Baby-proof your marriage

By admin
12 September 2014

When you fall pregnant you’re bombarded with advice about everything from breastfeeding and sleeping patterns to developmental stages. But often couples are so focused on caring for the new arrival they lose sight of the impact baby has on their relationship.

Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O’Neill and Julia Stone’s book, Babyproofing Your Marriage: How To Laugh More, Argue Less, And Communicate Better As Your Family Grows, is packed with information on how to be both a good parent and partner.

We compiled a few tips that may seem obvious but could make an enormous difference to your marriage.

Talk, talk, talk

The biggest mistake any couple can make, be they new parents or not, is not to communicate with each other. Talk about your expectations, fears and what you’re looking forward to before the birth.  And don’t stop talking once baby arrives. Explain why you react in a certain way, be up front (and reasonable!) about what you expect from your partner and don’t be scared to admit if you feel overwhelmed.

Be selfish

Look after yourself so you can look after baby better. Make time for spending time on your own with your partner – plan date nights, even if all you feel like doing is flopping into bed. Ask a granny or friend to look after baby for a few hours. Remember, you’re a couple first and parents second.

Compliment each other

Being parents is a new experience for both of you (and probably overwhelming). Compliment your partner’s small successes instead of focusing on the odd mistake. Show your appreciation when your partner helps you with something.

It’s not a competition

Don’t keep count of what he does compared to you – it will only lead to unpleasantness and unnecessary arguments. Rather focus on what your partner does and let him know in a calm, relaxed way if you need more help with something. Don’t focus on how much harder you’re working compared to him. Remember instead he’s also working harder and getting less sleep than before baby’s arrival.

Plan

Don’t always plan your life around baby – rather let baby fit in with your plans. You’ll be surprised by how easily baby adapts and your relationship benefits.

Ask for help (and accept it when offered!)

Being a parent is a huge responsibility – that goes without saying. Admit from the start – to yourself and your partner – you’ll need help, and don’t be too pig-headed to ask for it. If a friend or family member offers to look after baby for an hour or two, accept the offer.

-Suzaan Hauman

Sources: mom365.com, webmd.com, parents.com, babyproofingyourmarriage.com

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