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How To Make SURE Having A Baby Doesn’t End Your Relationship

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A Newborn Baby Doesn’t Have to End Your Relationship: Here's How
Love

Baby makes chaos. But it does not mean that your life will never be the same.

I see you over there. You are bone tired. Functioning on sleep in three-hour increments. Did you shower yesterday? Brush your teeth? I see you touting an oversized diaper bag, baby carrier, and all of the other 100 heavy baby items that you feel you must have with you at all times.

As a therapist, I see clients and their partners who are struggling with this on a very regular basis. They are also tired. Their nerves are shot just like yours. They ask, what would we do without coffee? And what has happened to our marriage? When was the last time we even had a conversation? Go on a date?

We spend our sessions talking about these changes that are happening in their lives and how to cope, adjust, and feel like they used to.

And I say to them, baby makes... chaos. But it does not mean that your life will never be the same again. I tell them that while things are different, the two of them can actually come together and be closer than before. While they look at me in disbelief, I share with them my personal journey with this exact same fear.

I'm actually in the same boat. I have a 2-month-old newborn sitting right next to me as I type this. This is my new normal too and everyone in the household is adjusting. And it’s hard!

I used to worry that having a baby would change things between my husband and I. And I didn't want that, I liked our old life. It had me very anxious. Believe me when I say that with our first daughter (the sleeping 2-month-old next to me is my second daughter), I felt the pressure and the guilt that there is absolutely no way I could keep things the same between us.

I just had a baby. I now have this awesome responsibility to keep a human alive. I truly believed that there was no time for date night. No time for anything so frivolous! 

I was so wrong. I needed to date my husband during those chaotic days so that I could see that having a newborn baby did not completely change everything. And that I was not alone.

We were a team but I didn't see it then. I didn't realize that during that chaotic time, by NOT spending time with my husband, I was making our relationship different. I was. Not the baby.

This time around, I am doing things differently. Trust me, I still have my moments of "Oh my God, I now have TWO humans to keep alive." But, I have a new outlook on our new normal that keeps me grounded.

What's my new outlook? Cooking. This time we are using food to reconnect. I'm using Cooking Therapy with my husband to help us all adjust to life as a family of four and spend more time together.

Yes, cooking! I’m dating my husband in the kitchen. You can do this too and I'm here to give you my game plan that I am using!  

I call it the Life Change Cooking Challenge. See what I did there? Even if you don't have a newborn, I guarantee you are going through something that is testing your relationship.

Life gives us challenges all the time and as a result, we must adjust and work together to get through them. I tell my clients all the time that you must be a team to be a strong couple.

Even if you do not have children, teamwork is one of the most important elements to being a successful pair. And the clients who remain together are the ones who embrace this idea.

Couple teamwork is sharing responsibilities. It’s taking turns. It's helping your partner when they need help. It’s all about viewing your relationship as a large puzzle. And the only way to solve the puzzle is for both partners to be moving and fitting pieces in together.

When it comes to winning at teamwork with a newborn, you must show each other patience, trust, and teamwork. Daily. All three of these skills you get to demonstrate while participating in my challenge! 

The Life Change Cooking Challenge is divided into 3 parts and requires nothing but a 3-night-commitment. I want both of you to agree to when to start the challenge and agree to see it to its end. You are going to each decide on two meals to make on back-to-back nights.

This is how you save your relationship after having a baby:

1. Cook a meal of their choice for your partner.

Whatever they want (within the realms of reason since you do have a screaming newborn in the background), but you cook it for them and they do the clean up. This demonstrates trust and teamwork. 

2. Switch off.

Your partner cooks a meal of choice for you. And you clean up. No cheating here and no takeout. This also demonstrates trust and teamwork. 

3. Make a soufflé.

And this time I want you to make a soufflé (either savory like an egg, spinach, and cheese soufflé or you can make it sweet with dark chocolate).

Why a soufflé? They require a lot of patience and trust when they are baking. You must not be tempted to open the oven while they cook. If you open the oven too prematurely, it will not rise to its highest and fluffiest potential! 

I love this metaphor because you are trusting the soufflé to rise while working together to make it. Just like in your relationship with a sweet new baby.

You must trust that your relationship is not going to change. That together you and your partner, albeit exhausted, will make it through this and be okay. Your baby will be okay. You are a team and with demonstrating patience and kindness to one another you will be unstoppable. 

Allison Carver is a Licensed Therapist and Chef. Are you ready to take the Life Changes Cooking Challenge? Head on over here to A Taste of Therapy Facebook Page, she'll give you a special shout out for signing up for this FREE Challenge! Live in Virginia? Sign up for a class. Don’t live in Virginia? Sign up for her newsletter and read her blog for easy do-it-yourself recipes.

 

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