It is no doubt that becoming a first time mom or dad is HARD WORK! There are so many changes occurring with your routine, your sleeping, your body and often your relationship with your partner. Adding a new member to the family is quite amazing, but this wonderful new transition can also be an extremely tough one. With so many changes, it can be so hard to focus on yourself and your own care, let alone your marriage or partnership with your significant other.
I hear from a lot of couples that with the new addition to their family also came a bit of a separation in connection, time spent together, and intimacy. It is true that a new baby around sometimes means less sleep, less time together, and less sex. It can be hard for couples to find a balance that feels good and also honors the relationship in a way both partners would like. This balance is by no means easy to strike, but is important to pay attention to when wanting to keep your relationship with your partner strong and united.
With less free time overall and more time focused on the baby, I like to say that quality of time with your partner easier to accomplish over quantity. After the baby goes to sleep, maybe cuddling or a foot rub brings you two together for a few minutes. A dessert after dinner with your spouse can be a time to focus on each other and take a break from the stress of a new baby and all the responsibilities that come along with it. When possible, take the time to get dressed up and go out together. As hard as it may be to find the time and the sitter, dressing up and looking good can make you feel good, and feel sexy, for you and your partner. Even if it can’t be a night out together, having conversations about your child, your future with them and as parents, and sharing your hopes and dreams for your new baby can bring you two together and make you feel like connected partners and parents.
If you are a parent struggling to strike a balance and feel disconnected with your partner, coming to couples therapy can be a positive and safe place to process your relationship, as well as all the stress that comes along with being a new mom or dad. It also provides another hour of the week where couples can sit down, be together and share their heart with the other. Connection is key, and couples therapy can provide this connection that can sometimes feel lost when new baby arrives.