According to a recent study, having a new baby can be as hard as getting divorced or losing your job. In particular, marital satisfaction appears to drop suddenly for many people after a baby is born. Having a new baby is certainly difficult, but when I look at my relationship I don’t see the serious dip in happiness that many relationships take, and I think that has a lot to do with my support system. With that in mind, today’s post is all about the things outside of my relationship that help it to function well.
I’m grateful for…
My friends who aren’t moms.
Sometimes as a new mom you just need to talk about things that have nothing to do with your baby. No talk about poop or breastfeeding or sleep habits. My friends who aren’t moms help me get out of the house, do things that have nothing to do with being a mom, and talk about non-mom subjects. Having that mental break to connect with my pre-mom self helps me stay positive, and I bring that positivity into my relationship.
My friends who are moms.
My friends who are moms help me to deal with the stresses of having a baby by giving advice and helping me see that much of what I’m dealing with is normal. They also give me space to vents about my struggles, so that not all of my venting is directed at my husband. That lowers my stress, which lowers the stress on my relationship.
My best friend
In particular among my mom friends, I’m grateful for my best friend, who is always willing to listen when I’m struggling, even though she has plenty of struggles of her own. Not only does her listening ear make me feel better, but it takes the pressure off of my husband to be my only major moral support as I work through becoming a mother.
I wish we lived closer to our families, but they still provide a lot of support by calling to check in on us, sending us baby supplies, and providing advice when we ask for it. One of the biggest stresses is the feeling that we don’t know what we’re doing, and getting wise advice helps with that.
My husband’s job
Okay, so this one isn’t a person, but it’s still an important factor in our relationship right now. Although my husband’s job is not a great fit for him, it does help our relationship a lot right now. He’s able to make enough that I can be a stay at home mom without serious financial worries, which is not a luxury most people have today. Also, his commute is very short, so he is at home more than he would otherwise be, and he even gets to come home for lunch, which make the long days alone with a baby seem shorter. I hope he’s able to find a job he likes better, but for now I’m grateful for the good things this one brings our family.
Sometimes relationship satisfaction has a lot to do with the things outside of your relationship as well as the things in it. If you haven’t done this already, I really suggest taking a bit of time during this Thanksgiving season to consider the people and other factors supporting your relationship. Gratefulness is a powerful thing.