In order to keep their relationships alive, couples must share the responsibility of raising their children.
Medical advisor Luz Amparo Salazar – Psychologist
Even on road signs you find along the street, children are represented to appear between two people that are in a relationship. Signs that mark places that are family-friendly are widely recognized, and in between the two adult figures of mother and father, is often the child holding their parents’ hands. Some see this union as a symbol of connection, while the more skeptical see it as a dichotomy: a union that is separated.
Anyone who already has children is already familiar with the great joy that they bring when they are born: an unparalleled sense of love, the sense of protection they demand without saying a single word, and a sense of connection with the world they represent. Not everything is bliss, however. The responsibility and great deal of dependence that babies come with when they enter the world put the partner’s relationship aside. While all the attention should be placed on the newborn, it is important not to leave your marriage behind.
According to psychologist Luz Amparo Salazar, it is difficult for new parents to keep a balance. Something that helps relationships last is to share responsibilities with the newborn: “Many families continue with the chauvinist tradition that designates women as the ones that must take care of the children. But this is what hurts relationships, especially in today’s modern society.”
While there are certain roles that the father cannot fulfill such as breastfeeding, responsibilities can be divided out such as bathing, taking care of them in the morning or burping them. Many fathers even support their wives, partners or ex-partners at night, when the baby wants to eat in the wee hours of the morning. According to experts, sharing these experiences helps generate a feeling of support in both the father and the mother.
“You have to remember that mother and father are a team together. Sometimes you hear stories of women that blame their partners because they stay asleep at night, and while women breastfeed, their partners just roll over and continue to sleep. It is impossible to not feel abandoned or like you don’t have enough support at this time because the child is the responsibility of both; and they were both in love when they conceived the child,” Salazar says.
Of course it is normal for the child to be the center of attention in the first few months. It is crucial, however, to keep the perspective that this is a decision that was made together and that both parents will take care of the baby whether they are together or not. After this initial period of extreme stress has passed, it is time to focus on the partnership, if be the case; remember the details about each other and nurture the seeds of your love.
“The first months are very stressful because the couple is facing a new situation, which is why it is important that nobody to hide away from responsibility. If the couple provide each other with mutual support, this period will go by faster and be successful. Afterwards, they need to invest in themselves: go out to eat, go to the movies, seek the help of the child’s grandparents or somebody that can help them take care of the child while they return to rekindle their relationship.”
Our expert shares that many couples have decided against having children because they believe this will not allow them to be successful as it will force them to give up on their careers, “But when there is mutual support it is much easier to have a happy family and a solid professional life. We are living in a time of civil rights. Male chauvinism is outdated. Partners are there to succeed in everything together, even with the gratifying, yet difficult, experience of raising a child.” It is also important to remember that even though the idea is to stay together, raising children together after a divorce is possible; it is a commitment of both to continue this responsibility without losing the role of being a father or mother.