Drug testing

More than Mom and Dad

Love, love, love. It makes the world go round. It makes a family. So why does it seem the moment you have a baby, love, or at least your love life as you know it, goes right up in a cloud of baby powder? Let's face it, you're tired, you're overwhelmed, and there's a good chance you're wearing baby spit-up on the shoulder of your blouse.

Obstetrician and gynecologist, Laura Filojek McKain explains another reason why many new moms have lost that loving feeling. "New babies are demanding. They require round-the-clock attention and a great deal of physical contact. This can be both physically and emotionally draining. When you finally have a moment to yourself, you may need a break from intense physical attachment..."

New moms have the added challenge of contending with very powerful physical changes and hormonal shifts as their bodies' transition back to a non-pregnant state.

Shifting Sand

Having a baby changes everything, including your relationship with your partner. While ideally the ultimate in bonding, having a baby is also a major life altering experience and can cause strain in even the best of relationships. In the early, often overwhelming days of new parenthood, it's easy to get so wrapped up in your fascinating newborn that other parts of your life are neglected. When it's hard enough trying to work a shower into your daily routine, it seems nearly impossible to worry about anything of less urgency than a hungry baby.

The good news is the hormonal shifts, physical fatigue, and blinding obsession with your newborn (well, at least the hormonal shifts and physical fatigue) are temporary. But in the meanwhile, how do you retain a close connection with your partner? And why is it so important?

Making Marriage a Priority

Statistics show that better than half of all new parents experience a decline in marital satisfaction following the birth of a child, with nearly 1/3 of all divorces occurring within the first five years of a child's life. Similar decline is reported following the birth of each subsequent child. Does that mean having children will be detrimental to your marriage? No. It does mean, however, many new parents develop unhealthy ways of relating, or not relating, after children come along.

The downside of blinding obsession with your children is the tendency to neglect other facets of your life, which might include your partner. Without communication and team work, mom may feel overwhelmed and unappreciated, while dad is left feeling the odd man out unnecessary except to give a break to mom's tired arms. Neither of these are a prescription for closeness. The lack of relating that starts as a simple survival instinct can easily become habit as babies become toddlers and preschoolers making new demands on your time. In the absence of regular, conscious maintenance, parents may drift apart without even realizing what's happened until they see the gulf between them.

Survey Says

University of Washington doctoral student Alyson Shapiro, and renowned marital researcher, John Gottman, PhD., found three core concepts that successfully help couples make the transition from partners to parents in their study, "The baby and the marriage: identifying factors that buffer against decline in marital satisfaction after the first baby arrives" in the Journal of Family Psychology (Vol. 14, No. 1):

  • Building fondness and affection for your partner.

  • Being aware of what is going on in your spouse's life and being responsive to it.

  • Approaching problems as something you and your partner have control of and something you can solve together as a couple.

Take Time to Date and Relate

Combat new parent stress by using the postpartum period to foster intimacy with your partner. Think a baby-sitter is a luxury? Think again. A happy marriage equals happy parents. By nurturing your connection with each other, you directly impact the future happiness and emotional well-being of your child.

Schedule a date with your partner to help rekindle those feelings that made you a couple before it made you mom and dad. Not ready to leave baby yet? You don't have to. Hire a sitter to entertain your wee one, and stay home and spend an uninterrupted evening together with your partner. The object isn't to get away from baby; it's to spend quality time together as a couple.

Remember the things you liked to do together before you became parents. Laugh together. Have a conversation about something other than the color of the contents of your baby's last dirty diaper.

Most importantly, throw out any preconceived notions you might have about life with your new baby. The realities of every day parenting often fall short of the blissful images cultivated by the media and our own minds. Both parenting and partnering are hard work. Unrealistic expectations of a utopian Gerber baby existence will prevent you from seeing the true joy of new parenthood, which, like childbirth itself, it as messy as it is beautiful.

