Going from two to three is one of the biggest transformations you’ll face as a parent. This can make your relationship with your partner susceptible to change, often in ways you don’t expect. Increased tiredness, time constraints, stress and even financial worries can all take their toll.
But hopefully, the experience will make you stronger as parents and lovers. And don’t worry, there will naturally be ups and downs. It’s simply how you deal with the challenges that will make the difference – before and after your baby is born.
This will be different for every couple. But just to give you a heads up, here are some (of many!) common ways your relationship can change.
Don’t worry, you won’t hate your partner. But you might find yourself snapping at one another more than you used to. Little things can set you off, like the way they change a diaper, or going to work drinks while you’re at home taking care of the baby.
You’ll feel like there are a million and one things to do when the baby arrives. This means spending quality time with your partner can easily fall by the wayside. But keep in mind that spending time together, away from the baby, can help you reconnect.
This is natural. And to be honest, it’s not something you want to rush back into if you’re not ready. While you’ll have to wait for a few weeks anyway, added stress and exhaustion can delay sex for months at a time. Just try to be open with your partner about how you’re feeling, so they don’t think the lack of intimacy is their fault.
For mums, you’ll love your baby more than anything else in the world. So be wary that for a time, you’ll probably focus on your child more than your partner. But don’t forget that you’re both crazy about the baby, so try not to let this get between you.
Even with the ups and downs, you’ll likely become much closer with your partner. There’s nothing more intimate than creating a life together, and you’ll probably catch yourself loving your partner in completely new and exciting ways.
Pregnancy and romance can be a difficult combo. For women, carrying a baby inside your womb is challenging enough. But maintaining a strong relationship during this time is vital. While it will take extra effort, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Intense hormonal changes are part of the pregnancy package. You can feel happy and glowing one second, angry and unattractive the next. While all of this is normal, it doesn’t mean your partner thinks any less of you. You’re not going to be pregnant forever, so it’s best to make these special moments last. By embracing your belly, you’ll feel more attractive on an emotional and physical level.
For nine months, you and your belly will be the centre of attention. As nice as this is, make sure your partner feels supported too. Encourage them to participate in all baby-related activities, make time for each other, and if you have to, schedule in the romance.
Communication is key. Now that you know a baby is on the way, it’s important to always be open and honest about the changes that happen, and will continue to happen, in your lives. Nine months is a long time to prepare for something, so use it to your advantage.
While you can’t always predict what your life will be like, there are some simple ways to maintain a strong relationship when your baby arrives.
While you might think your parenting style is better than your partners, it’s best to approach parenting as a united front – otherwise, tensions can arise. If you’re too dissimilar in your methods, work on ways to compromise.
Sure, there’s nothing better than spontaneous sex. But let’s be honest, you’re not going to have the time if you don’t create it. This might mean getting a babysitter or making the bedroom a baby-free zone half the week.
Having a family is expensive, and if you’re not careful, money problems can put pressure on the relationship. Before and after the baby arrives, always talk openly about how you will afford your lifestyle, ways of saving, and who will be working more.
The less stress in your post-baby life, the better. Mealtimes can be frantic, but there are a few ways to keep things calm. Schedule dinner early, keep the meals simple, don’t worry if your child doesn’t like your cooking, and even involve them as they grow up.