As seen in Aussie Kids Parenting Publication May 2012


Relationship Survival Guide

Your 7 point checklist to make sure your relationships survives when your baby arrives.


There is a lot more to preparing for a baby than just setting up the nursery and getting the car seat installed. Parents need to be prepared for the extraordinary changes that are going to occur in their life, once that little bundle arrives. The job of a parent to raise, nature and love a baby is exhilarating and rewarding. However it is also tiring, emotional and overwhelming. The welcoming of a baby also has a major impact on your relationship. Parents need to be aware and acknowledge that things are going to change between them and must work together to create the harmony and happiness at home that they intent to have


Casey and Dave arrived home from the hospital with their little baby. They had prepared by reading books and magazines on what to do with their newborn in regards to sleeping, settling, and feeding. Everything seemed to be going so well. Dave was being so helpful around the home, and Casey felt she was under control.  The first day Dave started back at work it all went downhill. Casey watched him walk out the door filled with terror and loneliness. Now she had to do it all by herself.  She was tired from waking up a 2 times a night, she resented the fact that she felt like she needed to do all the housework, cooking and washing because she was at home and Dave was at work. She began to get upset and sad because she felt like she wasn’t being a good mum. The slightest things would make her cry. She had never felt this isolated and depressed before. Her world had turned upside down, and Dave’s world was untouched (so she thought). However Dave was feeling it too. He was tired from being woken up at night, he was stressed at work, he hated to see his wife so down and he felt like he couldn’t do anything about it. He was getting frustrated as he had missed the last 4 poker nights with his buddies which was his time out as he thought Casey didn’t want him to go out again after being at work all day.

Research done by the Australian Institute of Family Studies revealed that couples agree that it was hard to have a good relationship especially once they had children.  So think ahead and begin to baby proof your relationship now. Here is the 6 point checklist to make sure you are ready to rock and roll:


 Detail the jobs

By knowing what needs to be done every day and each week decide who will do what and when. This will mean all the household chores will get done and the expectation is not on one person.

 Plan time off

Unlike when you go to work, there is no clock off time. Even once the kids are in bed there is usually more things that need get done like the cleaning and washing. Make sure each of you have some planned time each week. Acknowledge that each of you have busy lives whether it’s at home with the kids, or going to the coal mine each day. So even if its making time to go for a walk by yourself or seeing a movie with a friend always allow your partner to have their own space to recharge.

 Keep the romance alive

Romance is important in very relationship no matter how long you have been together.  It is the little reminders that you are loved that make life a more enjoyable and fulfilling. Romance doesn’t have to be expensive or corny. Just understand what your partner finds romantic and make it a priority to do something special for them regularly. Could be cooking their favourite meal, send flowers or pick up some desert on the way home from work.

Let your emotions be know

It’s important to share with your partner what is happening for you emotionally. Your partner is there to support and care for you. In an adult relationship we have chosen to be with you and love you therefore want to ensure you are happy. Speak about how you are feeling, the good and the bad. When you do share make sure it’s the right time to talk, maybe letting your partner know how you are feeling as soon as they walk in the door isn’t the right time. But if you are feeling overwhelmed, sad and frighten then making your partner be aware of this is essential.


Know your parenting values

Each of you have been brought up in different families, had different experiences and have different expectations on what a parent is. Create your own set of family values upfront. What is important to you, what qualities, behaviours and beliefs do you want to display consistently. What sort of parents do you want to be? Once you have your list what are your top 5 values.

 Build dreams

Having children does not mean that your dreams for yourself or you as a couple need to be put on hold. Make sure you talk and share your dreams and goals. What do you want to see happen over the next 5 years? Do you have your bucket list? Do you even know what your partner wants in life? These sort of things we talk about when we first start dating, but now it’s even more important to have because you are building an exciting life together and with little people. Why not have a dream book and review it each anniversary.




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