Becoming new parents is a joyous experience, but it can be a very stressful one as well. Even if you and your partner have countless conversations in anticipation of baby’s arrival, you may never be fully prepared and there will be bumps along the way. These bumps are normal. But according to Dr. John Gottman, how you handle them could make the difference between being a “master” couple of the transition, or a “disaster” couple.
Whether you are a newly-minted mom, new to your community, or feeling isolated for another reason, you may wonder how to connect with other moms. Parenting in isolation without moral support is lonely and emotionally debilitating. One of the most important ways to take care of yourself (and by extension, your family) is to maintain a thriving social network that provides a healthy dose of physical, mental, and emotional support.
Did you know that you’ve actually been a parent since you first found out you were having a baby? It may feel more real now that your baby has arrived. Even with the best preparation, the reality of caring for your baby can feel overwhelming. Parenting brings changes to your relationships as you take on your new role. There may be challenges with sharing parenting responsibilities, learning different ways of parenting and agreeing on what’s right for your baby. Communicating your parenting decisions to family members, friends and other supports is important.
As human beings, we are often predisposed to pay increased attention when situations are not unfolding as we had hoped, rather than noticing when they are. Within the parenting space, this frequently translates into acknowledging and addressing children’s negative behaviors rather than offering feedback and praise when children are making positive choices. Unfortunately, when parents focus exclusively on addressing negative behaviors, this pattern can undermine the quality of the parent-child relationship while communicating to children that it is their missteps, rather than their successes, that warrant the attention of people in their lives.
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