5 Ways My Relationships have Changed Since Becoming a Parent

changedBecoming a mother means the beginning of a new stage in your life. You prepare for this change in your life in all the ways that you know how: you read the books, listen and follow the directives of your doctor, chat it up with your mommy friends.  But were you prepared for the changes in your relationships? Becoming a parent calls for an adjustment on many levels.

Your Family

Family members can be your best ally when it comes to starting your own family.  Full of advice, both wanted and unwanted. They are accustomed to telling you what’s best for your life, so what makes us think it will stop once the baby arrives? When my daughter was born, my family just could not understand how a baby could survive on breast milk alone. “That baby is hungry!” I heard it over and and over!

What can you do about it

Nothing!  Ok, there are a few things you can do.  Set up boundaries and protect your feelings. Those first few months you will be feeling overly sensitive about… well, everything! Take their tips and suggestions in stride. Do what YOU feel is best for YOUR baby.

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Your Partner

Let’s do the math… You’ve gone from a couple to a family of 3 (or more!). This can be a difficult adjustment for some couples to make. Your ability to come and go as you please changes. Schedules, commitments, practices, and play dates become the new norm! Planning is your fun as opposed to spontaneity.  

What can you do about it…

Create space and time for your relationship. Plan and actually go out on date nights! Communicate and check in with each other constantly. My husband and I have gone from planning our dates and activities on a whim to synchronized calendars. We now make a conscious effort to include date nights out (and in). We have “check in” meetings at least once a week.  

Your friends

Your friends, especially those without children, may not understand the demands on your time. It’s just not as easy to go out on a moment’s notice. Some of your friends may also be struggling with infertility. When we announced that we were pregnant, a friend of mine literally stopped talking to me, stopped contacting me. It was difficult for her to see me, let alone talk to me.

What can you do about it…

While it was a painful (I essentially lost a very good friend), I now understand. Unfortunately, some of your acquaintances and more casual friendships may fall by the wayside. Having children however, can create a new bonds and understandings with your friends who do have children. You’ll find these friendships to be that much deeper, more empathetic and much more supportive. You’ll find that your closest friends may be the ones you and your family do daily life with. Live life on purpose. Text or Skype an old friend every once in awhile. Create fun girls’ nights and girlfriend getaways!woman-828888_1280

Your other child(ren)

Having another child will change your relationship with your other child. Caring for a new child will take up a lot of time and energy. Yet your first child will still be developing, growing and needing his mom.

What can you do about it…

Plan separate outings 1-on-1 with your child. Have that place that is just for you and that child. Continue putting your older child to bed. Create and keep family routines.

You

There may be changes to your weight; new beauty marks (READ:: Stretch marks) to get used to, breastfeeding challenges,and fatigue. It’s taken 5 years for me to come to terms with my post-baby body (Um, my daughter is 5). While I’m still in love with it, but I’m embracing my curvy side more and more!

What you can do about it…

Your relationship with yourself is the most important one!  If you don’t take care of yourself, your other relationships don’t have a chance!  Work out, carve out that much-needed ME time, sleep and get real about how you are feeling.  


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