I often talk to new moms and while I expect to talk about their babies and motherhood, many of their struggles are about the changes they feel in their relationships. When you are pregnant you focus a lot on how your life will change with the baby in the house, but it’s rare to think about how your life as a couple will also change. It’s hard enough figuring out what all the baby stuff is about, add to that exhaustion and a changing dynamic in your relationship…..it’s enough to turn your whole world upside down, flip it around and back again.
So what’s our secret? Here are a couple of the biggest lessons we’ve learned:
- Be willing to have an open and honest discussion about how you are going to manage your money. We decided early on that we were going to combine our accounts and have never looked back. That choice is certainly not for everyone, but for us it worked. If you choose a different arrangement, discuss what will happen if one of you lost their job, had to take a pay cut or wanted to stay home with the kids. Talking about money is never easy and is always an emotional discussion. It’s important to keep an open mind and be able to talk honestly.
- Have a discussion and divide up the household chores. Sure, you naturally fall into different roles and each of you begins to do certain things around the house but there are always those things that are no one’s favorites. This really comes to light when babies come into the mix. The dishes start piling up, the laundry is never ending and even the vacuum starts to gather dust. You must talk about who is going to do what, when and how frequently. If you don’t have the discussion, chances are the other doesn’t know they are waiting for you to take care of something.
- Be open to change. My husband and I are not the same people that we were when we got married. We didn’t enter into this marriage expecting to change something about the other, it just naturally happened. We are all constantly having new experiences. From those experiences you learn new things and grow. You must be open to that evolution. Chances are in the early days of your relationship you were willing to change to be a better person for the other, that drive to keep improving should never stop.
- Don’t keep score. Those of you who’ve been reading the blog for a while know this is a big one for me. You can’t say “You went out with your friends two nights this week, I went for a mani-pedi which counts for half, so now I get 1.5 nights out.” If you keep score you make things infinitely more difficult for yourself and your spouse. If you want to plan a girl’s night out, then plan a girl’s night out. If you want to sleep in on Saturday, then talk to each other about trading off weekend mornings that you get to sleep in. We live in a busy time and days get filled up quickly. If you need a break, an afternoon or night out, ask for it.
p.s. You may be thinking, the blog is great, but I could never do that! I disagree and am here to help! Let’s schedule a 30 minute consultation to define what matters most to you right now and create a plan on how to spend more of your time doing that. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work out the details.
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