It’s an undeniable fact that your relationship will completely change after having a baby. While you’ll hopefully see a new side of your partner that will make you fall in love with them just that little bit more, there’s also the flip side. Little things about your partner will grate on you, you’ll find it hard to communicate at times, and yes, there will be times where you will wish frustration on them in the middle of the night when you are up with a crying baby and they’re fast asleep. So, here are some ways to navigate your way through this tricky time, with your relationship intact.

 

Communication is hard

Whereas you used to have seemingly endless amounts of time to chat about things, having a baby means you may find yourself having broken conversations that require you to have to try and have a discussion whenever the opportunity presents itself. Hang in there! It’s frustrating and it’s hard, but communication has never been more important. Whether it’s making the time sit down for a cup of coffee and chat when the baby is napping, or sitting together while the baby is having a feed, it’s crucial to keep the lines of communication open. 

You’re both tired

You’re both going to be tired in some way, but yes, it’s generally the person who is trying to feed a tiny human round the clock that will be facing next level exhaustion. This can be a prime breeding ground for resentment to build as one of you feels like they’re doing more of the heavy lifting than the other. Getting rest is so important here. It’s miraculous what a good sleep can do for your mood and frame of mind. So, whether it’s enlisting a feed to your partner so you can get some extra rest, sleeping when the baby sleeps, going to bed earlier or even napping as a family together, try and ensure everyone is getting sleep whenever they can! 

 

Feeling resentful

Resentment often breeds from expectations that aren’t met. So, it’s important for both of your expectations to be clearly communicated from the get-go (if you can do this before the baby arrives, even better). Take the time to explicitly and clearly tell one another what you need, then discuss how this can be implemented. If it’s seeming more and more that the feelings of resentment have gone beyond having a discussion amongst yourself, then it’s worth considering a counsellor to talk to, to help you unpick your issues, and in turn develop strategies for overcoming them.

 

No time for yourselves

Everyone deserves “me” time and no, a shower doesn’t really cut it! Both of you in some way, will probably feel that you’re not getting much solo time because, well, you’re probably not. It’s a time of adjustment, so sit down with your calendars and carve out times where you can both have proper opportunities for self-care, whether it’s hanging out with friends, going to a Pilates class or reading a book. The time to reconnect with yourself as an individual, who you were before you were mum or dad, is so important as it will help recharge your batteries and in turn make you better parents the rest of the time. 

 

No time together

The flipside of the never-ending quest for spare time, is also the time for yourselves as a couple. Even if you are spending loads of time together, it’s not often time where you can both just reconnect. Let’s face it, doing the dishes, isn’t really giving romantic vibes is it? If you have help available, then definitely make date night a consistent feature in your schedule. Even just a quick bite to eat away from the confines of home, can be a wonderful way to remember your relationship pre-baby. If you don’t, then do date night at home —but do something a little novel or special to make it feel a little different to an ordinary night at home. Order takeaway from your favourite restaurant, rediscover an old board game, or even just set the table in a beautiful way to set the scene for enjoying a meal together. The most important thing is to make it feel different, something to punctuate regular life in a warm, loving way. Plus, it’s a gentle reminder to prioritise the relationship you built. Without it, you wouldn’t be where you are!

 

Words by Tania Gomez

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