How To Reduce Parenting Stress By Handling It Together
The joys of parenting are often overshadowed by the hard work it requires. To reduce the stress of parenting, you and your spouse need to work as a team.
Becoming a parent is exciting, a new life has been added to the family. But that joy also comes with a lot of adjustments. The both of you will suddenly get busier, your hands fuller than before. At this time, if you don't find ways to reduce parenting stress by working through it together, it could build resentment.
5 ways to get reduce parenting stress
Parenting can get very stressful, especially for new mothers. And if the bulk of the work is left to one parent, it can affect your marriage. This is because a tired spouse will not have much to put into the marriage with the thoughts of parenting falling squarely on her. Watching your newborn grow, making school rounds, and watching as the world begins to make sense to her is the exciting part of parenting. Late nights taking care of the baby, ensuring that your child turns out right are some of the hard work. A child's presence changes you, but with partnership and support, it can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. Here are some ways to share and reduce parenting stress:
- Manage your stress
Each of us has flaws. This means that to be involved with somebody else, we have to have the emotional space to deal with their flaws. The presence of a baby increases stress between a couple, which in turn makes them less tolerant of each other. For example, a partner pressing the toothpaste differently can set off the other person to no end. So check your stress level and try to manage it so that you can have space for your partner's emotional needs. One way you can manage stress is by having mandated time off for yourself. During this time for rest, the other spouse can take care of the baby. Or you both can have a nanny while you take some time off for self-care.
Something as simple as language can change the way you see things and the way other people perceive them. Going from “me” to “we” sends a clear message that you're a united front. Avoid blaming each other for anything, and when it's time to take a decision take it together. Even if it's not really your idea, maintain the “we” language when trying to communicate it to others. This way, friends, family, and strangers know that you're a team.
- Don't just listen to reply
The thing about most people is that they listen just long enough to have a reply and not to understand. And it might even surprise you to know that a lot of people don't even know they're doing this. Do all you can to really listen and understand what your partner is saying. If not your partner will either begin to fight just to get you to listen or cease communication altogether. This isn't to say that your feelings aren't valid, but the point is for you to listen, ask questions, and try to understand where your partner is coming from.
Communicate your feelings and what you need
Obviously, this is about being straight about your feelings and needs, but not the kind of straight talk that is thoughtless. The point is to empathize with your partner, then state what your feelings are. The aim is to make the other person understand. Use “I feel” and “I need” language a lot to communicate. Also, when making a request, try not to criticize your partner first, because doing that will make them less open to listening to your request.
- Know when to let things go
Conflicts will arise as long as you both are concerned, but some of them don't always need a round table. Not every conflict needs resolving. You are two individuals who think differently, act differently, and perceive things differently. So little disagreements will surely come, but you must learn to see them for the little things that they are. In some cases, the best solution is to agree to disagree.
Sometimes conflicts pile up and it just feels like you and your partner are going round in circles. It could be about the baby, about your relationship, or about some family issues. Whatever it is, don't wait too long before seeking professional help.