If you think you can go back to the way things used to be before the arrival of baby, think again. Gone are the days where you can roll about in bed past nine in the morning, take a good long coffee break in the afternoon and put your feet up in the evening to watch Grease reruns uninterrupted. Along with the new baby comes the ‘new normal’ where every parent will have to adjust to and embrace. Here are some of the things you can expect to happen and how to cope with them while remaining as intimate as ever with your significant other.
It is normal for a mother to feel a little blue after giving birth. After all, you have gone through an awful lot for the past nine months, and for it to have come to an end all too quickly, some parts of you will wish you were still carrying baby inside you. Instead of blaming yourself for these feelings, know that these feelings are transitory, and you will feel your normal self again after a week or so. Train yourself to focus on what you have gained – a beautiful baby – whom you can enjoy loving and nurturing as he or she grows. For hubbies, do not take any outbursts or rejection personally. A little patience and understanding goes a long way and it will greatly help if you could take over the household chores for a while, or take the family out for a mini-picnic every now and then when the sun is shining.
The organised mess
Face it – you will not have time to clean and straighten the house every single day with a new born. Being cross with hubby and nagging him constantly about the state of the house will not help either. So do what is important first, like laundry, cooking and sterilising baby’s bottles. The rest, such as stacking baby toys neatly into the cupboard or arranging shoes so they are all lined up in a straight row can wait for when you have more time to spare. Also, when you need help, ask nicely and directly. Do not hint or start banging pots and pans around in frustration as hubby will have no clue as to what is it you want. And do not forget to thank him after. Knowing that he is appreciated may just encourage him to do the same in return.
The ‘M’ word
You knew that having a baby would be expensive, but you didn’t realise just how much of the family income would be going towards baby in a single month! With baby around, you can no longer to buy that fancy dress on a whim, or to splurge on a pair of tailored trousers you know would look so good on hubby. Even grocery shopping has become a tiny mathematics exercise as you have to factor in baby’s necessities, too. So plan together with hubby on the major financial decisions – insurance, savings account and tax plans, and work with what is left over after all the necessary expenses have been paid for. It will be stressful for the both of you, especially for the first year, but you will soon learn to live within your means. You will be surprised at how much you have spent before on things that you do not really need, and how well you are living now without them.
Being accustomed to life with just hubby and yourself, the arrival of baby will most certainly change things. You both will find that you can no longer have a spontaneous night out with friends, or take an extended weekend away together at the spur of the moment. At home, you are no longer alone together but will have to divide your attention to baby’s needs. There are times too, that hubby or yourself may feel resentful of the amount of time the other is spending with baby instead of each other. However, having a baby does not mean that you should forgo quality time spent apart and/or together. Take turns staying home while the other spends time with friends. Hire a babysitter, or ask grandma to watch baby on date nights free of ‘baby talk’ where you both can reconnect and recapture the romance. Stick to the agreed schedule as much as you can, and soon the both of you will look forward to these dates with eagerness.