When taking their newborn home, new parents often forget that the baby is not the only introduction that needs to be made—they also need to get to know each other all over again in their new roles as Mom and Dad. The change isn’t always easy, it’s packed with countless challenges, but it is also not something to be afraid of. After accepting and adjusting to your new relationship, the rest comes naturally. Sounds easy enough, right? To make it even easier, we asked moms and dads who have been there to share their experiences as well as what new parents can look forward to as they anticipate these changes. Do remember that change is completely normal, and at times, it can lead to something even better!
It is inevitable that most conversations will be about the baby’s first milestones or the day’s wins on good days and whose turn it is to do certain tasks or what went wrong with how they did them on the not so good ones. It is demanding to take care of a baby, to say the least, but it gets better when you work together. This change reminds you to prioritize each other and remember to show appreciation for your partner as a spouse and not just a parent.
Date nights are not a thing of the past, they just have to be planned well in advance. There’s a lot more to consider, which makes that much coveted alone time even sweeter. If you’re missing that element of surprise, then by all means make the extra effort to plan a date night and impress your spouse when you ask them out, complete with realistic plans and delegation of responsibilities while you’re out.
You now have a little one whose life is fully dependent on you. Aside from providing financially, you are responsible for their health and development, on top of the daily chores that come with caring for a newborn. Dividing the responsibilities may sound simple, but it’s not always easy. Stay attentive and aware of what your baby needs as well as what your spouse needs. They may or may not always ask for it, but it is an always welcome act of love to ease the load.
Whether you’re arguing due to hormones or there is a difference in parenting styles, there will certainly be conflict. Rather than allowing conflict escalate, why not try and communicate? Take this opportunity to discuss your differences with your partner and get to know them and how they think a little better. You eventually learn to work together, to compromise, and even to agree to disagree.
This is one of the most common changes (or complaints) of parents whether it’s their first or their fifth child. You will surely feel that there are not enough hours in a day and it is up to you to rise to the challenge. Try to find tasks you can do together and bond over. You may also occasionally take turns holding the fort so your partner can take some time for self-care. Remember that healthy, happy, and loving parents to are the key to raising healthy, happy, and loving children.
You will be forming a new bond with your baby as well as a new one with each other. From new things to stress over to new reasons to laugh out loud, this bond is incomparable to anything else. The challenges you will surely go through will make your relationship even stronger and allow you to see your amazing spouse through refreshed eyes.
While interviewing parents for this article, these two titles were recommended for expecting parents who like to read. Check out How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn (2017) and Let’s Stick Together: The Relationship Book for New Parents by Harry Benson (2010).