Here’s How Having Kids Changed Our Relationships and Why It’s Okay!

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!

Here's How Having Kids Changed Our Relationships and Why It's Okay!

Schedule and Communication Revolves around the Baby

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.

When I arrive home, our time together is spent with our daughter and talking about her. We discuss what other chores need to be done and try to get the other to volunteer to do them. We knew things had to change, so we made an effort to schedule alone time and discuss our plans for the future. The talks would be short, but it allowed us to stay connected and motivated.

Goodbye to the Spontaneous Days

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.

Our relationship before was very spontaneous and care-free. We would do a lot of things on a whim, but now that there's a little one, that all changed. Our calendar requires careful planning and a lot effort is needed to go on a date or socialize with friends. This has made us more appreciative of the time we get to spend together.

Hello to New Roles and Responsibilities

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.

We became more mature and responsible towards each other. Our drive doubled because we want to give the best future for our child, even more so when we found out he was in the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) spectrum. We doubled our efforts to provide financially, but more importantly, we are always here to guide and teach him to continue developing into a good, caring, and God-loving boy.

Parenting Unleashes More Things to Argue About

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.

As new parents, we set high expectations for each other, but in reality, so many things happen that catch us off guard. It took awhile, but we had to learn to accept the curveballs and work together as a team. Parenting isn't easy, but it's much smoother when you and your partner learn to support each other through the process.

Not Enough "Me" Time and Even Less "We" Time

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.

When we had our first child, we were so focused on our baby that we felt we had no time for anything—for us and our relationship. We had to learn to trust our parenting skills and delegate tasks to others to achieve some "me" and "we" time. This change made us more grateful about the small things—holding hands, movie dates, and drive-thru runs, which became our "we" time.

A Newer Bond, A Stronger Love

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.

What really changed is that my love and respect for my wife were multiplied a million times over. Motherhood comes with infinite sacrifices and she manages them all so well. I want to show her more affection sometimes, but I can't always do it since she and the little one I love just as much are already fast asleep. Everything about parenthood is amazing, and it makes me love my wife more and more.

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).

 

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