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Reply To: Life after a newborn

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Once the baby arrives, you may ask, “Whatever happened to sleeping in, spontaneity, late-night movies, and holding hands?” Baby happened, that’s what. No matter how much you each wanted this new little bundle of joy, you need to be prepared for rough waters ahead. The changes that occur at the birth of your first child are immeasurable. At some point you will realize that life will never be the same again. This stage includes an emotional roller coaster such as you could never have imagined. You go from the joy of seeing your new creation for the first time to the fear of being inadequate as a parent. You also feel the pride of watching your child develop and learn each new skill to the loneliness of feeling disconnected from your spouse. And on and on the roller coaster goes. This new stage of your relationship requires that you change certain expectations of how much energy you will have at the end of the day for conversation or housework. How you define closeness and intimacy may need to be changed as well. Be aware of changes in your personal emotional needs. Mom often begins to develop an emotional need for family commitment that was not there before. She may need to see her husband actively participating in the parenting. She will feel close to him as she watches him in his role as a father.