or have coffee with your partner and baby; book a time when the restaurant is quiet and food is quicker to arrive, so you can focus on each other. Work in other things you could do together during nap time at weekends, a walk in the park, a visit with friends or a picnic in the summer.
Ask for Support When You Need It
Don’t be afraid to ask for support. Grandparents are a great resource and often keen to be involved in the raising of your child. And don’t forget there are a great many parenting support websites to help you.
Special Thanks to My Guest Writer, James Green from the Couple Connection.
The Couple Connection provides online and support through their relationship articles, exercises and relationship forum.
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