When a new baby comes home, it can truly wreak havoc on a relationship – even one that was previously solid. Research done by the Gottman Institute shows that 2/3 of couples report significant decline in satisfaction up to three years of having a baby. Being happy often takes a backseat to just surviving! Yet, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to know what may be short term "baby blues" and what may be a more significant issue with a longer lasting effect on your partnership. Here a 5 signs that couples counseling could be beneficial to both your relationship and your own happiness:
Giving birth is a hugely transformational event in a woman’s life. While most pregnant women take time to prepare themselves for the event of childbirth – creating birth plans, researching hospitals or birth centers, interventions and taking birthing classes - most moms don’t really expect that the actual birth itself could leave long lasting psychological and physical scars. But studies show that between 25-34% of moms actually do have a traumatic birth experience - and that some of these new moms go on to develop PTSD from their experience. I was one of those women and I want to share that you CAN begin to heal. Here are 10 ways to start the process:
What is the biggest indicator of happiness in a long-term relationship? Intimacy! Intimacy can be physical, yes, but the intimacy that makes for a solid long lasting relationship is related to the feeling that your partner ‘knows’ you and that you have somewhere safe to seek support and comfort. For many, relationship intimacy and connection declines during the first few years of parenthood. Moms and Dads become entangled in the everyday woes of trying to keep the kids fed and well, alive. They spend their spare moments together discussing daycare, carpool, grocery lists, and the like. And because they are exhausted and spread way too thin, they often become short tempered with each other and have little left to give at the end of the day. If this hits close to home, then know that just a few small steps can help you regain that intimacy and communicate better with your partner – starting right now.
While exciting, there is no doubt that bringing a baby home can also bring a serious strain to your relationship. While it used to be just the two of you – sleeping, eating and playing whenever you wanted – now your time demands have increased exponentially. New parents are so busy nurturing their new bundle of joy - and trying to find their footing through the sleep deprived haze - that they forget to set time aside for themselves and their relationship. If you're in this phase on parenthood, don't lose hope! Here is how to improve your relationship satisfaction throughout those early baby years.
Jennifer Howard, CLC, CHBE
As a maternal mental health and pediatric sleep expert, I am passionate about helping tired mamas thrive throughout the many seasons of motherhood. I'm a Nationally Certified Professional Life Coach and Masters Level Therapist specializing in parental mental wellness, marriage/partnership strength and pediatric sleep and soothing.
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