I welcome Kristen Kardos, MA Ed., and Kathy McGuigan, MSW, the co-founders of Rhode Island New Moms Connection (affordable, accessible pregnancy and new mom groups throughout RI) into our growing group of Kidoinfo contributors. Kristen and Kathy value building community and developing support networks for new moms in addition to mothering their own joyful children. They will share their knowledge, resources, and helpful advice for moms just beginning their journey into parenthood or moms that may need a little refresher in their new column, Tips for New Moms.
Managing the Changes in Your Relationship
• “That’s not how she likes to be held.”
• “He is only soothed by you.
• “How do I warm the bottle?
• “How come you never hear the baby cry at night?
Do any of these sound familiar? If you answered yes (or chuckled even a bit), know you are not alone! Having a baby is wonderful and brings a couple together in so many ways. However, it also adds a new element of stress. Husband and wife must learn to relate to each other as parents of a new baby. With little sleep, new family roles and responsibilities, and little time for oneself (let alone your relationship), even the small things can seem overwhelming. It is important to keep your relationship a priority – for everyone’s sake. But when you are sleep deprived, this is easy to forget.
Here are a few tips for keeping harmony in your home:
- Avoid criticizing your partner – instead show your partner what baby likes, talk about what you need, and embrace your partner’s style of parenting.
- Remember what you love and like about each other—and make a point of telling each other, especially during difficult conversations about the challenges of co-parenting. Highlight your partner’s strengths as a parent.
- Try to schedule in time for each other. Whether you have a babysitter or not, it’s important to reconnect with your partner. How about an impromptu picnic…or quiet moment by the chiminea? Take advantage of baby’s sleep to have an adult conversation – you both need it!
- Communicate often—In addition to talking about the baby, ask about your partner’s day. Share your own feelings and needs as well.
The early months of parenthood can be both challenging and transformative for your relationship. As a couple you can continue to grow stronger ~ by communicating openly and making time to connect as a couple…not just as Mommy and Daddy.
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