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Reply To: Coping After Your Firts Bornbaby

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There are two major threats to the marital bond, and they begin in the first quarter of parenting. What are they? Lack of time and lack of energy. There are feelings of grief at a loss of couple time, and feelings of disconnectedness from your spouse. There are also feelings of jealousy about the amount of time and attention baby is receiving, and the loss of energy all cause a great shift in the intimacy pattern. If the couple does not recognize these threats and deal with them openly, they may begin to feel even more isolated from each other. The most changed aspect of the new parents’ lives is the aspect of time. The time available for sleeping, eating, watching television, talking, sex, and even bathroom time seems to have just disappeared. Eating and napping schedules make parents more aware than ever of the clock. This constant awareness tends to make the new parents feel as though time is always running out. You can no longer take things for granted, and what used to come easily now takes more effort than you feel able to give. On the other hand, dad often develops an increased need to feel he is providing adequately for his new family. The responsibilities of finances and job may increase his need for admiration from his wife for the role he is performing. As these emotional needs change, it is essential that you identify them and then talk to your spouse. I have yet to meet the spouse who is a flawless mind reader. If you want your spouse to know that your needs are changing, then say so.