Recently I have been talking to a number of parents of young babies asking them for some ‘top tips’ about what has helped in their relationships under the pressures that a new baby brings.
These are their ten top tips and I would be interested for others to add their own to this list – as you will see you don’t have to have a ‘big idea’ – lots of small ones can make the difference.
So here they are….
1. Remember to say ‘I love you’ to your partner as often as you did in the past. You’ll be saying that lots to your baby and your partner can feel they have been left out.
2. Accept all the help that is offered. Don’t become martyrs to the feeling you should be doing it all yourselves.
3. Be realistic about the number of visitors that you can handle. When you are exhausted it is important that you rest, both for yourselves and the baby.
4. Keep your sense of humour. Any number of people will be giving you a heap of advice – and the best thing to do with some of it is to laugh.
5. Try to freeze some meals in advance or buy in some from COOK or a similar supply. Don’t be afraid if friends offer to help to ask them to bring supper. This eases the pressure from a possible flash point.
6. Talk with your partner about what you are both expecting and hoping for around family visits from in-laws and parents.
7. Spot the likely points of stress, especially when partner is going back to work – and talk through how you are going to work together on the stress points at the end of the day, the night, and first thing in the morning.
8. Try to do some nice things for yourselves as well as for the baby.
9. Remember it won’t be like this forever – it get’s better. Talk with other parents who have survived the experience.
10. And as for sex… don’t worry about it for a while – you will know when the time is right.