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8 Problems New Parents Have and How to Cope With Them

 A first birth is amazing - two people that have come a long way, bring a child into the world and overnight become a family. When you are a couple going through this process, it can seem that in one moment a small being who shares your DNA has suddenly appeared and is not looking at you longingly.

 

Birth and raising a child are very exciting things that can soon have its effect on your marriage, and if you don’t learn to respond correctly, your relationship may be in danger. The birth of a first child is a serious marital challenge for new parents, with the majority experiencing decreased sexual desire, self-neglect, lack of sleep and more during the child's first years of life. To find out how to deal with these common problems and more, we have collected eight of them and the best way to cope with them.

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1. Lack of sexual relations

This isn’t a problem that stems only from exhaustion, but also from a sense of neglect, because most of the attention is directed at the new baby at home. Beyond that, most of the day (and night) you find yourself busy with baby, so you don’t have the time to be sexual. It's important to note that this doesn’t mean that you don’t like each other, it just means that you just don’t feel like shaking sheets.

The solution is to plan your time correctly and be sure to put time aside for sex as well. You’re probably raising your brow at the idea of having to “schedule sex,” but just as in your younger days you’d get excited about a date, you can do the same here too. Get a babysitter and take your spouse to dinner - shower, shave, put a little effort in yourself and flirt with each other as if you were on your first date. In addition, it is very important to leave the bedroom an adult space, you don’t want to roll over a piece of Lego in the middle of a romp….

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2. Self-neglect of the partner

Be honest with yourself, when you wake up every night to take care of your baby, work hard during the day and run through all your errands, looking good isn’t at the top of the list. For some couples, when the man stops shaving and dressing well, and the woman stops applying makeup and taking care of herself in general – this self-neglect can lead to marital problems.

The solution is to feel safe in your relationship - if you and your spouse are confident in each other and on your own, outward appearance shouldn’t bother you. Try to think about your parents in your youth. If they could handle this situation, there is no reason why you shouldn’t succeed. You may even enjoy the "not sexy" stage of marriage.

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3. Different parenting strategies

Most couples discuss what they believe their parenting styles will be like before having children or at least while they are pregnant with their first. Problems arise when reality hits and what was discussed isn’t what is being implemented. One parent may be more relaxed, lighthearted, and permissive, while the other advocates a more disciplined approach. This difference can be quite the obstacle since it leads to two parents working against each other as opposed to with each other.

The solution to this is to talk it out, you need to be on the same page to make this parenting thing work. A lot of compromise will be involved but you need to come up with a game plan together, and most importantly you need to always back each other up!

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4. Household chores

You house needed tending to before your child came into the world, but these chores become even more difficult after a child is born. If all of it falls on one partner for the most part, or if one spouse needs to nag the other for help around the house, the situation could lead to a lot of resentment and arguments.

To avoid this, the solution is simple – make a to-do list and divide the tasks between the both of you. In addition, learn to ask each other for help with household chores and be open to “covering” for one another when needed.  Be direct and ask for help when you need it. Another important thing is to know how to say "thank you" to each other (with a kiss) when your partner has helped with what you’ve asked. Being appreciative, open, and honest will make for a happy orderly household. 

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5. Grandparents

Having a child is a wonderful thing, and seeing your partner becomes a parent in this process is even more amazing. With that comes watching your parents become equally amazing grandparents, however, their ceaseless desire to spend a lot of time with the baby can be very burdensome. They may get the impression that from now on they have free access to your home, your life, and your child's education and upbringing 24 hours a day.

The solution is to set boundaries, you have the full right to say "no", regardless of how generous they are or how much they spoil your child. Be nice but assertive - for example: "Our baby is lucky you are his/her grandparents, but we are all a bit tired and we'd love to have some time alone." What's more, if the grandparents in question are your in-laws, you have the right to ask your partner to talk to his/her parents about the subject. At the same time, you can plan visitation times. If they feel wanted and you give them time, they will stop pressuring you.

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6. Lack of couple time

After the first birth marital time becomes family time, you are always together, but not alone. Whether you are an older or a younger couple, the sharp transition between being a couple and a family challenges everyone and can cause problems. When it’s only the two of you, you have the ability to make time for your private things - friends, hobbies and more. Once you have a child, you are "stuck" to each other and not only do you not have the time for your personal interest, you also don’t have a lot of time just for the two of you.

The solution to this is divided into two parts: first, you need to set aside time where you don't talk about chores or the child (topics which also have time allotted to them), and your marital time will be filled with conversations about things you used to talk about when it was just the two of you. The second part is to allow each other personal time for hobbies and private matters. For this to happen, you need to be okay with asking your partner to stay with the child alone. Don’t look at this solution as an escape from your family, but rather as an opportunity to re-up on energy, one that will make you come back refreshed, smiling, happy and full of vigor.

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7. Money

Money is stressful for all of us, but for new parents, this is twice as true because most of them think they do not have enough of it to support their family often leading to marital problems. The anxieties that come from thinking about money will not be taken out on your kid, and your partner will have to take the brunt of it.

 

Therefore, the solution is first and foremost to talk honestly about what you want for your family and yourself, and in the second stage to understand and acknowledge that you have to make difficult choices - buy a house or rent, buy a fancy stroller for your child or go on a family vacation, no matter what, what’s important is that you reach a decision together! Beyond that, to save and manage your money correctly, you can try living off of one salary and saving the other one. After the trial period, you can assess whether this is the right course of action for you.

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8. Lack of sleep

For new parents, it is very difficult to get used to the new situation in which sleep is a luxury, and most of them spend the small hours of the night by their child's bed, sometimes even at relatively older ages. These nightcaps can lead to fatigue, lack of attention, and more – it's no coincidence that this is one of the most difficult challenges for new parents. Lack of sleep causes us to be extremely nervous and irritable and this may affect our partner and cause problems in our relationship.
The solution to this can be achieved in several ways: one, sleeping shifts during weekends and even in the afternoon. Second, finding a quiet corner in the house where you can sleep, and even considering sleeping at a family member or close friend’s house, as long as your partner is home with your child, of course. Furthermore, when close friends or family members come to visit and offer help, don’t be shy and take advantage of it, take a nap or simply rest for a few moments.
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