The arrival of a baby is always a radical change for the couple. It changes their lifestyle, their behavior as parents, their mindsets, and many other things. The child has always played an important role in its parents’ relationship, and today the spiritual and emotional aspect of this role is even stronger than before.
When we speak of the changes that come about upon the arrival of our first baby or the children that come afterwards, we try and avoid the fact that there is a negative impact, but we need to be able to talk about this change. It is so important that this change doesn’t suffocate the couple.
We often ask ourselves – does a child fix a couple? Or does it put it in danger?
Love Intelligence picks apart these tricky questions.
A “fix-all baby” is a baby that was desperately wanted by one of the partners, generally the woman. The partner in question sees the arrival of a baby as a fix-all solution to all the problems in their relationship and places all their hopes in the pregnancy. This is what specialists call a “therapeutic pregnancy”. But although it has a brief positive effect, what needs to be understood is that a pregnancy like this doesn’t solve a couple’s fundamental problems.
A problem in a relationship can only be dealt with by two partners who want to take things in hand, communicate, and find solutions. A problem that is not resolved before a pregnancy will not magically disappear when a baby comes among! What’s more, what often happens is that the mother projects all her expectations on to the baby and the husband or boyfriend suffers. Later, the child, suffocated by their mother, will suffer as well. They will feel like they’re the only person responsible for the happiness of their mother, which is not an easy responsibility to give a young child.
It is true that the arrival of a baby can strengthen a couple that were previously distant, but it’s a reckless gamble – and there are other ways of strengthening intimacy in a couple.
The overvalued child that breaks the couple
There are no two ways about it – of course the child challenges the harmony of their parents’ relationship. Before, your partner was favorite person in the world, but when a baby comes along, this changes very quickly. The couple has eyes only for their child – everything revolves around the the baby! Outings, meals, the hours of the day… Many parents try to do too much too quickly. What professionals recommend is to adapt at a moderate rate, to readjust at the rhythm that is right for you.
Placing too much value on the child can lead to a loss of intimacy in the couple, a sort of loss of the mother and father’s individuality.
It is so important to face up to decisions together and to work not to let the child dominate your life. When parents have been waiting eagerly for a baby, this can be hard to do, but putting some time aside just for you can only be beneficial. There is certainly no reason to lose the spark in the bedroom!
Reorganizing the couple when baby comes along
Take your time. No one will judge you if you come up against some difficulties to begin with. It’s not a competition! Here are some practical tips:
1. Before setting up a family: ask yourselves the right questions
Your friends who already have kids can help you by sharing some of their experience. Make sure you’re in agreement on the priorities to stick to when you have a family. These priorities are those which will allow you to manage daily life.
2. A Message for Mom
Though the special connection between a mother and her baby is to be treasured, you can’t let this dynamic exclude the father or he’ll very quickly start feeling neglected. As soon as you are ready, after the first few weeks, spend some time with your man – this is all he’s looking for when it comes down to it!
3. A Message for Dad
It can happen that a father feels less invested than he had hoped, faced with the omnipresence of the mother in daily ritual of feeding and tending to the baby. There comes a moment where the father must take responsibility and embrace his role as a father even if this means he needs to impose himself. Creating a bond with the baby comes about simply by spending time together.
For some more tips, check out Baby Centre
Babies are a gift
Juggling the role of parent, lover and professional is complicated!