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Q&A with Relate - Relationships after childbirth - ANSWERS BACK

(26 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Oct-12 13:13:07

How has becoming a parent affected your relationship? Has it been affected by issues like tiredness, not being able to resume a sex life to satisfy you both, arguments over who does what or about differing parenting styles? Are you feeling like you haven't got time to be yourselves as a couple anymore?

We're inviting you to send in your questions this week to Relate Counsellor Priscilla Sim. The Q&A is to coincide with the launch of THE 3 OF US - www.the3ofus.org.uk. This new service is being funded by the Government in response to evidence showing that it's normal for couples to experience relationship difficulties following the birth of their first child. Relate is delivering some of the specially-devised sessions to help new parents, along with the Fatherhood Institute and the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships.

Whether you are a new parent or have a number of children, post your questions to Priscilla before the end of Tuesday 16th October and we'll link to the answers from this thread on Thursday 25th October.

olgaga Thu 25-Oct-12 11:04:27

Interesting answers but the problems we see routinely posted here tend to arise through ignorance, selfishness or both. Take a look here, for example:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a1596065-I-feel-like-a-terrible-wife

I'm afraid I wonder what good talking does when one partner is simply not prepared to adjust to the fact that life never gets back to "normal" when you become a couple of parents, as opposed to a couple.

I'm probably showing my age here but I think society's unrealistic expectations of new mums, that they can simply carry on as before, "having it all" (or rather, doing it all) mean that most people - men and women - are completely unprepared for the way parenthood changes your life.

A lot of people seem to approach having children as something that should be done because everyone else does it - so it can't be that hard - rather like the acquisition of a second car.

I think the time for an honest examination of your relationship is before the baby arrives, not after - which for many people is simply far too late. A bit more focus on the physical, psychological and financial pressures of parenting, and whether as a couple you are prepared to withstand those pressures might help people to focus on whether parenthood is something they both really want.

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