Friday, February 8, 2013

Babyproofing Your Marriage: The Mom’s Perspective

by Julia Kantor, LMFT

“Ever since we had our baby, we’ve been fighting so much more. Is there something wrong with us?”
Having a baby is joyous, yet research shows that 70% of couples experience increased conflict and marital dissatisfaction in the first 3 years post-baby, regardless of how well they were doing before children. This points to the fact that many of the sources of stress are often due to profound role changes rather than an indication that there’s something wrong with the relationship. When you combine hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, struggles over division of labor, strained finances, and almost no time to be alone together, you can see why having a baby puts such a strain on relationships.

However, here’s the good news! There are research-proven techniques that can help you maintain intimacy and connection and work through conflicts constructively. As a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Mommy and Me Leader at The Pump Station, I teach moms and couples these tools.

In my upcoming Hot Topics Lecture, you’ll learn about “soft start-up,” a way to bring up an issue to maximize your chance of actually being heard. Research shows that the way a conflict goes is determined by how it starts 96% of the time!

Also, we’ll explore the male/female differences at the heart of many post-baby conflicts and I’ll teach you how to set your partner up for success, which leads to more mutual understanding. You’ll learn how to fight constructively, when to take a break and how to make repair.

In addition to communication skills, babyproofing your marriage also requires making proactive, structural changes in your new post-baby life. These tools will include:
•    how to help your partner understand what it is you do all day
•    how to create a new division of labor that keeps you out of the role of boss or nag
•    how to make room for intimacy when you’re feeling touched out from constant care taking

Julia Kantor, LMFT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Beverly Hills.  She teaches  “Babyproofing Your Marriage-The Mom’s Perspective” hot topics at The Pump Station & Nurtury™ and leads Mommy and Me groups in Hollywood and Westlake.  Check out for more details.