Category Archives: My partner and I

False expectations

A lot of couple’s feuds come up due to false expectations. Most women have very high expectations of their partner and their role as a future parent. They picture a perfect parent for their future perfect baby. Some men hold false expectations as well. However, there is no such thing as perfection and therefore no perfect person or perfect parents. Knowing this from the beginning could be helpful for both of you to consciously contributing to your child’s future education and parenting.

In order to avoid future feuds, the best thing you could do is to have a talk with your partner about your expectations for your family. These could range from how many children you’d like to have, to how you are going to handle your roles in parenting. This could not only eliminate false expectations but could also help you plan a family.

Remember, the nine months of pregnancy allow you to prepare for the arrival of a new member in the family. The best way to prepare is by informing yourself and working on good habits. Reading about topics that you don’t know much about could help you prevent future family issues. Likewise, clarifying important issues with your partner can help you avoid creating false expectations, and therefore avoid possible discussions.

Promoting respect in the family

After a baby’s arrival, new responsibilities can cause an increase tension and arguments within couples. Tension can even get so high to the point of losing respect for each other.
If a couple’s relationship is dysfunctional, it can seriously have an effect on how they raise their children. Studies have shown that parents with a bad relationship tend to educate their children with less consistency. So it’s very important to respect each other in order to maintain the peace in your family, especially now that you have a new member.How can we work on respect in the relationship?

Communication is key. Knowing how to express feelings, desires, and ideas is a fundamental ability for a relationship. It’s important that your partner feels respected and valued so you can work peacefully as a couple. This is why intimacy and affection, as well as communication, are so important in keeping a relationship healthy. Another way of maintaining respect is by practicing self-control in stressful situations or in fights. Emotional control keeps you from saying things you might regret later.

What to do when the situation spirals out of control or when the damage is already done?

If respect has been lost and offensive words or physical violence occurs, the best thing you could do is seek professional help to sort things out. Seeing things from another perspective could be of great help.

Considering that children learn how to behave from their parents, here are some suggestions to keep them from taking after toxic behavior:

• Avoid picking fights in front of your children. If you need to discuss a touchy subject make sure you do so privately
• Don’t insult people or your partner. Practicing self-control is key to comply this advice
• Learn more about your partner’s likings and interests
• Take a workshop or read a book about emotional intelligence

Disagreements in the relationship

Most of the discussions and arguments couple’s have come up when they differ on how to raise their children, what type of education they should sign up for, or which medical attention they should get. Many options are limited because of economic reasons. It’s no wonder that many of the issues amongst couples start with things like how to spend money.

In order to avoid future discussions, you could try talking to your partner about the above topics during pregnancy. Talking about expenses, school fees, and all other baby related discussions is really important, especially when you don’t know what to expect with your first child. You could start asking questions like, “Will our child go to a public or a private college?” It’s completely normal to have different opinions on some topics. You should try to respect each other’s opinions, and reach an agreement.

Remember, the whole nine months will allow you to prepare for your baby’s arrival. The best way to get ready is to talk about important things that are related to the baby’s education and caring.

Your chats should be honest and respectful in order to reach a healthy compromise! Don’t forget how important it’s to get ready for the future baby, so that {he/she} can grow up in a loving and healthy environment.

Relationship changes in new parents

After a baby’s arrival, life as a couple changes forever. Now there are new responsibilities and activities on your agenda. If you are having your first baby, it’s pretty likely that you’ll both feel overwhelmed during the first few months after {he/she} is born. Each of you could process this new change differently, and it could be harder on one of you, so try to understand and help each other.

Some activities that could change, and for which you should be prepared for are getting less sleep, maternity leave or desertion of the job, the probability of post-partum depression, and changes in intimacy. To best prepare yourself, it’s great to do some research in advance. Then, when your baby arrives, you should work together to make these adjustments run as smoothly as possible. This will help you keep realistic expectations when it comes to taking care of your new family member.

The following tips could be of help to those that are first-timers:

• Before your baby’s born, you should commit to the new responsibilities that bringing a new baby into the world implies
• Your baby will not solve your issues with your partner, so this should not be the reason why you want to have a baby
• Sometimes the mom could give the baby too much time and make the partner feel left behind. This is why it’s so important that your partner also has an active participation in raising and caring for the baby
• You should agree and divide your time spent on taking care of the baby. Make it even so there are no arguments between you two
• It’s completely normal that the baby takes too much of your attention, especially in the first few weeks. However, you should also mind your relationship, and set apart some quality time as a couple

Bringing a baby into the world is a great responsibility, but it’s also one of the greatest things that could ever happen to you, so make sure to enjoy yourself!

Balance: work vs family

Nowadays, women have been able to climb to pretty important positions in big companies. Each day, more and more women work and have a family. How do they do it?

Truth is, dedicating full-time attention to both is impossible. If you add up some family time, you automatically subtract time to your job or professional career. Same thing happens if we turn things around. However, with your partner’s help, you might find it easier to share some quality time, even if it’s not full-time. People need their partner’s support in order to have both a family and a career. Couples that have a plan and decide to share roles equally have a higher possibility to be successful at work.

On the other hand, some women set aside their careers or the formation of a family. Why does this happen? A lot of women feel pressure to become full-time moms. It’s been widely discussed how important it is to invest time in your children. It has been found, though, that quality is more important than quantity. If you’ve always wanted to have a career, go for it. If you decide not to, the frustration of having to give up something you want could take a toll on your relationship with your children. This is why trying to seek quality time is better than spending the whole 24 hours with them. What’s important is that you’re happy so you can convey happiness to your children when you spend time with them.

Remember to find balance. You can have both a career and a family, as long as you find your support system on family or on your partner. Don’t forget to spend quality time with your children!

