When you see the positive result on the pregnancy test, your mind likely goes into overdrive.
You’re going to be thinking about all sorts of things, but you might then be blindsided by all the fights that are about to start happening.
You could soon find yourself arguing with your partner about money, baby names, who takes out the trash, sex, and much more.
While pregnancy itself lasts only nine months, the way you and your partner handle disagreements will have a lasting impact on your future relationship. It’s a relief to know there is lots of support out there for expectant mothers, carers and fathers to be. It’s perfectly ok to take advantage of it to help your mental health and relationship during this crazy, uncertain time.
Research has shown that becoming parents is one of the most stressful things a couple will ever go through. Up to 70% of couples find that the early days of parenthood can result in a decline in the quality of their relationship.
Some things you will fight about will be inconsequential, and you’ll soon find yourself wondering why on earth you were fighting over them. Other topics can take on greater significance.
Today, we’ll explore some of the most common issues that new parents face and look at some of the ways you and your partner can tackle these problems head-on, to keep your relationship solid as your little one grows.
Round One: That Is NOT Going To Be Her Name!
You and your partner probably have very different ideas about what your baby’s name should be.
Perhaps your partner has their heart set on naming your child after their war-hero grandfather, while you were hoping for a unique moniker – something Hollywood, perhaps.
Naming a child is a big deal, so it’s quite understandable when it becomes a debate at the table each night.
It doesn’t need to be this way, though.
To handle this situation, you’re both going to have to calm down before anything can move forward. Don’t expect to change your partner’s mind when you’re yelling at each other.
When you’ve both calmed down, try having a rational discussion about the importance of the names you love. Try to understand why your partner wants the name they are championing and gently explain your reasoning as well.
Naming your child will likely need a compromise on both parts so be prepared for this.
Round Two: Another Headache? (The Sex Fight)
When you’re pregnant, many things change.
Throw in your gorgeous pregnancy glow and voluptuousness, and your partner will be smitten. Some people even continue their normal routines, e.g. a regular Brazilian wax.
Unfortunately, pregnancy changes can also include reduced libido for a variety of reasons.
You might be too sick or too tired to even think about sex. Growing a baby is a major task, and you’re just not going to be up for sex as often.
To soften the blow, try calmly explaining to your partner why you’re not into doing the deed right now. Make sure they know that it isn’t because you aren’t attracted to them, but because you’re sick or exhausted. Be honest.
Be physically close to your partner, even if sex isn’t the end goal. There’s not much a good cuddle session can’t fix.
Round Three: All About Me
When your pregnancy test comes up positive, you’ll find your days are suddenly consumed with all things baby. It might seem as though that’s all there is, while your partner can easily duck out of appointments and just not deal with things.
Pregnancy can feel very lonely.
To deal with this, try to make friends who are also pregnant. You can bond over your strange cravings, swollen ankles, and seemingly endless appointments.
You partner can’t have any idea what exactly you’re going through since they are not pregnant.
Try to be open with them but understand that their world is changing as well.
Round Four: Blame It On The Hormones
With all the aches and pains that accompany the growing little one in your belly, you will meet a side of yourself you never knew existed. Pregnancy releases a ton of hormones that can make you act and feel irrational at times.
Your partner will likely be confused when the thing that used to make you laugh now makes you angry instead, and they might not understand why everything seems to make you cry.
Be open and honest with your partner about your feelings and try to communicate the fact that this is not you but those crazy hormones. Don’t use it as an excuse to get away with being obnoxious, though!
Bonus Round: What Do You Even Do All Day?
Pregnancy is exhausting, especially during the first trimester.
Your partner might think you do nothing but sleep all day. They may go as far as suggesting that you get up or go for a walk. Perhaps this is something you can do together. You might even take a stroll around some local playgrounds and get familiar with them. Whether you’re in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney or any other location there are sure to be playgrounds abound.
Before you bite their heads off, remember, they may have no idea what you’re going through. While you’re lying there fighting battles with nausea, you’re also growing the vital organs of your child.
Gently remind your partner that you aren’t doing “nothing.” Explain the exhaustion and what you’re going through physically and emotionally. If your partner is male, they literally have no idea what your body is doing, so teach them. Their world is also changing in different ways dramatically, and that can be hard for them to express easily.