Love rests on two pillars: surrender and autonomy. Our need for togetherness exists alongside our need for separateness.
As you and your partner transition into your new roles as parents (or now parents to multiple children), it’s important to figure out how you can best support one another and create a united front.
- Being united together in parenting will help you both when family and friends share differing opinions about how you should parent your children.
As parents, many of us would love a manual on how to raise our kids and an exact timeline on when they will meet their developmental milestones.
- Often, we’ll hear phrases like, “all babies do xyx” which can leave parents feeling like their kids are behind in some way.
- A much healthier and inclusive approach is to embrace the phrase, “all babies are different.”
This mantra frees you and your child from the burden of living on someone else’s timeline. And, if there is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed, you can come up with a good game plan with your kid’s pediatrician, someone who actually knows your child well.
Your relationship with your partner can change a whole lot when you become parents or add another baby into your household. Plus, marital satisfaction declines in 67% of marriages during the first year of your baby’s life (Gottman Institute).
Here are some ways to help you reconnect emotionally with your partner:
- Date night- in or out of the house
- Daily check ins with each other (even 5-10 minutes a day can make a big difference)
- Weekend getaways (if you’re comfortable leaving your baby in the care of someone else)
- Couples counseling
- When you’re upset, turning towards each other, not away from one another
- Focusing on active listening, reflection and mirroring for your partner so they feel seen, heard and understood by you
- Figuring out if you’re an internal or external processor, so you’ll know if you need to be alone while you think through issues or if you need to talk things out with someone out loud
- Sharing in the struggle of parenting- being on the same team, not opposing teams
Things to remember in your relationship:
- You can appreciate all your partner does AND still want/need/desire more help and support from them.
- Relationships are the dance between the desire for togetherness and the desire for autonomy.