How to Avoid Relationship Struggles after Baby

Family of elephants with title How To Avoid Relationship Struggles For New Parents

I have been working with families for 15 years. In that time I have never met a couple who eagerly awaits relationship challenges that arise after welcoming a baby. Most people much prefer to put their head in the sand and think about all of the cuteness that comes with a baby. You know what I’m talking about.

The sweet parts of having a baby:

  • precious snuggles
  • time off work
  • visits and love from family and friends

The joys of parenting can be overshadowed by relationship difficulties.

No single bit of advice can prevent relationship bumps during this transition into parenthood; it’s a challenging period by design. 

Parenting changes lives significantly, requiring you and your partner to navigate through trial and error to find the right balance. Just when you think you’ve found your groove, a new developmental stage will shake things up.

New parent relationships require constant reassessment.

As you journey through parenthood, both you and your partner will evolve. You are different now than when you met. You will keep changing into different individuals. 

This continuous evolution underscores the importance of nurturing your relationship. Do this and you will maintain a sense of harmony. 

It is in the book Elephant Elephant that I was intrigued by the simple lessons that can be learned. A simple line drawing of one elephant on each page.The book is full of opposites. 

Here are 4 opposites that you can use to guide you through your parenting journey:

Simple vs. Complicated

Are you striking a balance between these too? Are you minimizing an issue and blaming your partner for making it more difficult? Bring in some self awareness and try to lean towards your partner. 

Visible vs. Invisible

Exploring what is out in the open and what is hidden can be an insight into relationship wellness. Try asking your partner the following question: “What is one thing about you that you wish I paid more attention to or had a better understanding of?”

Spiky vs. Fluffy

Kids need parents that are both spiky and firm. Are you each willing to face any discomforts to ensure that your child trusts that each parent will hold them accountable and provide nurturing and care? Can you validate all of the emotions that come with parenting?

Inflated vs. Deflated

Pay attention to how you are feeling. You are in this situation together. Help one another rest and recharge so that you have energy and strength to face the challenges of this world. There is no one else who can understand your experience of parenting like your partner. Keep pumping each other up with gratitude and admiration! 

Everyday there needs to be positive energy created between you and your partner.

It’s the little things that make a big difference in the long run. The challenges will keep coming. You have a change to step up and make the best of each situation, every single day! 

“Elephant Elephant: A Book of Opposites” by Francesco Pittau and Bernadette Gervai. This book offers valuable lessons through its exploration of opposites, featuring simple line drawings of elephants on each page.

About Amity Kramer

Amity Kramer has been helping families cultivate unconditional love since 2008. She is a Birthing From Within Mentor, Certified Gottman Educator, and founder of Thresholds. Amity leads soulful workshops for families in transition. She also is a practicing birth and postpartum doula which gives her a unique window into the joys and struggles of family life.