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It’s Complicated: How To Deal With Relationship Changes After Baby’s Arrival

It’s Complicated: How To Deal With Relationship Changes After Baby’s Arrival

People on a rollercoaster, headed into a dark tunnel. Just like the rollercoaster of emotions you may be experiencing as a new parent! Postpartum Wellness - therapist in Reston, VA - Northern Virginia Counseling

Baby is here! The busy time in the hospital, or with your midwife, is over. You are over the moon that your sweet baby is happy and healthy. As a couple, you’ve never been more in love. Now that you’re home, things should get smoother and easier, right?

While Simple, Taking Care of a New Baby is NOT Always Easy

This is a transition for everyone! You are all going to be dealing with the realities of life, one of you for the very first time. It can be hard to remember that life before baby even existed, let alone to think you could ever feel that way again. Some issues you may be dealing with are:

Changes in Routines

Surprisingly, routine is not the name of the game in these early weeks and months! The things you used to do together now seem like a distant memory. Date nights, if they happen at all, are rare and short. Everything (even getting out the door!) takes longer and involves a bunch of extra steps you didn’t have to worry about before. Do not lose hope…you will have a routine again, but for now, things will change often.]

Physical Changes

Physical changes are going to happen. They’ve been happening. Especially for the person who gave birth! But, each of you will experience physical changes in the coming months and years. This can be a source of stress and shame, or it can be an exciting way to bond together as time moves forward.

Emotional Rollercoasters

Those first two weeks are like nothing else. There’s no other great way to say that! But, the emotional rollercoaster doesn’t let you off there. It keeps bringing the highs, lows, twists, and turns. This is normal.

Identity Changes

No matter what your new title is, your identity has shifted forever. As your role in life shifts, the nuances of your identity and even personality will shift too.

Immense Feelings of Loss

Why would I talk about “loss” at such an exciting time? Because you can feel both joy and grief. I want you to know that if you are feeling a sense of loss, you are not alone. Some very common things new parents have to grieve are:

  • freedom
  • spontaneity
  • structure
  • sleep
  • money
  • sexual desire
  • …and so many more

Your Past and Present

Influences of your own childhood experiences will impact your parenting. Of course they will! I highly recommend talking to someone if you have childhood issues to process. This will help interrupt patterns of behavior and keep you parenting with intentionality. You are not your parents and your child’s experience of you will be different.

Tips for keeping your relationship healthy after baby comes home

Feet sticking out from under the sheets on a bed. Couples can still have intimacy and connection after baby arrives. McLean Virginia postpartum counseling therapists can help you connect after baby.

You were a couple, two individuals in love, before your baby arrived. This relationship deserves love and attention just like you and your baby do. Here are a few things to consider as you get used to this new normal!

Try to remember the good, happy, and joyful times

Before and after baby was born. You are not a bad parent for thinking about how things were when it was just the two of you!

Remember: These baby stages are temporary!

What do people say? The days are long, but the years are short. It may sound trite, but it’s true. You will not stay in this stage forever.

You are “modeling” for your baby/child

How do you want your child to think about relationships? What kind of love do you want your child to see as “normal”? This can be a good way to help us all remember to nurture our relationships while we’re in the midst of parenthood.

Family resting and smiling in parents bed during the postpartum months and years. Relationships can be connected and close again with kids. Postpartum wellness counselors can help northern Virginia families and couples

You Are Not Alone.

Individual and couples therapy is available for new parents. Our McLean, VA and Arlington, VA women’s counseling centers have skilled therapists who specialize in counseling for individuals and couples. We serve clients in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Washington, DC area.

Beginning Counseling at Postpartum Wellness

It may feel like a giant step to reach out and ask for help, but we make the process as easy as possible. To begin counseling for any postpartum concern, just follow these steps:

  1. Contact Postpartum Wellness to schedule an intake counseling session
  2. Meet with a caring therapist
  3. Feel comfortable and connected as a couple again

You deserve a happy, healthy relationship. Let us support through this time of transition.

Other Mental Health Services for Women & Parents

At our Northern Virginia counseling offices, we help all women live happy, healthy lives. Our skilled therapists care about what matters most to you. We offer a variety of services. Including counseling for postpartum depressionpostpartum anxiety treatment, and supportive counseling during infertility. We also help women find healing after traumatic births as well as helping moms on bed rest or who are stressed during a high-risk pregnancy. You are not alone in this journey. Contact us today to begin counseling and move toward healing.

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