Many couples have a hard time during that first period, after child birth. Not only because they sleep very little. But, because having a baby, often has a huge impact on both of you as parents. Where you used to be able to go your own way, one of you two is now at home with you child(ren), more often then the other one. This often causes friction while you are adjusting to all tis regarding to parenthood. In addition, you still have to master that new role as a parent. Something, that most new-born mothers and fathers find very challenging at the beginning of parenthood.
Can I take a break?
This is perfectly normal, because the enormous responsibility that you now have for the care of your child (ren) is intense and asks a lot of you on a daily basis. It feels as if you will never “switch off” ever again. The “on button” is in effect and rarely switches off. Many mothers who come to my practice, have one or more issues with their partner. A lot has changed since the birth and there is a lot of pressure on both of your shoulders. There is also more arguing between you two and the atmosphere at home is not always tranquil. Take this from me: a relationship is HARD work. Most certainly, after the arrival of one or more children. People who say it is not, are not entirely honest about this, if you ask me. I don’t know a couple who doesn’t struggle after becoming parents. It such a big adjustment, so it is also completely ok if you don’t like being a parent all the time.
With some couples, the arguments go to such extreme lengths, that they blow up in the end. What I’m talking about, is domestic violence. It happens to either between parents but also to the children and it is devastating, if you ask me. Are you a mother or a father who suffers from domestic violence? Please seek help as quickly as possible, for example at https://www.thehotline.org/. Physical and domestic violence is much more common than people know off and much more attention needs to be paid to it all. This too, is big a taboo that I hope to break through. Violence is never the answer and it causes major trauma for both parents and children. These traumas (and all related problems such as detachment issues and, behavioral problems.) have far-reaching consequences for these children at a later age. So, do not hesitate and please seek help! Also, when there is a mental warfare going on between you two as parents and you no longer know how to stop it. Find a good couple’s therapist or a psychiatrist to help with the anger management and make an appointment, today!
Also if you two are “just arguing” asking for help is essential!
Also, in milder cases, seeking help is evident. If you have just become a mom and dad, you will find that you may think differently about some things. This often leads to discussions because, you often both want to make your point or do the right thing for your kid. This rarely creates a positive vibe in the house. So, try to speak to each other in a normal tone of voice, especially if your little ones are around. Indicate a problem or irritation at the moment itself and not three days later. Because by the time you want to address it, the anger has eaten you from the inside because you feel very upset, frustrated and disappointed. So deal with irritations and misconceptions as soon as possible. As soon as the kids are in bed, put your phones away and communicate with each other!
Plan quality time together
I often recommend organizing a date-night and some much needed quality time with just the two of you. This is so important! It will make you two come closer together again and also not feeling just like parents, but as the person you once where before becoming parents. It doesn’t matter what you guys talk about, for example the weather is a good start. As long as you start talking!. You eventually will remember what you wanted to talk about again or something that you have wanted to share with your partner for a long time now! Think about what you have in common, rather than how you differ from each other. Who were you two before you had children? What were your mutual hobbies and interests and start looking into them again! What do you both feel the same about? What are your common passions? Look for the things that connect you, instead of what drives you further apart. Having a child is not an easy thing in life. Some say it’s like putting a bomb under your relationship. It certainly has a lot of impact on you as a couple.
That bomb was also present in my marriage, right after the delivery. My husband went back to work after two days and I then found myself, sitting home alone, with a newborn in my arms. Normally, I would go to a festival during summer, now I spent the summer at home glued to my couch and breast pump. Several times, I wondered what had become of my life. I had some serious FOMO and I didn’t like it one bit. This was not only related to postnatal depression, it was also because I felt enormously limited in my actions. If your husband is often away, a lot of mothers will blame their partners for this at some point.
Is this fair?
Is this reasonable?
But it does happen. Way more than you think.
So, do not hesitate and seek help if you argue a lot or the atmosphere at home is constantly tense. Your child (ren) will notice this too! Even though they are little, they pick up on tension real quick. You can’t always avoid a fight and that is not what I meant to say. What I am trying to say is, that if your relationship is going through a rough time, there are countless options to ask for and getting professional help.
Have you noticed that you have not been feeling well for some time and that you and your partner suffer from this? Please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org! Together we will get started on whatever is bothering you and find a solution!