Counseling for First-time Parents
It’s 3 a.m. and the baby monitor has woken you up four times already. You’re drowning in dirty diapers and vomit, wondering how such a small human can cause so much trouble and make so much noise.
Bringing someone to life can be an incredibly rewarding journey, but it also requires a lot of hard work and determination, especially at first. You are expected to deal with all these drastic changes in your routine. You are expected to effortlessly adjust to sleepless nights and restless days. All your time and energy go into looking after your baby. Patience and emotional commitment are part of the deal as well. You’re trying so hard yet it sometimes feels like you don’t know what you’re doing at all.
You’re having serious doubts about your parenting skills and you’re not sure how much longer you can go with this colossal amount of stress and sleep deprivation. You desperately want to believe that it’s the same for everyone, that you’re not supposed to be an expert on something you’ve had minimal experience with. Yet other parents seem so well-adjusted that they make it look too easy.
You ask yourself why this experience tends to be a source of joy, happiness, and fulfillment for others, while it’s only put a serious strain on your relationship with your partner. You wonder how a major event like getting married doesn’t change a couple’s routine, but a new addition to the household does. You want to give your child everything in the world, but you’re so stressed and exhausted that you can’t think beyond your own survival.
But you have to remember that this shift from a twosome to a threesome is a process of trial and error. It’s different for every parent, but everyone goes through good days and bad days. And it’s completely normal to take a while before you reach a level of comfort and confidence in your new role.
Making the transition from a couple to a family can change your relationship (and your lifestyle) in a number of ways:
- As a first-time parent, you are faced with an entirely new identity that you have to assume very quickly, this is why the transition is often rocky for everyone involved. Contrary to popular belief, parenting does not always come naturally to the parents. This isn’t an intuitive process and because it entails a lot of trial and error, the adjustment period as you try to find a new normal can be extremely stressful. You or your partner might expect one another to take on certain responsibilities step into certain roles which can lead to intense disappointment when one of you doesn’t. Those first months are especially disruptive because of the fast-paced changes you and your child come into. Everything is changing and it can be too much to process!
- A new baby brings a set of unique challenges and responsibilities that no one ever anticipates. No matter how many parenting books you read or how prepared you think you are, it’s highly unlikely that you will have time for yourself and for your partner. This is a very demanding job and finding the time to take care of your needs and do the things you enjoy doing with your partner will be difficult. After a while, you and your partner are bound to feel drained and disconnected, especially if you don’t tend to yourselves. Not to mention how new parents are more predisposed to feeling guilty and remorseful if they step away from their child to cater to their needs.
What First-time Parents’ Counseling Can Offer
Given the variety of difficulties and challenges you will have to face, taking care of a new baby can cause your relationship to deteriorate. When you and your partner feel like you are spreading yourselves too thin, this can make you turn against one another whether it be in anger, frustration, or withdrawal. Nurturing the bond you have becomes a conscious effort rather than a natural occurrence.
This is where seeing a couples’ therapist can be invaluable. First-time parent counseling can help you and your partner be open with and understand each other. It will shed some light on both your needs and create a safe and welcoming environment where you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings instead of resorting to negative patterns of behavior, namely criticism or pushing the other person out.
Counseling will help you recover some of the most rewarding parts of your relationship. It will allow you to rediscover and strengthen the connection you share with your partner so you can enjoy those milestones and important moments together. Counseling provides you with the communication tools you need to understand each other’s perspectives, even if they don’t necessarily align. With the help of a counselor, you can safely and efficiently navigate the transition into parenthood without this new experience tearing you and your partner apart. Talking to your partner about delving into these worries together with a therapist can be tremendously beneficial. You will soon notice how these conversations bring you closer exactly when you and your new family need it the most.
Adjusting to Change & Expectations With Counseling
The joy that parenting sparks, is unfortunately matched by the challenges it incites. As a new parent, you have to deal with numerous difficult decisions, drastic changes, not to mention a rollercoaster of emotions. At Deep Connections Counseling, we offer the support you need to help you and your partner comfortably navigate the challenges of parenthood and excitedly delight in the happiness that a child can bring.
Your relationship as a couple will undergo some dramatic restructuring after bringing a new baby home. Therapy offers you a safe space where you can reconnect and adapt to the new responsibilities of your family. You will get to share each other’s experiences in the most supportive way to make this new stage of your life a positive and exciting one.
You might feel lonely and isolated as miscommunication and conflict increase, but our competent therapists will work with you and your partner to help you replace negative communication cycles with more constructive approaches so you can develop more affection, empathy, and compassion for each other.
Fill out our online form and make an appointment today, or let us know if you have any questions about the services we offer!