Monday, August 2, 2010

Is Your Relationship Ready for Baby?

by Alyssa Berlin, PsyD, CGE
After a one minute mini-meditation to clear my head I am sitting down to type (with one hand) my first blog entry since birthing our fourth child, Jude, who is currently falling asleep on my lap (supported by my other hand). That reminds me, its time to update my bio again.

It seems like only yesterday that I revised my bio to include the birth of our firstborn. Over the past six years we have had four beautiful children and they have added a tremendous amount of happiness, playing, discovery, excitement, laughter, screaming, hair pulling, tantruming, crying and every kind of bodily fluid imaginable to our lives. Hang on a sec….

…Ok. I just put sleeping Jude in his swing, which gives me ten solid two-handed blogging minutes before the round of camp carpool pickups begins.
Since the 1970’s mental health researchers have been studying the impact that various life events have on our physical and emotional health. It’s no surprise that while being among the happiest of events, marriage, pregnancy, and gaining a new family member are also ranked among the most stressful. (Holmes and Rahe stress scale). As a result, up to 70% of couples experience profound yet avoidable stress, conflict and a decline in marital satisfaction during this time. This is so critical, because we know that the cornerstone of our baby’s development; be it emotional, social, cognitive and physical, is the quality of our relationship with our partner. (Dr. John Gottman, Ph.D. 2007).

Dr. John Gottman, one of the world’s leading research scientists on marriage, relationships, and families, and the creator of the Bringing Baby Home™ Workshop for new and expectant parents said “the greatest gift you can give your child is a strong relationship between the two of you”. As I present this workshop each month, I help healthy couples prepare for the parenthood challenge by strengthening their bond with each other, increasing the quality of their friendship and overall intimacy, using a unique series of hands-on relationship building exercises and discussions. I also point out the common pitfalls that new parents often fall into and how to avoid them.

Bottom line: we can’t control what curve balls or challenges we are going to experience as parents, but it is within our control to decide how we will address these challenges and clear the hurdles. Preferably as a team.

Having a strong relationship with your partner is the key to effective parenting and a less stressful more enjoyable transition to parenthood, and the addition of each new precious child. Speaking of which, it’s time to pick mine up from camp.

Workshops are forming now. See you at the Pump Station.

Is your Relationship Ready for Baby?
If you didn’t immediately shout "YES" than keep reading.

Fact: Nearly 70% of new parents experience a significant drop in relationship satisfaction following the birth of their baby.

This becomes obvious to most couples after the baby is born. But what if there was a way to help you and your partner prepare for the transition before the baby is born?

Learn Parenting and Relationship Skills that will Last a Lifetime!

Including how to:
  1. Stay connected with your partner
  2. Strengthen your friendship
  3. Interact with your baby in a positive way
  4. Be the best parenting team possible