1. Parenting Styles Will Differ
I knew how I wanted to parent my children. I knew it for years. But then, I actually had a child, and needed to learn how to parent with another person. Suddenly, my ideal parenting style, became influenced by my partner.
Your partner may want to leave the toys everywhere, while you want to keep it organized at all times (tell me your secrets if you figure that out). Your partner may want to feed your child animal products, while you prefer a plant based lifestyle. Your partner may want to let your child co-sleep, while you think it interferes with your time as a couple. Your partner may want the kids in bed by 8pm, and you prefer to hang out until they’re tired. Your partner may want to have serious discussions in front of the children, while you think its more appropriate to keep conversations between you two.
The list goes on.
This is where self growth happens. Is it really that big of a deal that there are a few toys on the floor while happy memories are created as a family? Is it catastrophic if the kids stay up a little later on the weekends, or does it actually give you more time with them since you work late during the week?
These are just a few examples, but the reality is that these discussions will get to happen during your time as a parent.
The solution? Voice (in a loving way) what parenting style you prefer, and Compromise.
If you are both struggling with the topic of co-sleeping, then think about what compromise is possible. Could an effort be placed on transitioning your child into their own room? It probably wont happen overnight, but is there something that could be done to move in a direction where both partners are happy?
2. Their Flaws Become Amplified
I laughed as I wrote this relationship truth down because Joe and I have found a way to be lighthearted about this topic.
After having a baby, exhaustion will settle in, and you’ll probably find that you start putting yourself as a last priority. The house is likely to be a mess, with the dishes piled up and the laundry not done. These things will cause you to start focusing on what’s wrong, instead of what’s right (which is most likely a lot!).
One of the top reasons I fell in love with Joe is because of his sense of humor. He made me laugh constantly. So after having Noah, his humor really comes in handy.
For a few months, I’ve been hanging my clothes on the back of our bathroom door because Noah is always sleeping in my room whenever I want to put them away. One morning I woke up to a notification that Joe had mentioned me in his Instagram Story . This guy filmed my massive pile of clothes hanging on the back of the bathroom door and showed all the world to see. I could not stop laughing after watching that video with his witty commentary. Made my entire morning…and I even put the clothes away.
Joe might hang his clothes on every available space in our room, or never change the toilet paper roll, and I might hang my clothes on our bathroom door, or forget to wash a dish (or 5), but are those things worth a fight? When you’ve got kids, it sure can seem like a good idea.
The Solution? Use Humor & Acknowledge the Good Things
Look, you’re both tired. You’re both learning how to navigate the world of raising tiny humans together. Focus on what’s working and what your partner does that you absolutely love. Acknowledge them for putting the laundry away, and for washing the dishes. Acknowledge them for getting the kids ready for bed, and for starting your car up in the morning. Fill up their love cup, and your focus is guaranteed to shift.
Joe and I speak more on this topic in our Relationship Course, and share Communication Tools that we use every day. Updates can be found on our Facebook Page
3. Sex Life Will Change
Oooooh baby. Yes it will. As a woman, we’ve got crazy hormones surging through our bodies for at least 9 months AFTER having a baby. We also have a brand new body with a few extra additions (milk coming out of our boobs, excess skin on our bellies). This can cause feelings of isolation, and not wanting our partner to even touch us. I’ve spoken to women who would make up every excuse possible, just so their partner wouldn’t initiate sex. I’ve spoken to women who also would get dressed in another room just so their partner wouldn’t see them.
The Solution? Let your partner in on how you’re feeling.
It’s scary, I know. Before becoming pregnant, I was fit, confident and felt like I could conquer the world. After having a baby, I felt exhausted, large, and unattractive. But I chose to love myself anyway. I chose to communicate with Joe on what I was feeling. More often than not he didn’t understand, but he was loving and accepting of me, and my new journey of self-discovery.
There’s a quote that Joe & I remember when we’re in breakdown. When we don’t feel like sharing what’s been building up inside. We heard this quote from someone we admire greatly, Nick Broadhurst.
“Nothing good comes from closing” – Nick Broadhurst
When one of us is shut down and closed, nothing good comes from it. Absolutely nothing. When we are both open and receptive, anything is possible.
Use this time of self-growth, as an opportunity to practice sharing your voice, and embracing the powerful woman you truly are!
4. Time Alone Together Becomes a Luxury
Now, a little human gets to accompany you everywhere you go – even the bathroom! You and your partner may be in the same room, but chances are that your attention is focused on your baby instead of each other. This alone contributes to feelings of separation and disconnect.
The Solution? Hang out after the baby goes to bed.
This may not happen during the first few months. It sure didn’t for us. The only way Noah would sleep, is if he fell asleep in my arms. So 7pm would roll around and I’d be up in bed cuddling with our son. It wasn’t even possible to hang out with my fiancé after Noah went to bed. Fast forward a few months, and we’re able to put him to bed, and spend a little bit of time together. This has done wonders for our relationship, especially since Quality Time is one of our top Love Languages.
5. You Get to Date Your Partner Again
Woohoo! I know you’re probably thinking, “Michelle you’re crazy. What are you even talking about?”
During the birth of a baby, yes a baby is brought to life, but the woman is also re-born. Our identity dies. We become new. We get to figure out this new life, and so does our partner.
After my son was born, I became confident, powerful, courageous, and gained many new interests. Most of which revolve around Motherhood and empowering women. The topics I used to talk about are completely different than they used to be. I’ve learned to love myself for who I am, and value my own needs. I’ve learned to stand up for myself, because I am worthy, and my family deserves the very best version of me.
Getting dressed up to go out became even more exciting than it used to be. We value time with each other even more. It’s undivided, and cell phones are put to the side. A date with my fiancé is the best thing ever! He gets to learn about me, and I get to learn about him. We’re each going through our own journey with parenthood.
Who would have thought he’d be making motivational YouTube videos ? Who would have thought I’d become a blogger?
The takeaway here is that you and your partner will change the moment you become parents. New opportunities will unfold, many of them for personal growth. Remember the love that brought you together and created your baby.
Together, you will be unstoppable.
Photography by: Josh DeHonney