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Let Fairy Non Bio know your thoughts on how a new baby can affect your relationships - £300 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED(195 Posts)
As part of our partnership with Fairy Non Bio, we’ve produced our first ever Mumsnet Babies Podcast. There are ten episodes in the series and so far we’ve released five. Episode three is about relationships and you can listen to it here. Fairy Non Bio would like you to listen to the podcast whenever you can, and then discuss how having a new baby has impacted your relationships.
It’s difficult to imagine how much having a new baby can alter different relationship dynamics until it actually happens. With work schedules, sleeping patterns and responsibilities changing, you may feel that your relationship with your partner has drastically changed as you’re no longer each other’s ‘number one’, or even that your relationships with friends or family have been put under strain.
Fairy Non Bio would like to hear how your relationships have changed with the arrival of a new baby. Have you had any trouble with the expectations of your parents or in-laws? Maybe you’ve found that friends without children have been unsupportive of your new responsibilities? Or that a wedge has been driven between you and a close friend because of differing parenting styles? How have you and your DP navigated making sure you both have time for each other, and for yourselves while battling through the exhaustion and new parent fog?
Everyone who posts on the thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 Love2Shop voucher.
If you want to rate the Mumsnet Babies Podcast, please go to the iTunes store and add a review!
Thanks, and good luck with the prize draw!
Standard Insight Ts&Cs apply
All the baby books warned the dad that the mum would be engrossed in the baby, but not to worry, she'd still love you, and reminded the mum to keep showing the dad affection.
None of the books warned me that dh would be so swept away with love for his dc that he would forget to show me affection!
I ended up with totally different friends after having DC. You meet different people at playgroup, preschool etc and often have more in common with them.
Some old friends drifted away as I could no longer go out partying with them.
Also, XMIL said that me and XH would have been fine if we hadn't had DC, as we were best friends until then, so it's clear what she thought about how they affected the relationship .
Having our first baby was amazing, but we hadn't really realised how tired we would be, so to be honest, all of our planned date nights and quality time were exchanged for family time and taking turns to sleep. Our relationship didn't suffer, although it did change, but we had this lovely tiny person making it all worth it.
I didn't want to leave my babies with anyone - even my mum and dad - and this did really limit is having time as a couple ( meals out etc). That said, once the kids started going to sleep at 7 ish things got better- evenings on the couch and a box set were the new normal!
I didn't expect my baby to enhance my relationship with my Dad, despite not having been the best Dad always, he is the best and most doting grandad. I didn't know he was capable of the emotional support he has given me and I am surprised by the practical support too, the time and energy he gives to me and his grandson.
My friendships changed, moreover my identity in my friendships changed. I had a stronger priority all of a sudden. No longer could I always put my friends first, have so many nights out, meet spontaneously or casually. What I wasn't prepared for was that I wouldn't want to initially.
My marriage changed. My husband has shown himself to be ever caring, fun & dedicated to our ds, his needs and pleasures come before anything for dh. He shows me patience and tenderness on a deeper level than I had known from him.
In the early days I felt like I missed my dh because I never got to cuddle him or just have him to myself anymore. There was ways this little person on one of us and then our second born came along and now we have usually got a child on each of us at any one time! However we still talk a lot and spend time together and we know that this baby stage won't last forever and then we'll get some time to ourselves again.
My relationship with my folks really improved and my baby brought us much closer as a family. We all had a reason not to fall out with each other!
it's really hard when friends and family who already have kids parent differently to you. i've had people get offended that i wasn't doing the same with my baby as they did with theirs. in the same vein i'm worried about a close friend of mine who's pregnant as i suspectshe's gping to make very different parenting choices to me...
For me, an unexpected change was the positive effect it had on the relationship between my sister and I - we had always been very different people and had little in common but when we became a mum and auntie we suddenly had lots to talk about and a shared love for the baby!
A baby was the nail in the coffin for my marriage. I was exclusively breastfeeding, constantly tired and attached to baby. My husband saw my maternity leave as a holiday and felt that I should be doing much more. He expected the house to be cleaned and tidied and shopping, cooking etc to all have been done. I had very little help from him and eventually I moved into the spare room so that I could get sleep/feed the baby without disturbing him. Eventually I realised that I was doing it all by myself and I moved myself and a toddler out. We are now divorced but we get on so much better and experiences with his new girlfriends show have shown him just what an arse he was.
