Adding a baby to the family is one of the biggest life events, and it affects both parents profoundly. Mothers and fathers alike have to deal with the immense responsibility of caring for a new human being, and this can create both excitement and anxiety. Some other issues that new parents go through include the following:
Many couples decide that at some point they would like to add to their family. Whether they want their children to be close in age or are aiming for a gap of several years, they have a vision of what their family will look like once another baby arrives.
Very often, the vision does not match up to the reality, and this can create feelings of anxiety, disappointment or resentment. Even in families where things happen as intended, there are some issues that tend to arise with the addition of a second and subsequent children. Examples include the following:
Depending on what stage of parenting you are at, your relationship with your partner can be affected in different ways. Becoming a parent for the first time brings many changes. You have less time for each other as your priorities shift to caring for a newborn. The relationship may be strained due to parental exhaustion and the challenges of rekindling or maintaining sexual intimacy after birth.
As the child gets older, the relationship challenges may evolve. Your child may be closer to one parent than the other, or you and your partner may find yourselves disagreeing about things like discipline, schooling and religious education for your child.
There are few things in life that change as often as the needs of a child. Some examples of how parenting evolves include the following:
It is important to note that no two children are alike, and there is no singular “right” way to parent. How you raise your child depends not only on the child’s age, but on his or her character, the presence of any special needs, and your family’s value systems.