Baby Steps: Easing The Transition Into Parenthood

Your pregnancy is all about preparing for your new addition.  But remember that you need to invest time into baby proofing your relationship to ensure it stays strong and your partner is there to support you.  Here are a few ideas to keep your relationship on the right path once baby makes three.

*Schedule in me time.  Me time is usually forgotten the moment you walk through the front door with your new bundle of joy.  Me time is absolutely essential, as is couple time.  As the old saying goes, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else, and this includes your baby.  Scheduling regular me time offers some perspective.  Your prior busy but organised life is a thing of the past, and your focus is always on baby.  Try grabbing some small chuncks of me time throughout the week.  Simple things like sitting down to really taste and enjoy a coffee, painting your nails, or a walk in nature (you can even include baby in this one) can be just what you need.

*Negotiate sleep time.  It is only fair that the working parent gets a good nights sleep and the stay at home parent tends to baby’s needs overnight.  However, the stay at home parent is usually exhausted and you will need to negotiate at least one night per week, usually on the weekend, when your partner will tend to baby’s overnight needs, whilst you can catch up on your sleep and have a much deserved sleep in.  Perhaps even breakfast in bed can be a part of this routine.

*And baby makes three.  Partners often feel left out with the new arrival now on the scene.  Give your partner specific Dad time tasks to complete to make him feel included.  Perhaps bath time can be his job each evening, and this could then become your “me time”.  This will also be great for his bonding with his new baby.

*Communicate.  Communication is vital to a strong relationship.  When you’re tired miscommunication is common.  Try to address small issues before they blow out of proportion.

*Intimacy.  Although sex may be off the menu for a few weeks, you can still share intimate time together.  Just feeling loved, being cuddled and kissed and being reassured is a great way to stay physically connected.  Relax and enjoy.

*Let it all go.  You may need to lower your expectations, not forever but just for now.  You are not superwoman, and if you think you are you’re setting yourself up to fail.  You just can’t be all things to all people.  Relax and take each day as it comes, just go with the flow.  Be kind to yourself, you’ve just been through an life changing experience.

*Discuss parenting styles.  It can take years to develop a parenting style that you’re happy with.  Parenting is always easier if both parents can agree on topics such as discipline, education and religion.  You may be surprised as to what comes up during these conversations.  It’s better to have these conversations earlier rather than later, so that a parenting plan can be put into place.

*Share the load.  A fair division of labour is what is needed in the household that is equitable and do able.  If the one person does all of the household tasks, you will become resentful of your partner.  Chores should be shared between the two of you.  A new baby will create even more work, so make a household plan fair to both of you.

*Enjoy being a couple.  If you are still pregnant , enjoy your free time now.  If your baby has already arrived, negotiate with your parents or in laws to have a night out once in a while.  If that is not possible, hire a DVD and get some take away.  You’ll still be enjoying couple time together, and it won’t cost as much either.


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