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Reply To: Life As A First Time Parent

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Not only is a couple’s perception of time changing, but the actual amount of time that they can choose what to do with decreases tremendously. A couple will have only about one-third as much discretionary time after the baby is born as they had before their first child. With the overwhelming demands of caring for a new baby added to all the requirements of daily living already present, something is going to have to give. And unfortunately, that “something” is usually the marriage, and more specifically —the spouse. After all, isn’t he or she big enough to take care of himself or herself? It is easy to let the other supposedly independent adult in the house take a backseat to the crying baby and just about everything else. The dishes are not going to wash themselves, and the laundry isn’t going to fold itself, but we convince ourselves that the marriage is going to grow itself. Of course, this is not true. We must work on reestablishing priorities. The new stresses that flood into new parents’ lives seem unending. You are now dealing with identifying your new roles as mom and dad. This happens at a time when you most likely had barely gotten the hang of being husband and wife. You are also learning the new skills of infant care and parenting. And you are physically drained by the never-ending need for attention from your little one. All this is mixed with increased conflicts with your spouse over role responsibilities. You may feel a lack of emotional and physical support, and changes in your sexual relationship.