How Becoming Parents Affects Your Relationship
Expectant parents spend months preparing for the arrival of their baby. By the time they bring their little one home, they've taken classes, read a library's worth of books, and bought enough onesies to fill an entire dresser. But even with all the preparation, the reality of caring for a baby can be overwhelming. When your household grows from two to three, your relationship with your partner is bound to change.
The best way to deal with those changes is to be ready for them. Here are some ways to get a handle on what to expect when you have your baby.
And Baby Makes Three
Before, you were a couple. Now, you're (take a deep breath here) parents. How will your day-to-day life change? To start with the obvious, you probably won't get enough sleep in the early months of your baby's life. At first, your newborn may only sleep for a few hours at a time, and when your tiny bundle is up, you're up. The resulting sleep deprivation can make you irritable and turn tasks like household chores and errands into ordeals because you have less energy and can't concentrate. You'll also have less time for work (whether at home or in the workplace), for yourself, and for your partner.
Being a new parent is wonderful, but there are times when it can be really difficult, too. This can generate feelings of guilt for a mom or dad who isn't enjoying every second of being a new parent. It can certainly be stressful. So it's important to remember that it's OK to want - and to take - a break from the baby every once in a while.
A baby can also rock the boat by stirring up surprising feelings of jealousy. Sometimes new dads get jealous because the baby takes up so much of his partner's time. Dad may feel like a third wheel, or maybe he's jealous that he doesn't get to spend as much time with the baby or do as much of the parenting. These feelings are completely normal when the structure of a family changes so drastically.
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