Perinatal, Child & family Psychologist
Parenthood is made up of multiple transitions. Some of which may feel smooth while others may feel complex and clunky. But one thing is for sure, parenthood is not one singular transition that occurs the day that you welcome your baby into the world. It is filled with multiple facets, stages, and adjustments.
Some of the changes and adjustments are;
- Roles at home
- Changes in emotion
- Relationship with partner
- Role at work
- Leisure time and hobbies
- Social life
- Health, body, and fitness
- Rest and sleep
- Relationship with family
Four commonly known and researched transitions through parenthood include;
Work and Financial:
Bringing a baby into the world can often mean a reduction in the family income. Exploring what this means for you and your family ahead of time is helpful. Talking through the questions: What do we REALLY need to be comfortable? What would be a possible plan if there was financial stress? How will our change in finances impact on the power balance in our relationship?
Experiencing a loss of support through changed social structures and freedoms is common. This is particularly relevant as we navigate COVID-19. Exploring how you will stay connected with supports and have your social needs met are important to talk about.
Relationships experience a significant amount of change when a baby enters the family. Making space to talk through these difficult things is critical. The changes experienced in a relationship will be further explored in my next blog.
Heightened and new emotions is normal. Parents are biologically primed to be more sensitive.
I invite you to explore some of the following reflections to help you navigate change and transition throughout parenthood…
- Think about some changes you have already moved through in life?
How have you coped?
What helped you move through the adjustment?
- Think about some ways you think your life might change immediately following the birth of your baby.
- Brainstorm a list of ideas for each one that you think may help. For example: not getting enough sleep, limiting visitors by requesting phone calls before arrival, accepting practical help, choosing a restful activity for when baby is asleep.
Beautiful photos shared with permission by Sahil Merchant & Kelly Merchant