I think having a baby is something that brings out the 'this is the way my family do it' for both parents in terms of their expectations of the way things will run. You need to talk about everything, and be prepared to hear and accept the others views
The most unexpected change in relationship was with my sister. She didn't want children but was happy for me.
When DD arrived my sister was insanely jealous (of DD, not me being a mother) because she was no longer centre of attention as the youngest of the family. She was in her late 20s at the time!
I had always had a difficult relationship with my sil, however once my first dc was born we are much closer.
I feel it's affected
My relationship with my parents (esp my mum) positively. I now realised how much they did for me as a baby and a toddler (my son is 2) not including All the more years yet to come!
I have found it very insightful, all the hours rocking me to sleep, looking after me when ill, feeding in the night, the patience. Just made me feel a bit more Grateful really! I feel ready to pay them back in old age and I get the circle Of life When it comes To families better !
My sister and I have an amazing bond now and we are best friends. She's nearly 5 years younger than me so it was always difficult to find common ground, I wasn't in to the same things as she was then I used to go out with my friends all the time while she was too young and stayed home etc. She had my niece a whole 7 days after I had my daughter so we had that massive milestone in common and always did things together. Even now, if we're not texting we are calling each other and if it's none of those were with each other. Our girls have a great bond too, more like twins than cousins and they certainly wouldn't be without each other!
My DH would regularly try to out do each other on the issue of 'Who is the most tired?', which was a battle we hadn't previously had to consider. As the owner of the breasts, I could generally always win this battle though. Seeing a new tenderness in him when he bathed out baby for the first time, or changed a nappy made.me.love him even more.
I recently bumped into one of my old close friends and it really hit home how different we now are and how little we have in common. Next to none of my old close friends yet have children so we're at different stages.
I thought that having children would bring our parents closer together again, but again they seem to still be as distant which I find a shame.
With my husband, we're still the same, we spend time together and still have a laugh as we always did, but it can be hard with a 2 year old and a baby. As they grow though, we'll get to spend more quality time together. We'll get through the early days and get to enjoy everything more as we used to, only now it will be better as we'll get to share it with our children too.
Lack of sleep really tested our relationship. We played 'competitive tiredness' and went through a stage of sleeping in separate rooms and doing one night each. However, when I watch my husband playing with my son I realise what a good dad he is and how lucky we all are. I appreciate all the support he gives me and love him more than ever, even if I don't always show it through the tired haze.
I didn't realise how if you are so incredibly tired, everything can just grate so much more and things that you would not notice much before suddenly become huge issues.
I think the hardest thing is the fact that my Oh feels so useless.
In BF so only I can do the feeds which is pretty much all our son wants at the moment and is feeding every 3 hours. When he cluster feeds my OH will try to take him away from me every now and then so I can wee or shower etc and the screaming really bothers him.
He is my rock and its killing me to see he feels like a failure.
Our whole dynamic has changed, he's not just working, he's providing. I'm not just at home, I'm a mum. I'm his life source.
We see each other so differently now, but in very positive ways
After having kids I drifted apart from some of my childfree friends and made friends with other parents. I think my partner and Zi have really struggled to get home to ourselves following the birth of our 2nd DC. We've also found our parenting styles are a bit different. My relationship with my father also improved- something I never expected to happen.
We someone drifted towards more traditional roles with me taking care of food, washing, children while DH did more around the house, DIY, the garden - I didn't predict that. And when the DC were young, tiredness really took a huge toll and it wasn't always easy to be nice to each other!
We discovered how intolerant some friends without kids can be (and we probably were ourselves before having kids).
Between ourselves we both struggled with making time for each other and were both irritable due to tiredness. I think we drifted apart for a few years, back on track now.
there was lots of warnings in books about couples drifting apart, the strain babies put on marriages etc, but for us, it made us stronger. I guess it really made me realise just what an amazing man DH is. It moved us from being a couple to being a family (helped that when I was 8 months pregnant we bought our first house, rather than living in rented flats in london), and that suits us.
Interestingly, most of our wide friendship group had DCs in the same school year (or the one below!), even though there was a range of ages and lengths of marriages/relationships at that point. It has been interesting which friends we've kept in touch with and which we've moved to sending text/Facebook messages saying "we must meet up one weekend!" and then not managing to, it's not been automaticaly the most geographically closest. Now we can't just meet for drinks after work in Central London, it takes real effort and we've seen who we are really close to.
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