Becoming parents is an incredible, beautiful, and sometimes difficult, life transition. Bringing a child into the world comes with many joys, like unconditional love and a miraculous reminder of purity and innocence; but parenthood also comes with many hurdles, like navigating this new, and some what overwhelming responsibility, of raising another human being. Not only can this cause immense strain to your own mental health and well-being but also to the health and well-being of your relationships. Children are the greatest joy and the greatest responsibility; thus, your relationship with your partner and your life together will change dramatically. Know that this happens in all relationships— when adding a member to the family, it is inevitable that your dynamic as a couple and family will change with it. However, because the well-being and development of your child is dependent on your well-being, it is critical that as new parents, you take the time to nurture and strengthen your relationship with one another. In taking the time to cultivate and care for your relationship and your partner, you are establishing and investing in an environment and home in which you, your partner, and your new child can thrive.
Because of the shared difficulties and experiences of parenthood though, we have the wisdom and advice of others to guide all new parents through this transition. We draw on the insight provided by The Gottman Institute and provide some some tips below for couples on making the transition to parents:
- Have intentional, and open-ended conversations.
- Acknowledge when your partner expresses a need and respond positively.
- Verbally and explicitly appreciate your partner by pointing out things that you like.
- Find ways to discuss conflict or difficult topics that is safe and respectful to both of you.
- Set aside time for connection and intimacy.
- Plan your shared future together as a family.
By incorporating a few of these tips into your relationship, you will begin to foster the supportive and loving relationship your child needs to have a happy and fruitful life. If you and your significant other are in need of help adn support in navigating your transition to parenthood, check out our therapists profiles for more information and to scheudle an appointmetn today.