The effect that having a baby can have on your relationship - and by that we mean the two of you - is called the "baby quake", says Claire Irvin, Editor In Chief of Mother & Baby magazine, because that's how hard it can hit you. Prince William and Kate Middleton seem - for all appearances - much like a normal couple, so we couldn't help wonder what effect that would have on their relationship.
Money of course helps, in that they can afford to pay for extra support such as a nanny or a chef, but no matter how rich or poor you are, your relationship with each other will come under strain. All those late nights (changing nappies, not spent clubbing), lack of sleep and terror at getting it right may mean that you end up snapping at each other or not communicating as effectively as you did before.
Although you may feel like you're powerless to change things, Claire says that there is preparation you can do. "When you’re expecting, start to communicate, don’t nag. Get into the habit of supporting each other rather than nagging. That means talking, and talking about what sort of role you want him to take, as well as routine. If the dad is working, how long will he be away for, what are his hours going to be? As a new mum you don’t need excuses to hate each other or feel resentful. Work out how to have a balance."
When it comes to establishing a routine, Emma Laing, Midwife Manager at Tommy's says: "Some couples are happy for husbands to go back to work, and when that happens, it’s very important to keep communication open. But if both partners want to, they can share certain tasks. You could do bath time together or perhaps changing the nappy. Above all, keep talking to each other and seeing how the other wants to help out."
Tiredness can be a major driver for arguments as it increases a person's irritability. Emma advises: "If you’re deciding to tag team during the night, it’s important that the one who is awake at night is able to rest in the day."
With a new addition to the family, the most challenging thing can be redefining your roles. Kirsty Smith, writer at Eeh Bah Mum says: "Accept that your relationship as you once knew it is dead. It will return but not yet."
Claire adds: "New dads can feel left out, so ask them to help out. New babies don’t do much apart from poo and sleep. You’ve got to get into habit of communicating when the baby is a baby so that you continue doing that in the years to come."
The hardest thing for new mums sometimes is seeing the family unit as a team. It can be easy to take over - after all you carried the baby for nine months - or to dictate what happens with the baby. But team work not only helps you but lightening your load, it means you're bonding together as parents.
"You can develop team work things, like maybe come up with a code when you have guests over. If you’ve had enough and want the guests out, you use the code word so that he can step in - and it takes the pressure off. Maybe involve him when it's time for a bottle feed or ask him for a cuddle when it's time to sleep. Sex will be the last thing on your mind, but it doesn't mean you can't make time for a kiss or a talk."
Prince William is said to be taking two weeks full paternity leave, but will likely have to return to his work in the RAF after that.
Once your partner does go back to work, there is an adjustment period that it would do well to prepare for. Emma says: "We concentrate on the birth and labour so much, but actually taking your baby home and creating a new family is a massive adjustment. Life does start to re-establish itself after three months – at the same time if you have a baby crying in first 12 weeks which is very common it can seem hopeless but it will sort itself into a routine."
Lastly, Tamsin Kelly from Parentdish says: "Be kind to each other. Try not to go down the 'who’s most tired' route. You're both going through a massive change, and supporting each other will go a long way to making it all seem less overwhelming."
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