About The Author

Barbara Eastom Bates is the author of the upcoming release, "Basic Training for Brides-to-Be," and editor-in-chief of Operation Military Spouse, http://www.operationmilitaryspouse.com. opmilspouse@yahoo.com

In The News:

Sharks and a saltwater crocodile went on a feeding frenzy about a mile off the coast of Australia — and the "rare" event was caught on tape.
The Buffalo Museum of Science has been sitting on a rare find.
A team of scientists have recently revealed they are able to keep the brain of a pig alive outside of its body for 36 hours after it has been decapitated.
A chilling 19th-century postcard written by someone claiming to be ‘Jack the Ripper’ has resurfaced in the U.K., puzzling experts.
A New England man, who has requested to remain anonymous, believed a small gold coin with a $5 denomination from the San Francisco Mint during the height of the California Gold Rush was a fake. It turns out, he was wrong and the coin is now estimated to be worth "millions of dollars," according to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.
Europe's newest Earth-observation satellite has taken flight.
A cluster of earthquakes in Oklahoma earlier this month helped push the state to 62 temblors this year alone of magnitude 3.0 or more — and 2,724 of that magnitude or more since 2010.
A young American sailor’s journal detailing his harrowing experiences during the Revolutionary War has been donated to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered an extremely rare marble head depicting the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
The most-viewed eclipse in history had an unexpected witness: A Google Street View car drove right to the edge of totality, offering a surprising celestial treat for visitors scoping out the event in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

What You Should Know About Counseling for Attention Deficit Disorder

At the ADHD Information Library we are big believers that... Read More

What is Prenatal Intelligence?

Prenatal intelligence, also known as fetal intelligence, has become a... Read More

The Great Baby Name Debate

Winifred or Willow? Thomas or Troy? The name you choose... Read More

A Little Love, Please?

Article based on a friend's experienceI just wanted to share... Read More

Winning The Whining War

Jason Meridith's two-year old son whines when he wants more... Read More

Public-School True Believers with a Mission

One reason public schools get away with educational failure, year... Read More

How Kids Learn To Cooperate In Video Games -- A Guide for Parents and Teachers

A great many parents are concerned that the electronic games... Read More

Film Industry and Our Youth

In the first premise, some films and video tapes which... Read More

A Night Out For Mom & Dad

Is your babysitter watching the kids and your k9 family... Read More

Picky Eater Kid Nutritional Guidelines

Although many children are picky eaters at some stage in... Read More

The Graceful Art of Defrazzling - For Mothers

"I wipe my baby's chin with my college diploma and... Read More

Did You Get the Hidden Parenting Message in Finding Nemo?

In the movie, Finding Nemo, Nemo's father, Marlyn asks the... Read More

How To Teach Your Children Social Skills

As our children grow, they will be going to schools... Read More

How A Home Water Filter Can Reduce Your Child?s Risk Of Learning Disabilities

Lead is one of the most dangerous toxins a person... Read More

Parents Role in Helping with Car Wash Fundraisers

As a parent you will be asked to assist with... Read More

Help! My Kids Dont Listen to Me

Does this sound familiar? Have your kids not listened to... Read More

Parenting: The Road I Chose

Tripping over the shoes and toys that seem to clutter... Read More

How to Create an Emotional Bond with Your Child

One of the most powerful tools that parents have for... Read More

The ADHD Parents Guide: Questions for the School

Here is something that you might want to keep if... Read More

Keep the Little Ones Safe, Follow Pool Safety Guidelines

Pool safety should be on the minds of every parent... Read More

Top 10 Ways to Motivate Your Student

As the new school year begins, parents play a pivotal... Read More

Why Me?

Why Me?"We should certainly count our blessings, but we should... Read More

Babys First Month at a Glance

Congratulations on your new baby! You have just brought your... Read More

Americas Public schools --- Deteriorating Like They Did In Ancient Rome

The citizens of the early Roman Republic enjoyed an education... Read More

Best Tips for Stress Free Child Party Games

When planning a child birthday party, just a little bit... Read More

street lights cost led street lighting fixtures Pete's produce ..