Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Easing the Shift From Couple To Parents

Welcome our Guest Blogger, Jen Kogan, LICSW!

Is there a way to prepare for the cosmic shift from couple to parents? The answer is a resounding, yes!

Conversations about expectations can help pave the way to start. Talk with your partner about how each of your own parents balanced family responsibilities. Even if your plan is to do exactly the opposite it can help to understand where your spouse is coming from once baby arrives.

How will you share your own joys and frustrations? Come up with a code word to use together when things are tough or terrific so you can know when to drop everything and listen to each other.

Express appreciation, admiration & affection

Research shows that it is vital for couples to express appreciation and validation for each other. This may feel daunting when you are operating on little sleep but it is a surefire way to stay in touch as new parents.

Keep in mind that this is also a time when your sex drives may be out of sync with each other. This stage is a temporary one and everyone goes through it. A good way to stay connected is to add in lots of hugs and snuggling.

Support is Essential

Making sure that there are enough supports in place is essential. This is especially relevant here in DC where many couples don’t have family living nearby. Plan ahead so you can each get a break and find time to go out together without baby. Laying the foundation for your new life as parents may not solve every problem but it gives you the tools you need to stay close and connected.

Jen Kogan, LICSW provides support and counseling to parents in her northwest DC private practice.

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