Relationship Changes During the Transition to Parenthood
“One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a healthy relationship between the two of you.” -John Gottman
Jacqueline of Holden Counseling and Education wants you to consider this: When was the last time you sat down to eat a meal-without having to share half of it with scavenging children? When was the last time that you and your partner actually looked into each other’s eyes and had a conversation for more than a minute-NOT about the kids, household duties, or work? When was the last time you kissed for at least 6 seconds, just to kiss?
For a lot of folks, it’s been a minute or 10 months…
Having a(nother) baby doesn’t have to mean the end of alone time and intimacy for your relationship. It also doesn’t have to feel one sided, like one partner is bearing the brunt of the emotional, household, or financial labor.
Research shows that at least 67% of couples experience a dramatic decline in relationship satisfaction during the first three years of parenthood. The Bringing Baby Home Workshop was created using decades of relationship research, and the program itself has been research tested to show its effectiveness.
One of the things I love about the Bringing Baby Home Workshop, is the theme of “small things often.” All of the tools and skills taught during the workshops are things that can be implemented into your daily routine, in small pieces. It’s not about saying “I’m sorry” without any follow up; the best apology is changed behavior.
Of the many things that couples take away from these workshops, is the permission to try something new, and to keep each other accountable. Inevitably, life will throw something your way and you may fall back into old and easy, but negative patterns. Oftentimes, as much as you might want to change, it can be hard to know where to start.
“But we have a great relationship-we never fight!”
Lack of conflict in a relationship isn’t necessarily a sign of a healthy relationship. There’s a lot of change that happens during this time, and it can start as early as just discussing the topic of adding to your family. I often see this dynamic in couples in my private counseling practice.
We are inundated by images, videos, and snippets of people’s lives, showing us their “highlight reel”, that often is polar opposite to our day-to-day life. But the more we speak our truth, and show the ups and the downs, the more we connect with each other. The more we see ourselves in others, the more we strengthen our empathy for others.
Participating in a workshop means that you are taking a conscious and intentional step to strengthen your relationship with your partner, and your children as well!
This workshop is ideal for:
- Couples planning on having a child
- Expectant Couples
- Parenting Couples of children from birth-3+ years
Registration is currently open for the full Gottman Bringing Baby Home Workshop sessions in February, March, and April. All classes will be virtual, and limited to 4 couples per session. Registration information can be found at: holdencounseling.eventbrite.com
Don’t hesitate to be in touch with any questions – I hope to see you at a class soon!
Remember: small things often will increase the positive perspective in your relationship, not just with your partner, but with your children as well. Life will always have ups and downs, but with intention and work, you can weather those storms with less stress and more collaboration.
Jacqueline Holden, MA, NCC, PMH-C
Holden Counseling & Education
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