Having a baby changes everything. We all know that. In fact, even people without kids know that. But until you have a child of your own, it’s really hard to understand just how much your entire life will be affected. If you have a partner, your relationship will undergo some pretty dramatic transformations. When you’re sleep deprived, covered in spit-up and baby poo, and you haven’t showered in three days, it’s pretty hard to carry on a serious conversation. And let’s not even talk about what that does to your sex drive.
In spite of the big changes parenting brings, all is not lost. To get some insight and help, I connected with Sarah Joseph of Prenatal to Parenting. She’s a social worker, doula, and childbirth and parenting educator, and she facilitates a workshop called Bringing Baby Home here in Vancouver. The workshop is all about building and maintaining a positive relationship with your partner through the transition to parenthood. She aims to help couples gain practical skills they can use to form a strong bond.
Did you ever hear your parents fight when you were a kid? I’m a child of divorce, so you know I did. It wasn’t a good feeling. All the same, I’ve found myself arguing with my husband in front of my kids, in spite of my best intentions. I would say that our relationship is pretty healthy, but the truth is you’re simply not going to get along with anyone all the time, and sometimes it comes out when I don’t want it to. When Jon and I argue, I’ve seen that look of concern on my children’s faces. That also isn’t a good feeling. I’ve made sure to talk through the situation with them after the fact, and I think they’re fine, but I would guess most parents would rather model positive conflict resolution for their little ones. It’s just one reason I want to make sure that I have good relationship skills.
During our conversation, Sarah talked about what the Bringing Baby Home workshop offers. She also talked about relationship warning signs, and gave some easy tips you can use to improve your own relationship. You may not have the same uninterrupted time together with your partner that you enjoyed before your little ones came along, but with a little bit of effort you can still find ways to connect and remind yourself what it is that you found so compelling about that person in the first place. If you’d like to know how you can build up your own relationship with your partner, you’ll want to listen to our conversation here:
Next week on the podcast I’ll be sharing an interview with Karen LeBillon, author of French Kids Eat Everything. She’ll be talking about her book, and about how the approach to feeding kids is differs in France and North America. I think this one is a must-listen – it was very eye-opening for me, and not at all in the way I expected. Subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute!