Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Practical Advice

When you are pregnant you can attend prenatal classes to prepare you for the birth of your baby that teach you about labour, and diapering, feeding, cleaning, and otherwise caring for your baby. But, there is a huge flaw in this counselling, because most couples ultimately will figure out how to put on a diaper, get their baby to sleep, or cope with their own sleep deprivation. What we really need to learn, is how to deal with each other once the baby comes! We need to be prepared for all the changes that happen in our marriage after having a child. Skills for staying connected would be much more practical, since it is widely believed that as many as 25% of couples split up in the first five years after having a child.

It certainly hasn't been easy for my husband and I to transition from a couple to a family, and I have talked with other women who find it difficult to balance their roles as both a wife and mother.

In my research on this issue I discovered that Drs. John & Julie Gottman put on workshops in the US called "Bringing Baby Home" that focus on the changing relationship between mom and dad, as well as how to care for a newborn. On the Gottman Institute website it says that after having a baby "40 to 70% of couples experience stress, profound conflict and drops in marital satisfaction during this time, all of which affect their baby’s care."

So, it isn't uncommon to feel stressed out, and since we don't have these workshops in Canada {at least not that I am aware of}, I guess we just figure it out as we go and do our best. To maintain our relationship my husband and I try our best to commit to going on dates together as much as possible. We also support each other in outside interests {hubby plays sports, I have school and book club for example}. One major source of conflict after our son was born was housework {it's no secret that I hate cleaning}. So, we compromised by working a monthly cleaning lady into our budget.

Share your tips on keeping your marriage strong after becoming parents by posting a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Lauren!! I think this post will make a lot of women feel like they are not alone.