You’re spending your time doing THAT?!?: How to Manage Competing Priorities After Baby Arrives

Following the baby’s arrival, the daily household tasks that need to get done can explode. Between cooking, dishes, diapers, bottles, ordering and/or shopping for household items, cleaning, and laundry … tasks can be endless. There are decisions and purchases that have to be made and, for many, being conscious of a budget. The stress and mental load on a marriage can be overwhelming! Do you find yourself looking at your partner wondering, “why is he doing X, when he could be doing Y?” or “does he really need to be doing X RIGHT NOW???”

When combined with the fatigue common in parenting (kids of any age), these battles can become intense and volatile. After all, aren’t we both working towards the same goal?

Well, turns out, not always!

When I work with a couple and/or individual who are/is a new parent(s), I often introduce the idea of priorities, and we discuss how they can differ between two partners. One may find it critical to mow the lawn in the morning so that he/she has more time later to spend with the kids. One may have wanted to work out at that time for their own mental and physical health. These frustrations can build as we move through day-to-day life. Often, couples need help stopping the negative thought patterns they are having towards each other AND need help talking things through in an effective way. What’s needed instead is a curiosity about each other’s priorities.

In session we can:

Have space for each partner to air some frustrations.

Learn ways to hear each other’s perspective and come to a mutual understanding.

Negotiate priorities and strategize on how to accomplish daily tasks.

These discussions can be challenging at first. However, they often lead to increased understanding about why each partner prioritizes what they do, as well as an appreciation for the work each partner is doing to contribute to the family. Both, understanding and appreciation, are characteristics of a healthy relationship and, consequently, a healthy environment to raise a child in. Raising this new baby in a healthy, loving environment IS one priority both parents can agree on.

If you or you and your partner are struggling with these issues and they’re impacting your relationship and family life, don’t suffer in silence. Parenting with your partner can and should be a beautiful and rewarding experience, so reach out to get help. Call us at 908-246-3074 or email to schedule an individual or couples appointment.

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