By Jennifer O'Shea
When you first start a relationship, the honeymoon phase is always great. It lasts maybe a few months or a year before you start to be extremely comfortable with the person and then you are both able to be the real you. It is almost the same as when you have a baby. Being in a relationship before and after baby are extremely different. Although you are with the same person, the way everything is handled and the direction that each are now focused in is a very different from before.
Going from just the two of you, to now being the two of you and a little human, there is no way to prepare how much you will change. Once the baby is born, establishing a parenting method for both mom and dad will come with time. Seeing how each other handle situations and which person takes on more than the other, how to divide the responsibilities and who gets up each time with the baby – all of these will make changes to your relationship.
The important thing about being a parent is that you don’t allow unspoken anger to get in the way of your relationship. A first-time parent is hard enough as it is, let alone having to deal with conversations between husband and wife about things they disagree on. Putting everything out there on the table instead of harboring the feelings instead is crucial to the survival of marriage in year one of baby.
Being a parent is the most amazing thing in the world and being able to co-parent makes the experience even better. But relationships so change as do how you think and feel. Some ways relationships change after baby are:
-You are no longer the most important person
-Holiday and birthdays are more for the baby
-Alone time is pure luck and very rare
-You take out anger on each other instead of baby.
-Emotions are high, especially when there is less sleep involved.
-Sharing responsibility is not an easy task to divvy up.
-Spontaneity is nonexistent.
-Leaving the house takes tons of planning.
-Jealousy over one person leaving to go to work or out with friends.
-Sleep is precious and sex is on the very end of the list.
-Date nights are sacred and must be scheduled
-Forgetting each other is often the norm
-Depression is common during this time
Taking a look at this list, know that no first-time parent is perfect and everyone struggles with each one of these. Some are better at managing a new family than others and it is never okay to judge anyone. Many relationships deteriorate the first year of their first child due to this list and many differences between the couple. The most important tip is that couples need to communicate during this time. Whether it be telling about how to do change the baby’s diaper or going out on a date night, there needs to be communication.
Jennifer is a freelance writer, military wife, motherhood + lifestyles blogger, a mom to a nutty 3-year-old, and a National Board Certified Teacher. She lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, fitness and everything organic. Her blog is Teach.Workout.Love and Instagram.