Many congratulations on making the giant leap from coupledom to babydom! But, this new weird world of yours with a newborn in tow is not as rosy and innocent-looking as your little one’s cheeks… It is quite a shocking transformation of the oh-so-i-love romance to a blatant night-time duty of handling the never-ending cries in shifts. You suddenly seem to be so aware of each other’s faults in the most basic things like putting on the baby’s joggers to cleaning their bottles with a microscopic eye.
So, what really changes after having the baby. The stage of pregnancy has its fair share of emotional ups and downs all thanks to those raging hormones and night-time cravings.
With the delicate life out of that big bump into this noisy world full of glaring lights and noises, it is quite a nightmare to both the baby and their parents. It is their first shot at parenting and they become really aware of their starkly differing parenting styles, their points of contention, obsession with cleanliness for a start.
So, how do these tired, emotionally -drained and sleep-deprived do to achieve a common solution to the problems turning up out of the blue.
Here is a list of the most talked about issues which crop up after this new member enters your household, along with some tips to tackle them one by one.
• Halve the double trouble
Maintaining your marriage takes up a lot of energy and time, which is what you all want right now. With a baby in tow and household chores seeming to shoot up with the obvious reason of extra laundry, feeding, and pooping going on in the background, sharing the burden is the only way out.
While the mother feeds the baby or rocks him or her to sleep, the father can attack those undone dishes or the piling laundry. Switching in cycles and remaining consistent, and patient with each other is essential. After the baby sleeps, try to finish the most important chores which cannot be delayed at any cost. For example, drying put the laundry, cleaning the baby’s sheets, doing the dishes and preparing dinner. Leave the remaining cleaning for some other time and grab a blanket for that power nap to recharge for the next obstacle!
• Couple time is a mystery
Jumping onto the babyhood bandwagon with your equally amazed partner is quite challenging, not to mention strenuous on your romance. What used to be free time to lounge around and catch up on gossip or going out for late-night outings is a distant dream now.
There is a pressing need to schedule a time to talk about baby issues now and not about their relationship. Solving the couple time mystery requires effort from both of you. Planning out which activities you really miss and catching up on them while your spouse handles the baby is one way.
When both of you are done with reaching individual priorities and that much-needed private time, spending time with the baby as a three- becomes more enjoyable.
Catch up with each other and relive your romance as the baby sleeps. Newborns have the tendency to keep awake at night and sleep for longer hours during the day. Utilize this sleep time to spend time together with much-missed couple moments like watching a favorite series, baking a cake or having a romantic date at home.
If babysitting the baby is an option for you with the help of supportive grandparents or friends, then this can be a good way to go out for dinner or watch a movie together to boost your love.
• Conflicting parenting styles
With the first step firmly set towards parenthood, there is much in store for you when you take the baby home the first week. Those abnormal sleep cycles, feeding bottles, pacifiers, strollers and incessant crying in the middle of the night. All this can bring out the best of motherhood and fatherhood in you, accompanied by conflicting styles of parenting more often.
One of you may prefer the baby go to sleep only on the bed while the other may let the baby drool off in the lap. One of you may prefer going to sleep with the baby (crying is unbearable) while the other may press on letting the baby fall asleep using the cry out method. All of this can slowly create tension among sleep-deprived couples, who are often at loggerheads with each other regarding minute baby issues.
The key is trying to understand each other’s points of conflict regarding the baby and going the middle way. Consulting the baby’s doctor regarding any such issues to seek professional advice on what is best for the baby. The priority should be given to what is good for the health and well-being of the baby in the long run, even if it may compromise your sleep for a year or two!
• Intimacy is history
With a smiling, cooing baby refusing to sleep at night or shocking you out of your bed in the middle of the night, intimacy goes down the drain. You just feel so drained of energy and sleep after the daily routine that sleep time seems only welcome for catching up on resting those tired eyes rather than on sex.
Intimacy requires planning for a date, just like it did before marriage. Seeking help for taking care of the baby while you reignite your romance is a sure-shot way to keep the fire of love burning.
Having a baby does not change the way you love each other, in fact, it makes you crave each other even more!
• The worrisome in laws
The new sets of grandparents are now even more eager to have their fair share of time with the new bundle of joy. Transformations from non-interfering in-laws to doting grandparents who are always ready to rock the baby can get so out of control.
Setting appropriate boundaries on how much time with the baby is constructive for recreation and how much you need time to meet your daily goals is necessary. It is better if the new army of baby-lovers is dealt with in a kind and affectionate manner in order to avoid any feelings of hurt and separation from the baby.
That they were once your parents too and need this time of reliving your childhood through your children should not be forgotten. Play dates with the baby where the baby is handled by his or her grandparents is a good way to release steam and catch up unfinished office or housework.
• The burden of money
Getting the financial act together before the baby arrives is often underestimated by to-be-parents. After birth, as the real expenses on the needs of the baby start cramming up, is when they start freaking out and lashing at each other over minor issues.
Spending and saving styles regarding money are never the same for a couple. This often leads to arguments, hurting of sentiments and resentment towards the baby’s unplanned arrival in your paradise!
Yes, it is better to avoid going down that lane and prepare in advance for what is to be expected.
Talking to experienced parents, elders and finance experts can help chart out a strategy on what to expect and how to save up for those emergency expenses.
Sitting down and planning the salary, assets, expenditures, taxes, savings, budget etc can help you out in being well prepared for the money-run!