Monday, April 14, 2014

Anticipated Newborn Stress

Couples are so excited to become parents and during the pregnancy into the first weeks home are just enthralled with what is going on.  We call this the “honeymoon phase”.  As I am sure you have heard, with anything that is eventually hard work, there is a “honeymoon phase”.  Then reality sets in.

Having a baby brings up so many things that you never had to worry about with your partner before.  There are decisions that need to be made and it is important to be on the same page with your partner.  So many couples feel invincible to the stress that will come with the baby.  I am so guilty of this!! I was convinced we wouldn’t have any stress and we’d be on the same page about everything.  Of course, I was seriously mistaken.  We are dealing with so much, from finances, to folding the baby’s laundry differently!  There are so many details that you don’t realize you will be facing when you are raising a baby together. Here are just some tips that help me and my husband get through the monotonous days and sleepless nights.

Have empathy for your partner and be thoughtful.  At times you may forget that they are experiencing what you are and it is so important to be understanding to how they are feeling.  Try your best to remember that they may be stressed to and be thoughtful.  Doing little things for your partner just to let them know you are thinking of them is something my husband and I do.  He brings a rose home after work if he knows I had a tough day or I will bake him something he loves.  Just something a bit thoughtful to show you are thinking of them.

Be conscious of your attitude.  When you lack sleep, as most couples are in the first weeks with a newborn, you may get a bit testy.  Be aware of those little things you do that may seem negative.  Try not to make faces, or roll your eyes when your partner says something. 

Have patience with your partner.  Do your best not to lose your temper if something comes up.  Try to avoid snapping at your partner over silly insignificant things.  There are many minute details with a baby that don’t matter that can add fuel to the fire.  Keep it in perspective.

Attempt to rest.  Do your best to get on a schedule with your partner that will allow you both to get in a bit of added rest.  Maybe you do the night time feeding and let him go to sleep earlier and maybe he does the morning feeding so you can rest a bit in the morning.

Keep the lines of communication open.  Make sure you make time to discuss the important things going on like finances, or future plans with the baby.  Talking in the key for relationships! 

Try to make time for intimacy.  This doesn’t necessarily mean sex.  Intimacy is a number of things.  Communication about deep feelings is a form of intimacy. It doesn’t hurt to make time for sex either.  Though incredibly difficult with a new baby.  Snuggling, talking, make time for each other.
These are just some tips I can offer based on my own life and my own relationship.  Things are stressful and hard work with a new baby.  Remember it does get better and enjoy every second!

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