Yup. You've read that right. I know that you are being warned about the stress it's going to put on you and your partner, how your marriage or partnership is going to be tested. I'm not saying that is completely untrue. But in our case, I was surprised to find that the baby seemed to strengthen our relationship in the following ways:
1. There is one thing we always agree on
2. He brings us closer together
Even though it's no longer just the two of us, we seem to be closer and more involved with one another. We laugh more, have fun with our son and marvel at this wonderful boy we managed to create, together.
3. You spend more time with his family
In-laws are generally tricky. But a baby smoothes things over like you can't believe. There is always something 'safe' and easy to talk about and everyone relaxes around a baby.
4. You spend more time with YOUR family
Even if your partner isn't crazy about your family, he is less likely to complain now that they occasionally babysit for you (for free) and there are nephews and nieces for baby to play with.
- Also see: 6 tips to ensure a happy marriage
5. You spend your cash in one place
Where you used to throw money away on clothes you never wore or books you never read, you now splash out on toys that get played with once and food that is spat out after one gulp. But it's money that you spend together on your favourite thing and no one mentions the bad buys that get relegated to the dark corners of the garage.
6. You fight less
Maybe you're simply too tired to care or perhaps the things that used to bother you before become less important. Or maybe you've just got bigger fish – or fish fingers – to fry. While I do still get angry, I'm usually distracted by washing the bottles, bathing the kid, changing the nappy, preparing baby food etc. When there is finally time to sort things out, I'm either too tired or I just couldn't be bothered.
7. He's at home more
These days my husband rushes home in the evenings to try and catch our son before he goes to bed. Despite being a total workaholic, he tries to stay home more, to spend time with the baby and help out around the house.
8. You work together better
New parents need to rely on each other a lot. You need the help. You'd rather have him watch the baby so you can go shopping, than argue about say, why he hasn’t fixed the tap yet. Sometimes it is easier to keep the peace, especially when it is a working peace.
9. It's nice to have a family
It's no longer just the 2 of you. You are a unit, whether you are married or not. You are parents. And baby makes three. You start thinking of yourself as a family, and there is strength in numbers. It gives you a place in the world, even if it is only your world.
10. You see a new side to your partner
What are your favourite things about being a parent? Tell us by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.
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