How to overcome the relationship crisis after childbirth
children are wonderful. No mother and no father in this world would ever want to be without their own offspring again. And yet a baby messes everything up at first. Rules that previously applied are no longer valid, rhythms are turned upside down and structures are broken up. Especially during the first time with a baby, this can also put relationships in trouble. What helps – and what doesn’t.
“It has to be perfect!”
Many new parents enter their new lives with high expectations. Even before the birth they see each other sitting happily on the sofa with the baby, laughing during long walks with the pram and in the evening looking blissfully at the sleeping earthling in his little bed. But reality pulls her out of this fantasy, because the baby cries, is hungry, does not listen to her parents’ need for rest and causes them new worries every day. Those who continue to cling to the ideal of the idyllic new family will quickly find themselves in a cycle of accusations, frustration and disappointment.
So it takes a relaxed “mindset” to get through the first time. Parents who can adapt flexibly to changing circumstances and do not count on harmony and lightness save themselves bitter disappointments. It is all the nicer then to be able to enjoy the really beautiful moments together. But if you forget that, you may end up arguing when there is actually time for rest and relaxation.
Roles are being redefined
In the early days with a baby, mothers in particular are in demand. Especially when they are exclusively breastfeeding, they are the ones who need to be available 24/7 for the little one. It is not so tragic when couples adapt to the changing role situation and support each other in everyday life. Classic role models should therefore be quickly thrown overboard in order to avoid accusations and arguments. If parents share the household chores, each individual has more free time, even with a baby. So mum can sleep again while dad takes the little one for a walk and vice versa, mum makes sure that dad can rest for a quarter of an hour after work and come home. Mutual understanding is the basis for a crisis-free time and can even help out of an existing crisis after the birth. For this, however, it is essential to take a big step towards your partner and to speak openly.
Also read: When men are jealous of the breastfeeding relationship
The authoritative parenting style – Clear rules and respect for the child
Quiet conversations will help you get used to it
If the house blessing seems to be hanging badly, breaking the stress cycle is the only right solution. Parents should sit down and talk about their future life together. It is best if such a conversation is not conducted in the presence of the baby, otherwise there may be interruptions. It is better to ask relatives to take the baby for an hour and use the time thus gained to take stock. Here it is important to define which expectations have been disappointed in the past few days or weeks. Young parents often simply lack the usual togetherness and it feels as if they are infinitely far apart. In reality, however, it is only the changed living conditions that create external tension, while love stayed the same Couples should tell each other that, too. An honest “I love you!” can calm things down and create space for constructive planning. Then it is possible to note individual points that are important for both partners. Only when the other is aware of these needs can he or she fulfill them. If this is successful, life with the baby will settle in better after a few days and harmony can unfold again.
Also read: Compromises in the partnership
Professionally accompanied through a difficult time
If a conversation is no longer possible, for example due to hardened fronts, excessive demands or extreme exhaustion, couples are often unable to overcome their crisis on their own. In this case, it is only right to seek outside help. On the one hand, it is possible to ask relatives for support in coping with the stressful everyday life. This allows both parents to regain their strength and focus on each other again after a while. On the other hand, going to a professional consultant sometimes helps. It doesn’t have to be couples therapy right away, because the challenges of babyhood are often fleeting and not deeply rooted in the relationship structure. However, experts in family planning, everyday planning and time management can provide initial indications that what is currently neglected in the family and how it can be reintegrated. And if, despite all the measures taken, the relationship is still hanging by a thread months later, a couples therapist can act as a contact and support parents in finding each other again as lovers.
Also read: Mamababy – How to react?