Parenting is quite possibly one of the most full on, demanding, all consuming jobs on the planet! Kids are amazing, they’re inquisitive, full of beans, and they give great cuddles. They can also be a right handful and test the patience of even the most mild mannered mum and dad.
Chuck a relationship into the mix and having to be present, productive, and fit in some time for romance too can break even the most robust couple in a heartbeat! There’s a rather sobering statistic in that 1 in 5 couples break up in the first year of having a baby, and we can perhaps see why. The responsibility alone for a little human being is more than enough to take every ounce of energy, and often there isn’t a lot left in the tank for anything else. It’s quite reasonable to suggest that, we can’t do it all!
Sleep deprivation, the struggle of the juggle, working patterns, childcare challenges, and making sure the house stays standing is a lot for anyone, so it stands to reason that a lot of parenting couples come a bit unstuck. Several couples report of having the most spectacular rows during the supposed newborn blissful stage. Both are likely overwhelmed, exhausted, clueless and any pre-birth fantasy of ‘working as a team’ and ‘enjoying every moment’ is firmly out the door as they grapple with their new roles of being selfless Mummy and Daddy.
It’s so essential that every parent feels ok in asking for and getting help. Parenting goes through many phases, and it can often be a bit of a lonely landscape with each half of the couple stuck in a competitive ‘I have it worse’ state. This rarely serves anyone well, but we’re all human, it’s ok to not know the answers, to be scrabbling about frantically not really sure how to get off the hamster wheel.
Recognising and accepting life as a parent is a big part of coming through the tough bits. Then it’s taking the often difficult, but important steps to communicate properly and compromise within your relationship to move it into a much more productive and happier place.
The Couples and Kids Plan has been devised to help any parent who needs a helping hand, particularly with their relationship. It’s important, and ok, to recognise that most couples feel like their relationship changes when kids come along, not always for the worst either, not by a long shot, lots of couples also thrive. The key is recognising what you can do to keep your couple strong, healthy, happy and loving when a little baby-shaped bomb threatens to play wrecking ball.