The Becoming a Parent area is a space for first-time parents but also for those couples who are already parents but have just had a new baby.
Becoming parents together for the first time takes your relationship on to a whole new level; you are no longer ‘just a couple’ but a ‘family’. This is exciting but also the responsibility can be quite daunting – one thing is for certain, life as you know it has changed forever.
You may find yourself spending hours just staring with wonder at your baby – transfixed by every move and noise they make – overwhelmed by the fact that together you and your partner have created a new little person.
Each ‘first’ is a moment to cherish, and that you will probably want to share: their first smile, first word, and first wobbly steps – the first night slept through! Learning to be parents together can be a bonding experience like no other.
But with these special shared moments also come the (often unexpected) stresses and strains on your relationship. For most couples, lack of sleep can be the biggest strain. There is no tiredness that is quite like it – the utter exhaustion can make you feel physically ill, too tired to speak and emotionally oversensitive.
Consequently, the smallest things can seem like huge problems and you might find your relationship swinging between perfect happiness and extreme frustration.
Along with a new baby comes a wealth of different experiences to share and learn from. Today families are increasingly diverse so we want to hear from everyone – young parents, older parents, and unplanned pregnancies, couples who have gone through years of IVF, adoptive parents, and those whose new baby is the youngest of a growing brood.
According to a survey carried out by the National Childbirth Trust in 2008 20% of couples without children thought life with a newborn would be terrifying and 28% thought it would be worrying. However, 44% thought it would be happy and 45% thought it be would be exciting.
Whatever your situation or your attitude, one thing is common – that babies change relationships. So why not use the Becoming a Parent section of the forum to ask questions of other new parents, share your worries, your joys and learn from the experiences of others.