6 Ways Your Relationship With Your Partner Can Change After Having a Baby - How to Deal With These Challenges

6 Ways Your Relationship With Your Partner Can Change After Having a Baby – How to Deal With These Challenges


Are you surprised to have read that title? I think a lot of mamas would be shocked. Because this is one thing that isn’t addressed and is still such a taboo subject. Maybe we’re ashamed to admit it to anyone for fear that it’ll make the relationship look weak?

Having a baby is a HUGE adjustment. So, it’s somewhat inevitable that the dynamics of your relationship will change. And this isn’t at all to say that your relationship will be in shambles. Of course not. But it’ll be a change and you can run into challenges that both you and your partner will have to tackle and figure out as a team.

Here are 6 ways in which your relationship can change with your partner after having a baby:

1. Your Priorities Change:

mother's priorities changing after having a baby. She holds her baby tight to show that her baby's needs come before anyone else's, including her partner's or hers.

I mean, your routine looks completely different after having a baby. Taking care of a new child uses up a lot of your energy and time, so your priorities definitely see some adjustments. 

Your #1 priority is to take care of your baby. Evidently, your baby’s needs take precedence to almost anything, and so it’s difficult to juggle other people’s needs in there, and this includes your partner’s.

Needless to say, our own needs as mothers are put aside for quite some time too.

How to Deal With This: 
  • Having a baby is a HUGE adjustment, and it will take some time to find your own groove. So take it easy!
  • You will get used to your new normal. 
  • You and your partner could discuss ways in which your needs could be met halfway. A little compromise can’t hurt!
  • Make sure you both feel understood. Communication, communication, communication!

2. Resentment Toward Your Partner – Sharing the Load:

Mother resenting partner after having a baby because she feels like she is doing a lot more than her partner is in terms of sharing the load.

“About half (54%) of parents in households where both the mother and the father work full time say that, in their family, the mother does more when it comes to managing the children’s schedules and activities;  47% also say this is the case when it comes to taking care of the children when they’re sick.” 1

Another research was conducted in 2011 on 347 new mothers and it determined that new mothers tend to feel like their house workload is not fairly split as they tend to take on more tasks than their partner does, especially when it comes to childcare.2 

This doesn’t even account for the mental load that us mothers have to carry. Now, that’s a big one… Is the laundry done? Did I book that doctor’s appointment? Do we have enough groceries? When’s the last time baby napped? Does my baby need a diaper change?

How to Deal With This: 
  • Try to dedicate certain tasks to your partner. For example, you can alternate tasks; one night you can do bath time and they’d be in charge the next night.
  • Manage your expectations. It’s nice to think that you can get a lot of things done in a day. But sometimes, it’s physically impossible. Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Let some things go…
  • Listen to your feelings & be open to communicate them to your partner.
  • Ask for help. Don’t feel guilty or weak; you need it.

3. Stress & Conflict

Stressed couple after having a baby due to financial hardships & conflict due to different ways of parenting.

The responsibilities that come with taking care of a new little human being can be a huge source of stress. Half of the time, you probably have no idea what you’re doing. One partner might do something a completely different way as the other or have a different way of parenting, which could create some conflict.

With the lack of sleep and running on very low energy, you can become more irritable or impatient with one another. This is normal…I mean all your energy is going into taking care of your baby.

Another source of conflict is finances. And by this, I don’t necessarily mean that having a baby is expensive. Yes, there are things that your baby will need and it can accumulate.

But, also, it’s not everywhere that mothers have a well paid maternity leave. Not to mention, in some areas in the world, the cost of daycare is so expensive that some mothers are left with no choice but to stay at home with their child.

So, all this can add a lot of stress to the relationship as you try to manage your finances with these new and sometimes unforeseen expenses.

How to Deal With This:
  • I know it’s hard, but try to hunker down on some of those expenses that aren’t so necessary. For example, if you’re used to buying your coffee every morning, try having one at home instead!
  • Sit down with your partner & plan a budget together.
  • Your baby doesn’t need all the toys & gadgets in the world!
  • Remember that this is all new. Your finances will need some adjustments. It is temporary & you will find a way to navigate through this.

