Congratulations! Your child’s birth is one of the most anticipated, exhilarating, and joyful times of your life. At the same time, your and your partner’s life has just been thrown into a whirlwind. You have a baby feeding, crying, and needing constant care at all hours of the day or night.
Things are even harder for your partner. They have just gone through one of the most amazing and intense experiences a person can have. It can leave them feeling overwhelmed or suffering from fatigue. You want to be there for them, but maybe you’re unsure how to do it.
What can you do to help?
When a newborn baby arrives, it’s a major life change for everyone. The amount of cooking, cleaning, and laundry that needs to be done all multiplies exponentially. It might seem like too much, but with a little planning, staying on top of these household tasks can be a great way to show your partner how much you care and are committed to your new family.
Parents often become so focused on their babies that taking care of themselves becomes an afterthought. Check-in with your partner to make sure they’re eating regularly. For a nice treat, order their favourite meals. Or better yet, cook them yourself! Are you lacking in culinary skills? Take it upon yourself to learn how to make three new meals. You might just find out you enjoy it.
Babies can certainly be messy, so cleaning will also be important. Washing bottles might seem like a never-ending task, but it’s vital. A freshly cleaned and scrubbed home is a sign that you care about the health and well-being of your partner and your new bundle of joy.
Another task that goes into overdrive after the baby arrives is laundry. Blankets, burp cloths, onesies – anything that comes in contact with your baby must be washed regularly. If you’re not already, you’re going to become best friends with the washer and dryer, perhaps running multiple loads a day. If you’re keeping up with all the washing, drying, folding, and putting away clothes, your partner is going to appreciate it (and you) that much more.
How can you support your partner emotionally?
It’s not just physical tasks that show your partner you’re there for them, they also need to feel your emotional support. Make sure to compliment your partner and tell them how great they’re doing. Raising a child can be hard work and they want to know they have a partner who’s got their back.
After letting your partner know what an amazing job they’re doing, take a break and just listen. They’re going through a wide range of emotions and may want to express them, so just be there for them. Make sure they feel heard and loved.
Chances are, you and your partner are not getting enough sleep. Sleep can come at a premium after a newborn, but if you’re not both well-rested, every other task during the day becomes more difficult. Communicate with your partner and create a plan. Know which one of you is getting up with the baby each night. Create a schedule so you know when your breaks are coming so you and your partner can look forward to them.
Your partner would probably appreciate a night out as well. It might seem like forever since you’ve both had one. Do you have friends or family you can call to babysit? A night out would give you and your partner some valuable time alone to reconnect and recharge.
Show them you care with a gift
A special gift might be just the thing to show how much you value your partner. Their body has gone through so many changes in the last few months they might not even recognise them anymore. So why not do something to help them embrace their new body? A pair of maternity leggings can do just that. Soft, luxurious, and stretchy, they make your partner feel relaxed so they can be free to bond with your newborn. As a bonus, your partner will remember the maternity leggings as something thoughtful that came from you.
Raising a child is going to bring you and your partner a lifetime of happiness, but it’s important to have a plan to tackle the many changes that lie ahead. Whether it be saying up on household tasks, lending a supportive ear and keeping the lines of communication open, or surprising them with a gift like maternity leggings, you want to show your partner you are ready and able for any challenge.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.