Going into crisis after a child
Although you have prepared yourself by reading books, attending courses, asking for information from those who have already lived this experience, the birth of a child is a "surprising" and "overwhelming" experience that puts a strain on the well-being of the couple of new parents. .
In the transition from "two" to "three" the couple relationship is meant for change, balances and well-established agreements will falter and the family will be forced to find new ones more suited to the new situation that has arisen. The best way to prepare for what's to come is to know what lies ahead.
Is your couple in crisis? These are the signs
How to understand if the couple is experiencing a moment of crisis?
Changes in sleep habits
A first obvious change, but no less dramatic, is that with the birth of a child, you are no longer just a couple: you have now become parents (irreversibly!). To begin with, from the moment the little one enters the house it will upset your daily habits, starting with the sleep-wake rhythm. It may happen that in the first months of your baby's life you have to cope with not being able to get enough sleep. There are children who immediately seem to understand that Mom and Dad's night sleep is something to be respected and spend most of the night sleeping peacefully. But it can happen that your child is one of those children who sleeps very little, especially at night.
Lack of sleep could make both parents particularly irritable and make them feel difficult to cope with the chores of daily life (going to work, doing housework, etc.), as they are too tired or unable to concentrate. Then, the sensation of not having enough time to devote to work (at home or away), to yourself, to your partner.
The arrival of a baby can give rise to unexpected jealousies. Sometimes the new father has feelings of jealousy towards the little one because the latter seems to absorb all the physical and mental energies of his partner; he may feel excluded and little considered in this new family situation, in which it seems to him that the attention is all for the newcomer and he has only the crumbs left. Or he may feel jealous of his mother, who usually has the privilege of being able to spend more time with the baby and take better care of him. It is important to know that the presence of these feelings is not only frequent but completely physiological when the family structure changes so drastically.
Physical changes after pregnancy
It's not easy for mom either to adapt to the new situation. Physically she still doesn't feel 'right'. Pregnancy may have left a few extra pounds, signs of fatigue can be seen on the face due to constant care of the baby and night feedings. It is likely that the new mother feel physically unattractive. Some women find it difficult to reconcile the new role of mother with that of a woman and a loss of interest in sexual relations is frequent in the first weeks of a child's life, which must be taken care of in order not to end up in the classic white marriage.
The family routine is upset
A further element destined to upset your family routine is the incessant visits of relatives and friends who can't wait to congratulate you and meet the new born. It is certainly a behavior dictated by affection towards you and towards the new born, but sometimes for new parents it can be really heavy and tiring to face even the task of receiving and entertaining many people at a time. in which just taking care of daily needs seems to be something beyond their reach.Read also: She wants the second child and he doesn't
Diversity of views
Eventually, you may realize that you and your partner have some different ideas on how a newborn should be raisedFor example, you may find that one of you believes that it is right to intervene immediately as soon as the baby shows signs of discomfort, while the other believes that it is better to let him cry a little before intervening. There may then arise discussions on topics never felt like a problem before, e.g. about those who work more or have more responsibilities at home. Don't overlook these signs of discomfort; if not addressed, these issues can have very negative influences on your couple's well-being. When you realize that something is wrong, sit down and talk about it.
How the life of a couple changes after a child
In short, undoubtedly the birth of the long-awaited baby boy brings a lot of joy and emotion, but also a load of fears, fatigue, misunderstanding that can often undermine the stability of even the strongest couple. There is no doubt that life changes and that the days change because it is normal that suddenly everything revolves around the child and her needs.
How to solve relationship problems after the birth of a child
- Communication between you is the best way to let off steam and prevent arguments. It may happen that the new parents are so taken up by the care of the little one that they "forget" to find time to communicate with each other. In such a stressful time, it can happen that small 'annoyances' turn into big problems for the couple if you don't take the time to talk about them openly.
- Above all try to be clear among yourselves, don't take anything for granted. The change that has taken place in your life is such that you don't necessarily see things from the same point of view. Eg. for the new father it may seem obvious that since he is away for most of the day, the mother is the one to provide all the necessary care for the baby, even when he is at home. On the contrary, the mother could experience this attitude as a sign of disinterest in her and those of the child and as a feeling of being 'abandoned' at the moment in which she feels she needs the most support.
- Avoid generalizationsthe. Saying "always be late" does not help your partner understand what is really bothering you. A phrase like “I'd like you to think about making dinner while I relax by taking a hot bath” at least once a week might be more helpful if that's what you want. Furthermore, in the first case, the sentence sounds much more like a criticism, a personal attack, in the second a very specific request is made explicit and the person to whom it is directed is unlikely to feel offended.
- Don't use current discussions as an excuse to dig up old asti. Remembering a partner's behavior that made us suffer in the past is useless at this time (other than to satisfy our thirst for revenge). Now, for our well-being and that of our child, we need to roll up our sleeves and find solutions to the difficulties that afflict us together.
- Look for the right time to communicate. Communicating, as we have said, is essential. However, it is necessary to find a moment in which there is the necessary tranquility to be able to listen to each other and discuss. It is useless and frustrating to start an argument while the little one cries in despair because he is hungry, stomach ache, or while one of you is in a hurry to go out because he is on a date. Plan rather than taking time to talk after putting the baby to bed. Be sincere, but try to play down; remember that tiredness can lead you to perceive greater difficulties than they actually are and above all and to feel more easily irritated. Listen to your partner's motives and difficulties and avoid criticizing her behavior.
- Once you have said what you had in mind, work together to find a solution that is satisfactory for both of you. Look for compromises. For example, if one of you spends a Sunday afternoon at the stadium, the other can take an evening of 'freedom' to go to the cinema or have dinner with friends.
- Divide the tasks: who will take care of the child, housework, shopping, preparing meals, etc.? Is important that each of the two partners knows what is expected of him. In this way it will be easier to face the daily routine without bad moods and spite.
- Plan time to spend together. Even if you are a family now, you still need to spend time together, the two of you, to solidify as a couple. Since your commitments have dramatically increased, it would be good if these meeting moments were scheduled in time. Try to dedicate one day of the week to the two of you (it will be 'your' day): leave the baby with someone you trust and go out alone to go to the cinema, out to dinner, or just go for a walk. If you still don't feel like leaving the baby with others, plan a special dinner, or videotape to watch together, after putting the baby to bed.
- However, spend time together after putting the baby to bed. It may happen that you feel so tired at the end of the day that you too can't wait to go to bed as soon as your little one has closed his eyes. However, make an effort to spend time together (even 20 minutes are enough), to tell you about the day, to "find each other", to share your worries and your feelings. You can do this, perhaps, while tidying up the kitchen or while getting ready for bed.
- Do something enjoyable as a family. Sometimes the daily chores and tiredness make you lose sight of the fact that it is nice to "be three". If you can, take walks or short trips on weekends, go and visit exhibitions or museums that interest you (in the first few months of a child's life it is much simpler than you imagine or than it will be later on). If you can, take a walk together even when dad comes home from work; enjoy being together while the little one enjoys his pram rides.
Above all, take every opportunity to find gods 'pleasant' moments: if possible, sometimes meet in the lunch break and eat something together; allow yourself a game of cards or 10 minutes to read poems you like together before going to bed. At a time when it will seem that "time is never enough" and that there are always too many things to do, these few minutes "stolen" for you will be a precious gift for the well-being of your new family.