Whether your baby is planned or unplanned, an addition to your duo will come with some complexities and changes to your relationship.
- Firstly, I think the thing that stands out most when you have a baby is the differences in a couples personal values and principles. Suddenly you have a little specimen to impose (read: inspire) your belief system on, and this may differ significantly from that of your partners. This is one of the key discussions you should have before the birth of your baby. You may not agree on everything, but you will at least have more insight into your partner’s belief system – khulumani ngamasiko wenu.
- Your one-on-one quality time will be significantly interrupted by sleep deprivation, nappy changes and arguments over the routine. At first, you may feel very nervous about leaving your baby with a nanny or family member, but it is so important to set aside some alone time with your partner to reconnect (although you’ll spend most of this time discussing baby). This usually gets easier as your baby grows and you feel more comfortable. In the meantime, be generous with compliments, thank-you texts and giving each other personal timeouts as well.
- Keep the communication lines OPEN – discuss your issues, frustrations and joys with your partner as often and calmly as possible. It’s often the Mommies that stay at home with the baby during the first few weeks and it’s easy to feel resentful about “being at home with the baby all day” but I cannot imagine that it’s easy for a father to miss out on a large part of his child’s growthlife. Be conscious of being moody and grumpy and try to hear each other out and empathise as much a possible.
- When you’re ready, prioritise intimacy in your relationship. Make each other feel important, loved and desired in your partnership. Your intimacy won’t “go back to normal” immediately but the more effort you put in, the more you can improve this. New dads can feel neglected and jealous while the new mommies often feel insecure about their body changes, so it won’t hurt to make some regular compliments to each other.
How did your baby change your relationship? Please share your experiences with me – comment below or get in touch via social media.
Modern Zulu Mom
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