I notice more recently the trend is for couples to have a baby within months of meeting each other, feeling that will cement their relationship. The problem here is they haven’t had time to get to know each other and settle into the reality of the relationship, as well as considering the financial implications.
Have you thought about whether one of the partners is going to give up their employment to care full time for the baby, or will both partners have to work to maintain the standard of living they currently enjoy? Child care is not cheap unless a family member has agreed to cover child care, and whilst there are currently tax credits available, that situation can change quite quickly. Holiday cover and sickness need to be thought about.
Children are an expensive accessory and one you cannot exchange or get a refund if you find it’s not suitable! I recently read an interesting article in The Telegraph which says the average costs of raising a child in the UK is £230,000.
Let’s move onto the emotional effects having a baby has on a relationship.
The Reality of living together
Once the initial Romantic stage is passed (which it does with every relationship) and the reality of living with each other kicks in, with the mundanity of everyday life becomes apparent – small niggles which were overlooked before can cause arguments that had not arisen before. So by adding a small demanding little bundle into the equation can only make matters worse.
There are couples who believe that by having a baby it will bring them closer together. ‘Band-Aid’ babies do not do this, in fact if often causes even further problems.
Pregnancy is not always rosy – for either partner
Pregnancy is not always the wonderful experience portrayed in the media. Women can be extremely unwell, and ever changing hormone levels can make her moods constantly swing, leaving her feeling very emotional.
Men can often be physically turned off by a pregnant woman, hating her changing shape, feeling uncomfortable about having penetrative sex in case they damage the foetus. Other times they perceive the foetus as something alien within their partner. Some cannot cope with the perceived change of their partner from the role of ‘Tart in the bedroom’, to ‘Madonna – mother of their child’.
Witnessing the birth can also be traumatic and distressing for some men. And all the videos of childbirth cannot prepare either for what happens, especially if it involves s long labour, or surgery.
All of this can lead to distancing from each other, worried about hurting your partner. So it’s important to be able to talk freely and openly.
A new mother may be sore and in discomfort following childbirth, as well as total exhausted. Sleepless nights from attending to the never-ending demands of a baby, worries of being new parents are not the best scenarios for tenderness and passion previously enjoyed.
The father can feel neglected, as where he was the one his partner focussed all her attention, he is now delegated to second place, as mum’s time is consumed by the baby.
Resentment can set in as each feels neglected. Arguments become more frequent and the husband can find excuses to work later, or go to the pub or the gym.
The reason you got together gets lost, and so you begin to wonder what you are doing together. This can be one of the flash points, where relationships can break down.
So if you do decide to start a family, talk to each other and discuss any issues before they become too big, allowing them to fester, making the gap between you feel insurmountable.