Becoming a parent can lead to a sudden setback for the couple, who have to adapt to the new situation. The key is to stay in control and not be overwhelmed.
Last update: 08 March, 2022
Being a parent for some people is an incredible experience, but that doesn't relieve her of being stressful. All events that involve major lifestyle changes, sometimes even beyond our resources, are a source of stress.
Paternity or maternity stress is not bad in itself, but it requires work and a small price to pay. The couple must become a team, work side by side to fully enjoy all that the family has to offer.
It is inevitable, becoming a parent can only change the dynamic of the couple. Almost every aspect of life is touched in a radical way, starting with the free time that each of the two could previously dedicate to himself. And if you don't have free time for yourself, it will be difficult for the couple to find some. Communication sometimes tends to decrease, as do entertainment.
Suddenly the feeling of being more "co-workers" than a partner can hit painfully, and this thought is difficult to accept. The important thing is to consider that this is a temporary situation, not destined to last forever.
It is true that life as we knew it will no longer be the same, either individually or as a couple: children become the top priority, even above ourselves. But it is also true that, as children grow up, work is reduced and we gradually regain possession of our time, hobbies, interpersonal relationships, especially couples.
Being parents: what will happen to the couple when the baby is born?
Whenever an important event in our life approaches, the best thing to do is to be realistic. In this way we will be ready to face the change. This doesn't mean worrying excessively, rather staying grounded without getting carried away by an overly romantic idea of motherhood or fatherhood.
The first thing we should expect from parenting is a little emotional shock. This shock is made up of different emotions, positive (such as euphoria, the feeling of being in constant love, family union), and less positive (confusion, sadness, anxiety, etc.).
Over time, the couple adjusts to the new situation. In the first months, of course, it is necessary to manage the unexpected: baby colic, inconsolable crying, sleepless nights and backward sleep, worrying if he gains weight or not, if he gets sick ...
These situations, which are completely normal, can destabilize the couple. The anxiety, generated by the unexpected, together with the tiredness and lack of time to spend together having fun or talking, can make the couple waver. The risk is that of embarking on a series of discussions or that one of the two becomes elusive, leaving all the responsibility in the hands of the other.
It is good to know that this situation is not going to last. Being aware of it allows us to exercise greater self-control in times of crisis, preventing “hot” decisions or behaviors that we may regret.
Little by little, when everything is well channeled and we have overcome the first difficult stages, the family will consolidate and the couple will be gradually stronger.
Being parents: what can we do to help the couple?
To get through the first few steps, it's helpful to keep in mind a number of guidelines or considerations. Following them helps you to live parenthood better without making life as a couple suffer too much.
Remember: what is happening to you is normal and happens to everyone
This point is essential. We shouldn't idealize motherhood and fatherhood as a bed of roses or wonderland, because they are not. Don't be fooled by idyllic advertisements featuring smiling moms and dads changing baby's nappy. Reality is not like that, or at least not completely.
Being a parent includes very tender moments and complicated moments; both are normal and part of the process. It is necessary to know how to enjoy moments of sweetness, but also to take the reins in moments of crisis.
Being a parent is forever, but this situation is temporary
You will likely feel nostalgic for life as a couple, but it is important to know that this situation is transitory. You will always have the role of father and mother, but once you get over the initial shock, you will adapt to the new situation. A new life will begin.
Let the other rest
This is another essential point. Rest is essential to any human being. Those who do not sleep or rest enough will soon find themselves exhausted, with the risk of falling ill.
You cannot fully follow your children if you are not rested, healthy and in a good mood. The couple must organize themselves: one takes turns taking care of the child, while the other sleeps or simply rests.
One day a week to dedicate to the couple
At least one day a week should be dedicated to the couple. Get help from a babysitter, uncles, grandparents, a toy library ...
The goal is to clear your mind and do alternative activities to parenting. It is very important to communicate, have fun together, maintain a sex life in a suitable environment or engage in relaxing activities.
A sense of guilt may appear: keep it at bay with the thought that you have the right to experience moments as a couple as well.
Don't isolate yourself
It is equally important not to lose contact with friends. Social support is a powerful stress reliever. Seeing friends, talking about other topics, laughing and forgetting a little about the routine of parenting certainly helps to regain strength.
Maintain a healthy routine
Routine is not only necessary for children, but also for adults. It helps to keep the family in order and to carve out spaces for the couple.
It is healthy for children to always eat at the same time and place, bathe before bed, or go to sleep early. Babies need much more sleep than adults, especially if they are small. If he is taught to go to bed early, this will easily become a habit.
Once they fall asleep, the couple can still find time to talk, watch a series on TV, or just be together.
Becoming a parent involves a number of important changes. So that they do not become too burdensome, it is essential to cultivate both free time together with partner and friends, as well as communication and rest.
Once the initial "earthquake" is over, the couple is strengthened, organized and will begin to enjoy family time, which, on the other hand, is the wonderful aspect of parenting.