6 Changes That Might Happen With Your Partner After Having a Baby, and How to Solve Them
Most new parents will agree that children add a lot of stress on both partners and the couple as a union. The level of satisfaction within the couple falls sharply and fighting can increase. It isn’t something that affects only married couples but all couples that welcome a child together. The problem also seems to be universal, with partners from all socio-economic classes being affected.
Bright Side would like to point out 6 very common problems couples face after childbirth, and what you can do to solve them.
1. You fight more often because of the added duties.
- Before the baby arrived, it’s highly possible that both partners were working full-time jobs. But now, one of you has to be the main caregiver, which means that most of the house chores are on you. Your partner comes home after work and doesn’t have much energy to help you, which then stresses and enrages you.
- The solution: Instead of fighting and bickering about it, you can kindly ask your partner to do something specific. Mentioning all the chores that need doing won’t necessarily make your partner want to volunteer to do them. If you give them clear directions on what to do and how to do it, it will probably be done in no time. After they’re finished, try saying “thank you,” not as a way of congratulating them, but as a testament of your appreciation.
2. Your parenting styles differ.
- As a couple, you might be used to disagreeing about everyday stuff, like the color of the walls. But now you have a baby in the house, and making decisions for them can be tricky. You and your partner are 2 different people and it’s only natural that you will disagree at times.
- The solution: It’s important to sit down and listen to each other’s viewpoints. There is no “right” or “wrong,” and you should make decisions based on what’s best for your child. You should put your egos in the back seat and give constructive criticism some room to grow. Refrain from resolving your disagreements in front of your child, as this is something that will send them mixed signals.
3. You have no free time for yourselves or your relationship.
- Before you had a child, you had time to go out and enjoy yourselves. But now, your baby requires all of your time and attention. You forget to give yourselves some free time outside the household, and your relationship isn’t as close as it used to be.
- The solution: What both partners need to do is spend some time apart in order to maintain their sanity. Find an activity you always liked and get back to it once or twice a month. However, you will probably need to lower your expectations and indulge in your favorite activity for less time than you used to.
You should also try, as a couple, to have a night out whenever possible. Simply ask a family member or close friend to babysit while you get some much-needed air. However, if you start noticing that your intimacy is disappearing, you should try couple’s therapy before it becomes too late.
4. You worry a lot about money.
- Financial anxiety can start from the very first days of the pregnancy and keep growing for years after the birth of a child. You’re not used to having to feed another human, and the thought and calculation of all the expenses can put a lot of stress on you and your partner.
- The solution: If you have a partner, you should start saving money before the birth and decide who the main caregiver will be. You should also decide for how long one of the 2 of you will be away from your job. Make sure to check the duration of the maternity leave that you’re allowed to take, along with and any other government aid you might be eligible for.
You can also try living on one income for a while before the birth and save the second income. This will prepare you for the extra costs of childcare and keep you from buying things you don’t need. If, on the other hand, you’re a single parent, calculate the time you can spend away from your job. If your parents or a friend can take care of the baby while you’re at work, then you’ll save a lot of money.
5. Your partner makes decisions without consulting you.
- When you are in a serious relationship, your decisions have an impact on your partner as well. And it’s only natural that you’d have a lot more decisions to make once the baby arrives. You both need to make a lot of compromises now more than ever. However, in many couples one of the 2 partners makes solo decisions without consulting the other person, and this is something that often creates conflict.
- The solution: The 3 keys to making joint decisions are communication, respect, and trustworthiness. You need to talk to your partner and understand their point of view. And when you do that, you need to respect that and not criticize it. Also, it is important that you trust your partner when they have to make a decision on their own and that you not judge them all the time.
6. Your friends may stop visiting or calling very often.
- Most people you used to have around you every day will now start treating your relationship differently. They realize that your baby is your priority and might take a step back from you because of it. Also, you don’t have the same amount of time to devote to them and unknowingly, you might be moving further and further away from them.
- The solution: If you still want and need them to be around, you should make it clear to them. Tell them exactly what you need help with. If they don’t seem to understand why you’re not calling them all the time, have a conversation with them.
If they don’t have kids themselves, they may not realize how much your life changes after having a baby. And you don’t want to see everyone move away from you since having a support system is very important.
Have you experienced any of the above issues with your partner? If so, how did you handle the situation?