Shared responsibility

A baby’s birth brings so many changes in the lifestyle and routine of a couple, especially since this new member is completely dependent on what they do or stop doing. Caring for a baby involves lots of tasks, such as periodic diaper changes, or setting apart some time to laugh, talk and play. Your baby also needs adult supervision as {he/she} sleeps, eats, and takes {his/her} very first steps. As you can see, a baby needs lots of attention, especially in the first few years.

With such a big change, it’s completely normal that arguments arise every once in a while. You didn’t have to share this big responsibility before, and now one of you has to respond every time your baby needs something. You might wonder: Who will attend the baby in the middle of the night if {he/she} cries? Who will change diapers more frequently? Is it normal that mom winds up doing most of the job? In order to answer these questions, it’s important to understand your position as a couple. Being a woman doesn’t mean that you have to do all of the work by yourself. It’s also not about starting a competition on who’s taking most care of your baby! Don’t keep count of who changes the diaper most. Instead, invest in working together as a couple to take care and raise this new human being. This is why both of you should take part in raising your baby. No counting, no arguing, and no blaming. You’ll benefit from talking about these things before the baby is born. The best way to share this new responsibility is by getting to know each other better, and by thinking about others before you think about yourself.
Remember that raising a baby is a huge responsibility, but it’s also a big blessing. Being a parent could be one of the best things that happen in your life!

Parenting styles

Due to recent scientific discoveries about human development, we now know how important the first years of life really are. The best way to prepare for this is by talking to your partner about your baby’s education, and the way you want to raise {him/her}. According to several studies, parents are a big component to their child’s behavior, personality, and self-esteem. Diana Baumrind is a psychologist that has studied the effects that different parenting styles have had on children. According to Baumrind, parenting styles have two dimensions: control or demand, and affection. The authoritarian style is based on inflexibility, demands, and control, with no affection or response to the child’s needs. These parents tend to be very demanding, as they base themselves on firm discipline. The democratic style is based on discipline, but it’s also versatile, showing affection and responding to the child’s needs. The permissive style is based on excessive affection, with no discipline or boundaries. And the low responsive style or negligent style is based on rejection, lack of discipline, and lack of affection. These are non-involved and irresponsive parents.

Baumrind found that children had some characteristics in common depending on the parenting style applied. For example, children who were raised by authoritarian parents tended to have low self-esteem, were unhappy, insecure and unfriendly. Children who were raised by democratic parents were competent, happy and self-sufficient. Children who were raised by permissive parents were dependent, immature, lacked self-control, and had low academic performance. Lastly, children who had negligent parents had issues with attachment, problems with other children, and few friends.

Baumrind model on raising styles helps parents understand more about parenting styles, and why some of these are more effective than others. We know children need discipline, but we also know that affection is key for successful human development. According to the effects we reviewed, the ideal parenting style is the democratic. Parents should set limits, but also be affectionate and responsive to their child’s needs.

Oxytocin before and after giving birth

Oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone” since it’s directly related to attachment, happiness, love and orgasm. Your oxytocin levels increase at the end of pregnancy when your baby is about to be born. This hormone prepares your body for birth, making your uterus feel contractions. After your baby is born, oxytocin levels get higher in order to expel the placenta. However, there are some factors that could hold back your oxytocin levels during delivery. For example, fear, anxiety, anesthesia or anger could lower your oxytocin production, causing the need for your doctor to give you a synthetic oxytocin shot, which imitates the utilities of this hormone. This medicine called Pitocin, can also help induce birth or discharge the placenta after a cesarean delivery.

Oxytocin is also responsible for maternal behavior and attachment to the baby. Finally, oxytocin is directly related to breastfeeding, as this hormone produces the milk let-down reflex so your baby can feed.

The production of oxytocin is one of the most important hormones we have, both mentally and physically. Oxytocin helps your baby’s delivery, and also helps him survive, as oxytocin plays a role in attachment and maternal care.

Teamwork

There are many different types of interactions within couples; those who are always together, those who constantly fight, those who are very independent, and those who work as a team. The dynamics and roles between a couple changes when a baby arrives. However, this tends to happen more often amongst new parents. Now, they both have new responsibilities that they should take into consideration in their daily lives. One of the best ways to handle this is with teamwork.

Teamwork means working together with the same goal in mind. Respect and tolerance are two virtues that you and your partner should both practice in order to work together, even when you both have different opinions. Your baby will need lots of attention and care and will be your responsibility to attend {his/her} needs.

Pregnancy is a great exercise to practice teamwork. Once you’re both experts, you’ll have less trouble when it comes to raising your child. Remember that your emotions and feelings have an effect on your baby, even if {he/she} is still in the womb. Don’t forget to promote teamwork, since it can be very satisfactory, improve your relationship, and even help your baby flourish!

Choosing a name for your baby

Your baby’s birth is near, this is the time when you finally get to choose your baby’s name! There are so many that it must be hard to choose one. You’ve probably already discussed your favorite names with family members or friends, and have gotten a wide range of options. Remember that it’s impossible to choose a name that pleases everyone; so don’t let your decision be affected by other people’s opinions. You’ll hear the name you choose for your baby for the rest of your lives, so choose the name that both you and your partner like the best. Remember your baby is your’s and your partner’s too, so it is important to take the decision together.

You can start looking for names on the web or in a book and make a list of the names you like the most. Try to write down only the names you really love. Then begin to make a smaller list (with three to five names) so it makes your decision easier.

Here are some tips before choosing your baby’s name:
• Search for the meaning behind the names you like the most. This could help narrow down the names on your list.
• Think of the nicknames that each name could have. Some of them could be prone to make fun of, so be mindful and consider choosing other options.
• Consider pleasing the family or a friend by giving your child their name, as long as you and your partner are both satisfied and in agreement.