Bringing a newborn home is a joyous, stressful, life-changing event—so it’s no surprise that some couples find themselves running into relationship problems and arguing after having a baby. However some relationships do seem to grow stronger when given the stresses of a baby to deal with. Overall, I would like to think that Gavin and I’s relationship is at its best currently, even through the daily struggles I’m glad I’m doing it with him! Here is some of the ways that a relationship changes after having children;
1. THE CHANGE IS UNAVOIDABLE
Change isn’t a bad thing—at least not always! Remember when you thought a baby was going to fit neatly into your old life without having to change a thing? Nope, that is not how it works. Once baby arrives you become very aware that your life now revolves around this little helpless being who needs you—and who despite having a pretty simple existence (eating, sleeping, etc) it needs a lot of care (through the day and night) and that means it takes all your undivided attention. Consider your world officially rocked—your relationship included. Accept it, and go with it!
2. YOU MIGHT HATE YOUR PARTNER
Maybe hate is a strong word, but you might find yourself snapping at your partner a whole lot more than you used to. You might resent them a little for going to work while you’re at home or for being able to sleep when the baby needs feeding, you might despise the way they don’t change nappies or how they don’t help without being asked (or maybe that’s just me)! This does not mean you’re headed for a divorce (sorry Gavin)! Some people call those early mood swings a result of hormonal changes and sleep deprivation or the baby blues’. But as long as you recognise it, just be mindful it doesn’t last forever.
3. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP
On my daily to-do list, there is usually about 242 things on it, so it is suffice it to say a lot of items simply don’t get completed. Quality time with your partner is somehow forgotten about. We’ve made a more conscious plan to have a date night each month this year, but we shall see how long it lasts. It is good for your relationship to get away from your children every so often. It’s also important to openly talk to your partner about how your feeling.
4. SEX HAS PROBABLY BECOME A DISTANT MEMORY
At least temporarily, your sex life has probably taken a nosedive. You have to wait about six weeks after giving birth before having sex again, but it’s the last thing on a persons mind who has just given birth! Add on exhaustion, stress, mood swings, potential dryness and a lack of romance with your partner, the mood just isn’t the same anymore!
5. YOU LOVE YOUR BABY MORE THAN YOUR PARTNER
It goes without saying that you love your baby more than anything—and to some extent, that may include your partner. Well, maybe you don’t love baby more, just differently. Try not to let it get in between you. Remember, you’re both crazy about baby, and there’s no reason either of you should hurt each other’s feelings because of it.
6. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS DOWNTIME
Okay, so I mentioned how your routine would change, but there are some things you used to do that were the foundation of your relationship like watching TV together, playing computer games, reading in bed (I still do this),having an hour long up in the bath. All that cool, fun, intimate stuff is gone, once all the children are in bed it’s then time to eat or tidy and clean the house etc.
7. MIXED EMOTIONS
You spend hours looking forward to seeing your partner walk in the door at the end of the day, just so you can have five minutes to yourself. But then as soon as they Re there and have made a mess or trashed a room (just like having another child around) you quickly want them to go out again!
You seriously consider divorce each time your partner jokes about ‘babysitting’ while looking after their own baby. You will start keeping track of who has done how many nappy changes. And saving the information for the next argument. You will both feel like you are doing absolutely everything around the house. Finally, most of your arguments now revolve around deciding who is the most tired. All these are normal and common things and don’t make your relationship different or wrong!
9. YOU DO HAVE A NEW BOND
There will be ups and downs, but something about having created a life together will bond you in a whole new way, forever. You may run into some bumps in the road, but your also likely to fall in love with them all over again for different reasons, such as when your in a different room and you hear them giggling away with the children or when they fall asleep on the sofa with baby asleep next to them.
It will be different, many will say better, and hopefully you wont feel that it’s worse!