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Advice - The Rollercoaster of Parenting
Wise words from Dr Melanie Strang

The Rollercoaster of Parenting


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02/08/2018

Wise words from Dr Melanie Strang

 When having your first child the focus can often be on the birth itself and not on the changes that will occur after the baby has arrived.  Becoming a parent can be challenging, learning to care for a baby, sleep deprivation and changes in the relationship. 

It can be helpful to view this time as a series of gains and losses and recognizing what these might be for each of you.  Some of these might be:

Gains

  • Becoming a Mother or Father
  • A greater sense of purpose
  • A common goal/love
  • Becoming a family
  • Becoming part of a wider like-minded community
  • Becoming closer with family
  • Being needed

Losses

  • Loss of freedom/independence
  • Change of relationship with your partner
  • Reduced time with partner, friends, and family
  • Leaving the workplace
  • Having to work and not be with the baby
  • Financial changes
  • Changes in body

The adjustment for the Mother and Father can be very different and what can be seen as a positive for one can be a negative for another.  Partners going to work every day can feel like they are missing out on time with the baby and Mothers at home can wish they were back in a familiar environment as the workplace.

Each experience is different and valid.

Parenting can be very different from how you imaged, so it's important to be realistic about your expectations.  It is a time of change and you are both learning how to adapt together, there is no ‘right’ way to do it.

Keep the communication open with your partner and share your feelings.

To be able to identify what are the gains and losses for each person in the relationship, can support you in having a greater understanding of each others experience.




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