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Kiddie Proofing Your Relationship

By Anna Williamson

Kiddie Proofing Your RelationshipAnyone who ever uttered the words ‘let’s have a baby, it will bring us closer together’ has clearly never endured the parenting tag team during endless night feeds. 

Having a baby is undoubtedly a wonderful occasion - it’s life changing in so many beautiful ways. But it’s also mind-blowingly challenging in others, and it’s important that every parent feels able to say and acknowledge the highs and the lows that being mummy and daddy often brings.  To say it’s a ‘rollercoaster’ is perhaps a very clichéd phrase, but I think it’s the perfect description for what it often feels like – hurtling down the parenting tracks, unable to get off, and often looking windswept and shell-shocked to boot.

It’s fair to say that the role of being a parent takes over your life, your emotions … and your bank balance!  It also has an enormous impact on your relationship.  

According to some reports, 1 in 5 couples break up within the first year of having a baby, and as sad as that statistic is, I can understand why.  Babies need constant attention.  They rely on us adults solely for their survival, and that’s more than a little overwhelming.  Our partner and our relationship often get shoved right down the pecking order of priorities. 

So if your relationship is feeling the strain, that’s OK. It’s normal. But this is the time to take stock and work out ways to ensure that you can keep some time and energy aside for each other - otherwise you run the risk of turning into glorified roommates.

Now, it’s not all about sex.  In fact, sex is most often the last thing on a couple’s mind in the first few months – particularly for mum who has been through the birthing process – and the ‘right time’ to get your sex life back on track will be different for every couple.  

A good tip is to actually take sex off the table for a bit, and instead work on emotional and physical intimacy.  This could be hugging, enjoying a little shoulder or foot rub, curling up together on the sofa, chatting, and having a no pressure kiss.  

Just being intimate with your partner, letting them know how much you love them, appreciate them, and respect them can make all the difference for a mutually happy couple, particularly when you’re feeling exhausted and desperate for some adult time away from the nappy changing.

Find some time each day to be together as a couple, even if it's only 10 minutes, make sure you make it a priority to re-connect, to share your feelings and news, to let each other know you’ve got their back.  It can make all the difference to keep the ‘couple cup’ full and fulfilled.


About the Author

Anna WilliamsonAnna Williamson is the resident relationship expert at The Relationship Place.

If you and your relationship would like some more help, support and advice, check out where you can access videos, coaching tutorials and much more.