Having a baby is a completely new experience for parents. And, as they eagerly welcome this change in their lives, it comes with the challenge of maintaining their relationships with each other. There are many chances of both parents having different ideas on nurturing the baby and these will differ even as the baby grows up. So get ready for these arguments once you become parents. To make sure that you sail smooth in your marriage, here are a few things that you must keep in your mind.
Sharing responsibilities
With the arrival of a baby, comes a ton of work that you both have to do. Division of labour is most obvious at this time and problems start when there is unequal division of work. It depends on how you want to do it; the traditional way where the mother contributes more to home and the baby, while the father is focused on his work, or whether you both want to get back to work at the earliest. Whatever the case, both of you need to understand that it has to be a mutually acceptable solution. Lots of planning needs to be done in advance and responsibilities have to be taken seriously.
There will be differences in the way you handle your child
If the child falls down, the instant response is to pick it up to make it feel safe and stop it from crying, but your partner may have approach it differently. Your beau may want to just brush it off saying, “Get up now, you will be okay.” At such times, remember each one reacts differently. While one of you is more caring, the other might take a firm stand in such a situation. Both of you have to give each other the freedom to express yourself freely since both think independently.
Taking illness seriously
In most cases, even when it is just a common cold and cough, one partner will want to wait and see while the other will be on tenterhooks, eager to pick up the phone and take the next available appointment with the paediatrician. In such situations, a balanced and well-thought approach helps, so while you should never ignore an intuition regarding your child’s health as a parent, don’t go overboard by going around taking second and third opinions from various doctors if it isn’t serious.
Sex becomes a distant memory
According to experts it takes almost a year for the couple to get back to having an active sex life after a baby. While men are eager to resume it as soon as they can, for women it takes a lot more time after delivery. Since both are sharing responsibilities, are deprived of sleep, lack energy, being intimate physically gets difficult. At such times, your partner needs to understand the discomfort and handle the situation very sensitively. The best way is to communicate with each other with patience and handle it all with a sense of humour. Both should be willing to understand each other and probably find new ways of expressing physical affection until both are ready to have sex again.
Overindulging kids with too many toys
This is where most of the parents argue on. While one feels that the kid has too much toys, games or books, the other partner wants to just pick up so-called unused stuff and chuck it in the bin or just give it away to the charity. Figure out sensibly what stays and what goes, depending on what your child regularly needs. While you should remember not to be in a hurry to throw play things which your child may be attached to, keep in mind that they need to have games, toys and books compatible to their age. If you don’t remove the old ones you will have no space when you buy new ones.
Cleanliness issues
As a caretaker of little children, one gets used to all the mess that they create, but one is never ready for all that poop and vomit coming your way unexpectedly. Neither is your home, car and the furniture ready for all that. So, while one partner will try to sort out all the chaos, the other is sure to screw up their nose, wanting to throw up themselves. The best solution is to keep things handy whether you are home, in the car or outside. Keep a stack of clean tissues, wet wipes, cleansing solutions, baby lotions, sanitisers and a change of clothes handy.
Food that is good for your child
Once you know your baby can eat solids, parents start experimenting with their taste for food and trying to get it to eat it all which is a big challenge for every parent. Add to that, when both parents have different views about it, the kids end up eating a lot and more. While adding variety to their menu may be a good idea, it might trigger two things — either the child learns to eat everything and becomes fat or they loath eating altogether. Depending on their own preferences, many parents also differ on whether the child should be a strict vegetarian or he eat non-vegetarian food too?
Other things that may cause trouble
Who cleaned and changed the baby the last time?
Whether to buy only branded items for the child?
Are cheap products good for kids?
When to stop feeding the child and train him to eat by himself?
Keep these in mind
While sharing your feelings, frustrations and concerns keep clean communication going
Listen to all that your partner wants to say without interrupting or responding.
Repeat what your partner has said in your own words, thus ensuring that you are both clear about it.
Have some quiet moments together like having a quiet cup of tea together or taking a quick post-dinner for a walk after putting the baby to sleep.
w Even if you don’t agree to what your partner says, don’t immediately disagree.
w Have the talk when you’re both feeling calm and composed, not when you are tired or sleepy.
w Do things for the baby together – like putting together things for his nursery, taking time out to go shopping for the baby, assembling his album of early memories