The obvious answer is yes, your marriage CAN survive a new baby. But sleep deprivation, fatigue, lack of support, endless tasks, cleaning, feeding, can all take a toll on new parents. Here are some tips on easing the pressures of new parenthood by sharing the ups and downs of the first few weeks with your baby.
- Embrace that your couple status has now grown to include parenthood.
- Babies wake up at night. Adjust your responsibilities to best suit you and your partner’s needs for the next day. Remember, you’re both in this together and you will each need the other’s support.
- Sex or sleep? The chance for sleep may and will win out. Sleep whenever and wherever you can. And schedule some couple time every day, even if it’s catching up over a cup of coffee. This period of lack of sleep will not last forever.
- Strive for a fair division of household chores and infant care.
- Review your views on parenting technique before baby arrives. Discuss where your views differ and compromise, if necessary. Do this before you find yourselves in the “heat of the moment”.
- Babies get fussy. Agree on this one truth and know, “it too will pass”.
- Grow your parenting skills. Seek out parenting groups, read books on parenting, share your experiences and questions in an online community for new parents. There are others out there that will benefit from your advice as well.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate!! You and your partner should strive to be on the same page as you traverse this “tough”, but rewarding time becoming adjusted to your new roles. If it’s even a quick email, a scrawl on the kitchen chalkboard, a few minutes discussion after dinner, keep the lines of communication open.
- Get ready to fall in love! You will find that, not only will you be falling in love with your new baby, you will experience the moments of seeing your partner in a new light. It’s not uncommon to experience the “falling in love all over again” feeling with your partner as you share the work and also the joys of parenthood.
Looking for some resources to help you on your journey through the first weeks of parenthood? Here are a few links that may help:
The Rainbow Babies
“Our Children Come in Every Color of the Rainbow!” Parenting tips, tools, resources for the new LGBT parent.
Family Equality Council
Offers an interactive map of parent groups in the U.S. “Many parent groups are locally-based, striving to create safe and inclusive environments for their area LGBTQ parents and families, while others providing support and educational conversations online.”
“Modern Families + Fresh Ideas” Many how-to articles, lots of gay specific articles, and more. Check out the article “26 Baby Sleep Solutions”.