Parenting can be hard. Plenty of parents have a really hard time with adjusting to the rigors of parenthood, especially when face with a crying, pooping baby that doesn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. In other words, it’s stressful, and sometimes moms and dads have a tendency to fall into roles which don’t necessarily work to the advantage of the relationship.
One great example of this is when parents get into the habit of reciprocal favors from each other. If the husband gives the wife a few hours on Saturday to take a nap or go get coffee to relax a little, he should not automatically expect the wife to reciprocate on Sunday with some time for him to get away. This isn’t to say that parents shouldn’t help each other and trade off on some time away to recharge, but if the only reason you offer some help to your spouse is because you’re expecting help right back, then you’re essentially telling your partner that you aren’t out to help him or her but instead you’re scratching his or her back so you can get your back scratched too. Keep this up, and watch the resentment build. The bottom line is this: help your partner because you want to.
Lots of couples find that the addition of a new baby into the home stresses the relationship more than they ever expected. Some husbands and wives think that having a baby will bring them closer together and although this can certainly be true, there are some relationships that take quite a hit when the rigors of parenthood are introduced.
Work together as parents. Help each other out and recognize that you’re both working really hard whether you head off to work in the morning or stay home with the baby all day. If you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to get a break for yourself and you don’t pay attention to the needs of your partner, you’re setting your relationship up for some real problems.
Remember that your kids will eventually grow up and move out of the house. What do you do if you’ve spent eighteen years ignoring your spouse’s needs and then suddenly you’re ready to be a team again?