They say that nothing can quite prepare you for the rigors of raising a child. After all, becoming a parent will affect every part of your life –– from your financial plans, to your career goals, and, of course, your relationship with your significant other. No two couples are the same; external factors can have a big influence on how people react to parenthood. Yet, it’s important for moms-and-dads-to-be to understand just what they’re getting into when the big day arrives. Here’s how having kids will change your relationship with your partner:
Do you value having time alone to relax or unwind after a busy day? Do you also cherish having one-on-one time with your significant other? If you’re like 99% of people, then the answer to both of those questions is probably “yes.” The bad news here is that having a kid will mean a significant reduction in your free time. As such, it’s imperative for new parents to schedule time during the day to spend time by themselves and with each other. There’s a reason why hiring a babysitter for a “date night” is so popular, after all.
The best partners act to support each other. Sometimes this manifests in profound ways, but other actions are much more mundane –– if still necessary. One partner might go to the grocery store while the other heads to the bank, for instance. Parents, though, will have a whole new set of priorities to deal with. Convincing your little one not to be afraid of equipment at the doctor’s office like safety butterfly needles is a much different prospect to shopping at Target by yourself. Get ready for a whole lot more kid-centric outings –– at schools, sporting events, doctor’s offices, and more.
Parents –– just like all couples –– sometimes have disagreements and get into fights. Even the nature of conflict resolution changes during parenthood, though. Now you’ll have to figure out how to resolve issues with your partner without upsetting your kids. Note, there’s a healthy way to do this, but it’s not always easy. And communication is key.
Almost all couples experience a drop in sexual activity after having a child. Some droughts are more extreme than others. Still, even if you and your partner are able to squeeze in a few intimate sessions regularly, they may not be all that satisfying. Remember, intimacy is about more than just the act of sex. So it’s important to keep you and your partner’s physiological needs in mind after you become parents.
Though parenthood does present a number of serious challenges, it can also help bring people closer together. As stressful and as frustrating as raising a child may be, doing it with someone you love can be a wonderful experience all the same!