Nurture your relationship as you would nurture a seedling
Relationships are alive and dynamic they need love, care, and nourishment to thrive. The first year of new parenthood can be both blissful and the most stressful time of our entire lives. Few people acknowledge the earth shifting impact of parenthood on our relationship/marriage. Life becomes a great mystery with our new baby as we step into our new role as parent. The only thing we can control is ourselves: how we respond, how we share our feelings and how we participate in the dynamic dance of our relationship.
To soften our defenses and move toward a more supportive and generative relationship, validation and empathy is key. When we feel understood and seen, we feel less stress, closer and more trusting. We often think our partners should just know how we feel, and vice versa, and most of the time it is humbling and heart-opening when we create the space to truly share and listen.
You and your partner are creating a new family legacy, and you will stumble on old patterns and familial ways, you will get triggered, there will be upheaval and you will find your way; the way that is right for you and your new family.
A few do-able strategies:
- Wave the flag of kindness, all it takes is one person. You can do it.
- Express daily words of appreciation and thanks for your partner. Notice the little things.
- Be intimate regularly. If not with sex, than with other special time or cuddling.
- Avoid micromanaging or intervening your partner’s parenting style.
- Develop daily rituals of connection: kiss good morning/goodnight, exchange of gratitude, hold hands, being outdoors together, asking about his/her favorite part of the day.
- Support alone time. Encourage your partner to go meet up with friends, sit outside quietly or take a yoga class…self-care is vital.
- Learn to forgive yourself and your partner. Remember, you are modeling a healthy relationship to your wee one~they are listening.
- Find the humor. Laugh. Be silly.
“The best gift you can give your baby is a happy and healthy relationship.” ~John Gottman