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Parents’ guide to protecting your relationship in the first year

With the pressures of parenting in the first year, here are some tips to help you safeguard your relationship

How to stay together now you’re a parent

We offer some tips that will help your relationship survive the first year of parenting

Relationship tips for parents

  • Look after your relationship now you’re a parent

Parents with newborn

You may think you have ups and downs in your relationship with your partner but the biggest test is yet to come, surviving your first year as a parent can be hard going…and keeping your relationship alive at the same time, even harder.

Here are our tips for surviving your first year as a parent while holding on to your relationship too.

1. Accept a helping hand

Some of us feel this overwhelming need to do everything and strive for perfection, particularly in the first year. Forget it, we all need help, ask your partner to help, it will ease the pressure on you, and remember it’s his child too. And if he offers to help, bite his hand off!

2. Lower expectations

In an ideal world, we would all raise our babies with no stress, all sleep soundly every night, still have the relaxed fun relationship with our partner we had before children, and live in an immaculate home. But let’s face it, the reality can be quite different. It’s OK to say you’ve had a bad day, the baby hasn’t stopped crying and you haven’t cleared up from breakfast yet, let alone thought ahead to dinner. It happens to all mums, so don’t be so hard on yourself! And chances are, your partner wouldn’t have even noticed!

3. Share your concerns

If you do feel overwhelmed one day, or feel that you just can’t cope with the day ahead, tell your partner, he may be completely unaware and think you want to be left to get on with it, tell him you need help today, and that you need a chat, bottling it up will only make it worse and you may find yourself taking it out on your partner, causing unnecessary rows.

4. Laugh it off

When you’re faced with one of those nightmare situations like your partner points out you have baby poo on your forehead, rather than reacting, just laugh heartily at yourself. After all, they do say laughter is the best medicine.

5. Make ‘me and us’ time

This may sound like an impossible task when you feel weighed down with the pressures of a new baby, jobs and running the home, all on very little sleep, but there’s always a way. Even if you have to book it a month in advance, there’s always a family member or good friend who will be happy to help you out and have your baby for an evening or an afternoon so you and your partner can just be the two of you for a few hours. It can make all the difference and help you reconnect away from the day to day mayhem that is life as a parent.

6. Accept that you will argue

Accept that you’ll argue… but argue smart with the aim of splitting the workload so that you don’t spilt up.  It’s typical for new parent to argue if one of you is 10 minutes late home, hasn’t done something the ‘right way’ or has had more sleep than the other ...it’s all part of life as a new parent.

Relationship tips for parents

  • Look after your relationship now you’re a parent

Parents’ guide to protecting your relationship in the first year