Relationships After Baby
Why do relationships change after giving birth?
You find yourself SO limited on the amount of free time. Half the time you don't even get a few minutes to yourself to do the essentials like shower and eat. It's no wonder that relationships can suffer after a huge change in the amount of free time you have. I can remembers days where my friends could call me up last minute and I would be able to drop whatever I had going on to be with them. Now, with a baby, things are much different. I have to know at least a day in advanced and hope that my little guy won't be in rare form when we go. That is if I can even bring him. In that case I'm then looking for someone to watch him. It can really become a whole process.
As a mother my first priority is always going to be my child- no matter who else is in my life or may come into it. For many women their top priority may have been their spouse, career, friends, or maybe just themselves. After bringing a child into the world all of those priorities take a back seat. This can cause people to feel a shift and in all honesty- that's exactly what it is. All of the people who I used to hold as a top priority, even my career and myself, had to take a backseat to my son. I wouldn't do it any differently- this is exactly how I found my tribe.
Scheduling is such a struggle when you are a parent. Work schedules, school schedules, sitter schedules, and everything in between becomes such a game of can I or can't I? Organize yourself by any means necessary- planners, reminders, bulletin boards, calendars, ANYTHING! Writing it down in one spot for everyone to see can make the biggest difference your scheduling nightmares.
Sometimes we are just wiped out and do not have the energy to deal with the outside world or anyone apart from our children. It is exhausting raising and running through the day with a tiny human.
Marriages and Romantic Parternships
Frustration is an unfortunate reality in having a baby. Not so much a frustration with your child, although yes that does happen, but rather a frustration with your partner. Eventually your spouse will do something to frustrate you and you'll ask yourself- How hard is this? Why don't they understand? That's when the shift starts to happen.
I can not say it enough- COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE.
If you do not explain and confront your frustrations you're just waiting for an explosion to happen. Explain how you're feeling, ask them for help on things that pile up on you, ask them if their is anything that you do that may frustrate them, find common ground and build off of it. Relationships are not simple and need attention to build, grow, and thrive.
Lack of Time
Your time- or I should say your free time, is going to become close to non-existent for most of you. Whether that be going back to work right away or your spouse picking up extra hours to make up for lost income. It may be that when you do find time, you are so exhausted from nurturing a baby all day that you put off the nurturing that your relationship needs.
It does get better. I know, what an annoying thing to hear time and time again. But it does, I promise you. Your baby will start to sleep more through the night and even hopefully develop a routine. You'll even get to a point where you'll feel comfortable leaving them with someone so that you can sneak out for a date night. Hang in and make it through the tough times.
Shift in First Priority
This was a huge one for me. I felt so absent as a priority in my partners life- it was almost as if I was just there to take care of our son. Many people feel a shift in their lives priority wise and it can be on either end. Your spouse may feel that the only thing you care about now is your child and you may feel that the only thing your spouse cares about is themselves.
Understanding and balancing priorities can be a tricky thing, especially for first time parents. I am a huge list maker- if I ever need to figure something out I start writing a list. That may be a pros and cons list, or maybe even a financial necessity list. Put it on paper, make it tangible, and sort out your priorities on what is most important and what is not. As you go through the list you'll start to realize how many things you spend time on that just truly do not hold the same level of value as your relationship. It's a balancing act and we just have to figure out how all the pieces fit best without falling over.
"A strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other, even on those days when they struggle to like each other."— Dave Willis