Becoming a parent

 

Becoming a parent is a life-changing event – and life as a parent keeps changing too! Here are some ideas to help you stay positive through the ups and downs of parenting today.

 

The new bits include joy in the tiniest things – like a newborn smile or the curl of a little finger. And there are some other bits – like less time for you, and less time for your partner, family and friends.

 

Try not to expect too much from yourself or your relationship in the first 6-8 weeks. The most important things are to enjoy connecting with your child, and to look after yourself.

 

Your feelings

 

You’ll have lots of new feelings. There’ll be some amazing highs, and, yes, some lows. You might be on an emotional seesaw during the first months. You’ll probably feel more tired than you’ve ever felt before, and you could be a bit stressed too.

 

Lots of new parents feel that they’re not coping at some stage or another. Go easy on yourself, and be realistic about what you can do each day. It can help to ask other new parents or friends about their experiences.

 

Your relationships

 

After becoming parents, it’s common for couples to:

 

• communicate less – about 50% of couples find this

 

• have more relationship stress than usual, and some relationship changes, including with family and friends

 

• report less time and less energy for sexual closeness

 

• experience more relationship conflict after the first few months.

 

Taking care of relationships with friends and family is important. Strong and supportive relationships make a massive difference when things get tough. The better you feel, the more you’ll enjoy being a parent. Take care of your mental health, physical health, and relationships. These three things will help you have more fun, and give you more energy when you need it.

 

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