• Preparing for parenthood can be exciting, but it can also take a toll on expecting couples.
  • It’s important that you and your partner take necessary action to take good care of your relationship amidst all of these changes.
  • One key to doing so is maintaining open and honest communication about the good and the bad.
  • Another key to keeping your relationship happy and healthy is to spend meaningful time together without holding back.

Are you and your partner expecting? Congratulations! I know how exciting this time can be for couples. On the flip side, however, I also know just how trying it can be for couples. “Having a baby can be one of the best and worst things to happen to a couple. While expecting parents are, ideally, excited about the addition to their new family, they often also are feeling afraid, insecure, and unsure about parenting,” Saba Lurie, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, explains. “Additionally, they may have different expectations and beliefs about how the new baby may impact their relationship.”

Therefore, it’s important that you and your partner take extra good care of your relationship whilst preparing to be parents! Fortunately, Lurie has some professional tips for you. “One of the things that I suggest to expecting parents is to tell each other all of their hopes and fears—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and to validate whatever feelings and concerns their partner is having. This can really draw the parents together and help them support each other through this transition. Another suggestion is to carve out space to be together even before the arrival of their new baby. This could mean taking a babymoon, a romantic getaway for just the two of them. It could also mean asking for help from friends and family, even for as little as 30 minutes at a time, so that the couple can take a break from their new responsibilities and just lean on each other.” Did you get all that? Let’s expand on these keys to a happy relationship for expecting parents:

1) Talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Lurie’s first tip is to be unapologetically honest with each other. The reality is that this time isn’t going to be a smooth ride—you’ll run into some bumps along the way. But that’s to be expected. All you can do is take initiative and promise to be open and honest about the good and the bad. As Lurie explained above, you should share whatever feelings and concerns you have. This’ll bring the two of you closer and lay down a solid foundation for your role as parents. Now, I know this is easier said than done for a lot of people. So, here are a few tips for feeling comfortable opening up to your partner:

  • Use a pen and paper, if it helps! Sometimes it’s easier to write down our feelings than it is to talk about them aloud. If that’s the case for you, don’t shy away from using these two simple tools.
  • Find a relaxing environment. Another tip for feeling more comfortable sharing your feelings with your partner is to do so in a relaxing environment. It probably isn’t the best idea to dive into heavy subjects while sitting in traffic or when out with friends.
  • Keep it calm and collected. If you start to freak out, your partner will more than likely start to freak out too. Tell yourself it’s okay to feel the way that you do and try to keep it cool, calm, and collected.

2) Carve out meaningful time together.

It’s just as important for you two to continue prioritizing meaningful time together. Sure, you can use this time to talk about all of your feelings and concerns, but you can’t forget to have a little fun, too. Here are a few fun date ideas:

  • Go dessert-tasting around town
  • Check out a hole-in-the-wall restaurant
  • Explore a new trail near your house
  • Make a yummy five-course meal together

Sometimes you need a little more than just a date night out—and that’s okay. If you’re in need of a romantic getaway, don’t be afraid to ask a family or friend to take care of things while you’re gone (e.g., check on the house or watch the dog). As explained by Lurie, this is a crucial time in your relationship, and you deserve to go all out.

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