Navigating relationship changes after having a baby can be challenging. Embrace personal growth, communicate openly with your partner, and remember that struggles are normal during this transition. Seek professional support if needed and follow tips for staying connected to maintain a strong bond with your partner during this significant life change.
Your New Chapter: Adjusting To Life As Parents
Becoming a parent is a big deal and it usually changes people, often in ways they don’t expect. Relationship changes after your baby arrives can be stressful, but they’re normal, and there’s lots you can do about them.
We’re all used to having various roles in life from son/daughter, brother/sister to friend or colleague. However, when you become a parent, your sense of identity shifts, and new goals and values often come along with that.
You might feel differently about work, money, or family, and you’ll almost certainly feel differently about time with a lot less of it to yourself.
You might be struggling with your mental health since becoming a parent. Maybe you’re feeling touched out. You might be finding it difficult to make time for intimacy, or have got into a cycle of rejection. It’s also very common to struggle with the impact of stress on your relationship.
If you want to stay connected to your partner, you need to go through the changes together.
Embracing Change And Personal Growth
It can be a bit of a shock how much parenthood changes us. It’s one of the big milestones in the course of a shared life, but it’s not the only one of course. People change an enormous amount throughout their lives.
This can feel overwhelming when you’re going through a period of great change. It can be helpful to remind yourself that we all need space to grow and evolve.
So how do you make a relationship work when you’re both going through so much personal change?
It might help to think of the commitment that you made as being to the relationship between you, rather than to the person that your partner was when you got married or decided to make a life together. This shift in mindset can make it easier to cope when your partner inevitably changes over time.
Robin Sharma says,
“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.”
So true, isn’t it? (Although that gorgeous feeling might sometimes just be a relief that things finally seem to have settled down a bit!)
When you’re going through a big change, it might help to remind yourself that it’s normal to find it hard, normal to struggle with the unknown, feeling out of control, and the messiness of it. But hang in there – change can be uncomfortable and disorienting, but the alternative is stagnation – and no one wants that, for themselves or their relationships.
So change is good, but some changes can be really tough. Craig Ferguson sums it up well when he says,
“When you become a parent you go from being a star in the movie of your own life to the supporting player in the movie of someone else’s.”
One minute you’re the lead in a romcom, the next minute you’re wondering… what film are we even in?!
Navigating Relationship Struggles After Having A Baby
Babies are hard work, and most couples worry about the state of their relationship as they adjust. That’s why I started speaking publicly about relationships after kids, and why I think we all need to talk about them more openly.
Because if you’re struggling, and everyone else seems to be gazing lovingly at each other, it’s easy to conclude that it’s your relationship that’s the problem. But that’s not necessarily the case!
All of this is very common as couples adjust to life as parents:
- Talking less than you did before
- Finding the conversations you do have more stressful
- Feeling uncomfortable with the roles you seem to be slipping into
- Arguing more
- Having less sex – or none at all
If this sounds like your relationship, try not to panic. These changes are completely normal – in the short term – and don’t necessarily mean that your relationship is in trouble.
Staying Connected: Tips For Reconnecting With Your Partner
Here are a few tips to help stay connected with your partner (and please bear in mind that it’s never too late to catch up if you didn’t do this stuff as a new parent):
- Talk to your partner about your thoughts and feelings about the change
- Tell them what it’s like for you to adjust to your lives becoming more intertwined than ever
- Ask open-ended questions about your partner’s experience
- Bond over your shared love for your new baby
- Remember to look into each other’s eyes as well as your baby’s or children’s!
Talking to your partner about your worries can be very connecting, as can talking with friends and family. It might just be a great comfort to someone else who is equally having a hard time to hear that they’re not the only one.
Seeking Support And Staying Connected
If you’re still struggling with your relationship months or years after becoming parents, consider seeking professional support, such as relationship coaching or therapy, or a one-off relationships after kids coaching calls. I can support you to inject positivity back into your relationship, resolve resentments, improve communication and feel closer again.
Relationship Changes After Baby: Contact An Expert
Relationship changes after having babies can be stressful, so please don’t struggle on alone. Through relationship coaching and/or therapy, we can work together to get your relationship back on track. Click here to get in touch and find out more.
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