Relationships Change When You Have a Baby
When I was studying for my human development degree at UC Davis, many of the classes address family dynamics over the course of human development. I knew going into motherhood that my marital satisfaction was likely to go down, but to experience it is much harder to handle. If you find that you are fighting with your partner, or maybe just having trouble feeling compatible since having a baby, it’s totally normal.
Consider all the changes you and your partner are going through. You used to be a wife and he used to be a husband. You both mastered your roles and had new who you were to one another. But in a matter of minutes, hours or maybe days, you became mom and he became dad. Suddenly things aren’t as clear and you both are faced with learning your new role as parents.
I personally felt, and continue to feel like I was born to be a mother. Somehow I thought that would make me more prepared to take on my role a mom. I consider myself to have good mother instincts but figuring out my role as mother and now a stay at home wife, is more than a challenge. With the new role of motherhood, it’s hard to figure out how your old role of simply wife fits into the new equation.
Have a baby, especially the first baby, brings about so many changes for you, but it also does for the new daddy. He’s got just as much to learn and adjust to, and it’s all happening at the same time! With all of these changes in roles, add in sleep deprivation, and it’s not surprising marital satisfaction goe down when you have a kid. But don’t worry, it goes back up!
Sure there are statistics on when the average family has a turn for the better for mom and dad, but every family is different. Some families may have a really short adjustment period of weeks or months, while it may be years for others. I can say that we are almost 5 months postpartum and we are still figuring things out. We have a lot of fights that stem from the changes in our daily life.
Simple things like sitting on the couch and binge watching netflix while cuddling and eating takeout, isn’t as easy as it used to be. Even going for a walk, it’s harder to hold hands when one of you is pushing a stroller. Such small things change in a relationship when you have kids, but they add up and can cause a lot of stress. Sometimes I have felt like my husband and I are falling out of love because things feel so distant at times because it’s no longer about us. Our lives revolve around our precious bundle of joy.
Sometimes the feeling of drowning in relationship sorrows is overwhelming, and goes on for days or weeks. And then we share a moment, a milestone, a lesson, a memory, and we fall in love deeper. I won’t lie, I often have days where I feel like a horrible wife, or like my husband sucks. It’s okay, and normal, there is a lot going on! It’s normal to get upset with yourself and/or your husband. When you find yourself in a calmer place, try and cut yourself and your partner some slack. It will get better! Most importantly talk it out, make sure you both hear each other’s stressors and try and help each other out.