4. Your Sex Life Will Change

Parents being intimate with each other, which is challenging to do right after having a baby.

Many people can be negative about this particular topic; “Oh, you’ll never have sex again…”. This is not necessarily true though.

Your sex life can change, that’s for sure. You’ll probably have to renegotiate your way through it. But it’s all about redefining your sex life. And if you put the effort into nurturing it, it can actually be fun!

Many things can have an impact on your sex life after a baby. Let’s go through a few reasons why your sex life can be different or changed:

  • You simply might not feel like having sex because you’re exhausted or touched out. Your sex drive can be reduced because your hormones are still trying to adjust themselves.
  • You might still need time to recover physically from the birth.
  • Sex can hurt after birth. Your body is still healing and some things down there still need time to recuperate.
  • Self-confidence might be a bit shattered after giving birth with all the changes that your body went through.
  • You have less time alone with your partner. Some parents have their babies sleep with them in their bedroom in the first few months and for some, it might feel awkward to be intimate. 
  • Sometimes, alone-time won’t always align with when you’re most sexually aroused or interested in “doing the deed”. Adjusting to your new routine in the beginning of postpartum can also make it difficult to find the time and energy to be intimate with your partner.
How to Deal With This: 
  • You’ll find a new routine and times that work for you and your partner. It might take some time…but be patient, it’ll come.
  • Arrange some date nights! Have your child(ren) babysat, and plan something spicy!
  • Give yourself some time to heal.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s happening to all of us!
  • Once again, communication is key! Talk about it with your partner, and see how you’re both feeling and be honest. You can both come up with a game plan together!

5. Not Enough Time One on One:

Baby in between parents in bed. It's hard to find some one on one time with your partner after having a baby.

As mentioned previously, with the arrival of a new baby or even with current children, finding time alone is scarce.  So, you have to plan in advance. You might not be able to do exactly the things that you were able to do together pre-children, but you’ll find ways to spend some quality time one on one.

How to Deal With This:
  • Plan small date nights, date breakfasts or date lunches! Whichever time you feel most comfortable with.
  • Go on a walk; even if it’s with the baby. It’ll allow you both to have a little bit more quiet time to talk, instead of constantly focusing your attention on your little one. Your baby might even fall asleep!
  • Try spending time together in bed at night after putting the kid(s) to bed (yes…I know. most of you might be too tired by the time you hit the sack!).
  • Make dinners together & make it fun!

6. You’re a New Person After Giving Birth – Both You and Your Partner Are Getting to Meet the New You!

New mother in her new role trying to figure out things and learn her new identity

Picture this. You’re a new mama and you have a brand new baby. Just a few days ago, although your baby lived in your belly, it was basically just you and your partner – what you’ve been used to for probably many years.

All of a sudden, you have new responsibilities; you’re tackling things you’ve never done before and you’re having to figure it out on the spot. You’re a mama now. This is your new role. Your partner too is trying to figure out their role in this new life.

Sometimes after giving birth, mothers feel like a new person or a new version of themselves. They might feel more mature, but they might also feel lost and see their self-confidence being shattered.

It’s not always easy for mamas to accept their new role or this new identity. So, it’s important for our partner to acknowledge this and to know that with time, we will adjust to this new version of ourselves.

How To Deal With This:
  • Know that we almost all go through it. Our hormones can have a major effect on this aspect. 
  • We will slowly find our identity back or a newer version of it.
  • Accept the new you. You’re exactly what your baby needs you to be.
  • Communicate to your partner the way you’re feeling about this change so that they can acknowledge that you’re going through something. Your partner can help guide you through the wave.
To Sum It Up

Expecting a baby is absolutely exciting and wonderful.  But knowing all the other things that you can expect postpartum, like how your relationship with your partner can change after having a baby, can be very useful in terms of preparing for the change.

A change isn’t always negative as we would typically assume. Your relationship can actually change for the better if you’re both able to navigate through the challenges as a team. A good standing relationship is all about teamwork and dealing with everything that comes your way one step at a time.

What were ways in which you and your partner worked through this together? Please share!




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