One of the most exciting times and significant transitions in life is becoming a new parent and most couples find this time very challenging in one way or another. Many couples are unaware of the many adjustments that are required to successfully navigate this transition of being a couple to parenthood and the change that the baby brings can often take new parents by surprise. This in turn leads to increasing levels of anxiety and stress.
It is a good time as the birth approaches to take time out to reflect on how life will inevitably change as new parents. What are the expectations and beliefs that each new parent holds? What is the role each new parent wants to play? How was each parent parented in their childhood? Many parents believe that they will be able to manage more in their lives than is realistic or that having a baby will not have a huge impact on their lives. Unfortunately for the majority, keeping a tidy house, cooking great meals, going out, looking great and having a settled baby is not that simple in reality and this is where adjusting to life with a new baby can be challenging!!
The fact is that having a new baby will cause significant changes to both the Individual and as a couple. Many of these changes are unexpected and can have one or both parents feeling a degree of loss and grief from what life was like before the new baby arrived. It is sometimes hard to accept the changes in your work identity and the loss of freedom, control, financial independence and social contacts.
As a new parent what is important for each of you is to maintain a strong relationship, as well as holding a strong sense of who you are. This will help you develop a healthy relationship with your baby and feel confident in your parenting. It is important for each person to acknowledge that it will take time to settle as new parents and to get to know your baby.
As new parents it’s important to talk to a counsellor about any areas of concerns as they arise. This will be invaluable in helping them make the adjustment to parenthood and strengthen their relationship so both parents can enjoy one of the most incredible stages of their life.
As the old saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’. This is particularly true when we’re needing to strengthen relationships for new families!! So let’s talk before it breaks.