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Supporting your partner is even more important in a relationship when you have a newborn. Looking back on the past nine months when I was unknowingly pregnant I know I was not the best communicator. There were times that I was short, rude, and VERY EMOTIONAL. My partner did their best to weather my storms but they had their moments too. Supporting your partner with a newborn is by far one of the most important things you can do. Parenthood forced my partner and I to reevaluate how we communicate, resolve conflict, and support one another. We are a work in progress but there are five things we are focusing on to help us.
5 Ways of Supporting Your Partner With A Newborn
- Fight FAIRLY– Arguments happen. Arguments may seem more intense when you are tired, leaking milk, and dealing with a newborn. When you fight, fight fairly. Learn it. Remember it. Live it. FAIRLY stands for:
- Focus on the issue
- Apologize when you’re wrong
- Inappropriate language isn’t needed
- Remain level-headed
- Listen without interrupting
- Yelling isn’t allowed
- Utilize each other’s love language– The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman teaches that everyone has a special way in which they best receive love. It’s important that you and your partner are giving one another the acts of love that you each are asking for. It may be wonderful that your partner compliments you daily but that might not be what you need when you don’t feel your best. You may need them to give you a foot rub instead. Your partner might enjoy that you buy them thoughtful gifts but they may need some quality time with you. Learn each other’s love language and use them.
- Focus on the quality of time spent over how much time is spent– There is a difference between both of you sitting in front of the TV while on your phones and watching TV together enjoying a show that you both like technology free. When you have a baby there isn’t a whole lot of time for just the two of you. Make it a habit to spend quality time together regularly and consistently even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. Just make sure the time spent together is meaningful, purposeful, and enjoyable for both of you.
- Give each other breaks– This could mean in the middle of an argument or on a designated night off but it is as important that you both you and your partner have time for one another without each other. You will get on each other’s nerves. Allow yourselves to have space. You still have friends and family. Take time to see them without your partner or baby. As hard as it may be supporting your partner with a newborn means sometimes giving them space. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
- Be patient and empathetic– Having a baby is hard. Being a parent is hard. While you’re pregnant you are going to be at times not your best self. Supporting your partner with a newborn means being patient and empathetic to one another. Empathy does not require you agree. It requires you see it from the other person’s perspective. You can agree to disagree. Just take some deep breaths and remember that you both are in it together.