How Your Partner Can Help You Avoid the 3 Common Problems New Parents Face

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Image adapted via Flickr/ surlygirl

Marriage is not easy and when you add in additional responsibilities, change, and chaos – it can be even more challenging.

Parenting is not easy either and getting used to life with a newborn can be hectic. Add in an unhappy coupling, it just makes for a miserable postpartum period.

There are many challenges that face couples who welcome a new baby into their life and learning how to navigate those common issues and problems can mean a big difference for the strength of your partnership and the state of your happy – both, which are important.

{ MORE: This Parenting Expert Says You Need to Give Your Kid More Chores }

My husband and I have gone through 4 postpartum new baby phases in our marriage and there are three common problems we've faced every time and I know they affect other new parents as well. If you're about to welcome a new baby, here are 3 common problems you're likely to face and how your partner can help you keep the issues at bay.

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Image via Flickr/ a4gpa

Sleep deprivation

I swear you have no idea what tired is until you have a newborn because it's a whole new world of sleepy. It's different than the “I had to stay up all night to study for that exam” tired we had in college or even the “I partied, had too much to drink” sleepiness of early adulthood. The “baby was up all night screaming and I couldn't get any rest” type of tired that happens to new parents makes your whole body hurt.

It was a big problem for my husband and I because he can't seem to function on any type of lost sleep and while I can go on for a while (like months) only getting a couple of hours of sleep at night, before I know it – it catches up on me and causes all kinds of issues. We argue, we snap at each other, we are just generally miserable.

While sleep deprivation is probably inevitable in early parenthood, your partner can help you avoid the general miserableness and keep the arguments at bay by taking turns getting rest. Even just a 20 minute nap can restore so much energy and do so much to keep the peace. My husband makes time for me to sleep on the weekends since I generally am the one up all night with the baby and coming to that agreement gives me something to look forward to and it keeps me energized and happy.

{ MORE: How Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Can Improve Your Marriage }

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Image via Flickr/ Mirra Photography

House chore overload

Each couple has their own breakdown for how things around the house get done. One of you may do the grocery shopping while the other cooks. One may be responsible for cleaning the kitty litter and another is in charge of making sure the garbage gets out on garbage day. There are so many house things that we've all had to delegate and when a new baby comes into the picture, those need to be re-delegated and discussed.

Having a feeling of house chore overload was a problem for us and just assuming the other was doing just fine was another fault for my husband and I. I had too much on my plate with the new baby and work and house things – I needed to address it, but I didn't before it became an issue.

Sure, it's not the worst problem a couple can have with a new baby, but if you don't discuss – it has a real possibility of becoming a big sore spot in your marriage. Your partner can help you avoid this overload, and you can help each other by taking an honest look at the breakdown of chores and working out a give and take to make sure both of you feel supported and not too overwhelmed.

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Image via Flickr/ footloosiety

Feeling lost

Having a baby changes so much about your life and more than just the day-to-day things. You're now responsible for this little human and oftentimes, your own interests and passions can quickly fade into the background. I've learned that, while it's easy for that to happen, you have to work hard to make sure it doesn't – for your mental health.

A common problem new parents face is feeling lost – forgetting who they are as individuals and as a couple, due to the added pressures and responsibilities and the new demands on their time. You and your partner can work together to help face this problem, or avoid it altogether, by making time for just each other and putting time aside for each of you to continue doing the things you love. Sure, you won't have as much time as you did pre-baby, but once a month is better than never. Your partner can help you avoid this common issue by making sure both of you have some time to just be you and do the things that make that fire burn for you.

{ MORE: Why Your Toddler Should Help With Chores }

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What are some problems you faced as a new parent? Share in the comments!

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How Your Partner Can Help You Avoid the 3 Common Problems New Parents Face

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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