• Vaughan Relationship Centre: Counselling to Empower.
how babies can change a relationship

Having a baby is a life-changing experience. Some people will describe it as the most amazing feeling, bringing a child into the world. Others may view becoming parents as the most terrifying change in their lives. Whatever your experience is with childbirth, the one common denominator will always remain that your life has been changed forever.

How Do You Handle a New Baby?

All people handle the birth of a child differently, and each relationship handles their new family arrangement in their own way. It can be quite common for one spouse to experience a feeling of jealousy toward the child after they are born. It may sound bizarre, but it is true for many couples. Suddenly one tiny person is the object in everyone’s eye. Suddenly no one asks how your day was, or how your current projects at work are going. All attention and questions are focused on the new baby. Your own parents who used to call once a week just to see how you are now are only interested in hearing about their new grandbaby’s newest discoveries.

Jealousy of your bundle of joy is a common side effect of becoming a new parent. This can at times cause a rift between the new mommy and daddy and cause a complicated change in their relationship. Resentment can build quickly within the partner who feels neglected thanks to the addition of the new baby.  It is important to have open discussions on the topic and to seek therapy in order to prevent serious resentment issues in the future.

The Effect in the Bedroom

Sexual relationships can easily be affected by the presence of a new baby in the house. Depending on the delivery process it may take the mom quite a while before she can be physically intimate again. A lot of new mothers also experienced something called “touched out.” In being touched by a tiny human all day and night long, sometimes all a new mother wants is to be left alone, to regain control of and access to her body.

Other factors such as exhaustion and diverted attention can also play on a person’s desire to have sex. A change in the sexual relationship of new parents is expected, but how long should it take before things go back to what is classified as normal for that couple? If there is not symmetry between the couple on the topic it can lead to further problems in their relationship.

Your Own Health & Wellness

As a new parent, your attention is almost solely on your child. You barely sleep. You are too physically exhausted to cook a proper healthy meal for yourself, let alone exercise. You likely withdraw from seeing friends or participating in activities you used to love. This drain on your physical and emotional well-being can affect your relationship in many ways. You become more irritable; you may lash out at your partner, or react emotionally to minor slights. In all likelihood, your partner is experiencing the same things, whether they are the parent who stays home or the parent who returns to work. This is not to mention post-partum depression or paternal post-natal depression. All of these factors can affect and change the relationship with your partner.Due to being overloaded with new responsibilities of caring for

Due to being overloaded with new responsibilities of caring for child, let alone the increase in laundry and dishes, things that were minor issues before become less tolerable. Sometimes new parents feel a lack of support from one another. A new mom may feel that her husband is not doing “his half” of the household chores. A new dad may feel that he can do the right things for the child and may be questioned or criticized by his wife. This can leave both individuals feeling alone.

It is important to know that every new parent goes through multiple changes both physically and mentally and that everyone handles these changes differently. Problems can easily escalate between a couple who are adjusting to their new life. Do not hesitate to seek the help of a relationship therapist to help you through this sensitive time. It is unchartered territory for new parents; you don’t have to go at it alone.