Delaware Marriage Therapist: Preparing Your Relationship for Your First Child

Seeing a Delaware marriage therapist might not be the first thing on your mind when you and your partner have your first child together, and that’s very understandable. Suddenly the new addition to your family is at the forefront of your thoughts, and you may feel like you don’t have any time or energy left to focus on your relationship.

However, even if you don’t want to see a marriage counselor, you should make an extra effort to focus on your relationship after your first child. Relationship issues can quickly escalate when partners are sleep deprived, trying to navigate parenthood, and attempting to figure out their new role in the family.

Delaware Marriage Therapist Offers Tips for Couples Expecting Their First Child

Figure out how to divide domestic duties. There’s no getting around it—there will be a lot more household duties once you welcome a baby into your family. Figuring out who’s going to do things like clean up the kitchen, change diapers, or get up with the baby in the middle of the night can be a huge source of contention, so head off this problem by sitting down with your partner ahead of time and discussing how you’ll divide tasks. It may work best for you to trade off tasks on a daily or weekly basis, so one person does not get stuck doing the same things all the time.

Discuss logistics. Sure, it’s not the most romantic activity, but you and your partner need to discuss the practical implications of having your first child rather than just playing it by ear. Discuss whether one parent is going to take some time off from work, how much time they will take off, and what that will mean for the family’s income. As a Delaware marriage therapist, I know that stressing out over money is a huge source of relationship issues, but having a plan in place can help ease anxieties.

Plan for date nights. Before you have your first child, you may take alone time with your partner for granted. However, once the new baby arrives, you may inadvertently neglect your significant other. This can lead to feelings of rejection, which can turn into bigger relationship issues, so you need to make an extra effort to spend time with your partner. Plan to get a babysitter every so often so that you can spend time together and remember what you love about one another.

Learn to be flexible. As much as I’ve advocated planning ahead, there’s only so much a Delaware marriage therapist—or anyone—can prepare you for. Having a child for the first time will be accompanied by plenty of surprises. You may find that the baby doesn’t want to nap on the schedule you’ve set up, or that there are new domestic duties that you never even anticipated. Be prepared to learn alongside your partner as you raise your child.

Walt Ciecko, Ph. D., BCB
605 Wynyard Rd
Wilmington, DE 19803