Having a baby changes a person- and it changes a relationship! Not only will new parents begin to see differences in their pre and post-baby selves, but they’ll also be able to see the same in their partner- and it can be for better or for worse.
Becoming a parent can either strengthen a relationship and make someone more appreciative of their partner, or it can create communication issues and bring forth other issues. There may have been a time when dads couldn’t imagine doing life with anyone else, but perhaps now they're questioning how they'll survive doing the same routine for the next 18 years. Or maybe having a baby solidified the fact that this is a forever family. Either way, having a baby is a life-changing milestone.
These fathers all admitted how they really feel about their wives and partners a year after becoming parents. For some, they feel like it enhanced their relationship and they’re happier and more secure than ever. But for others, it appears bringing a child into the mix has complicated things even further. Some of these eye-opening stories might be surprising. Read on to discover the ways parenthood has impacted these relationships.
Doing mundane things around the house gets all the harder when you welcome a baby into your family. James* feels like his wife has been slacking when it comes to housework. But rather than realize how busy being a stay-at-home mama might make her, he’s just annoyed that their home isn’t as spick and span as usual.
“My wife’s never really been good at cleaning or that stuff, but she made an effort before we had kids,” he shares. “Now it’s like she doesn’t even try. I know the house will get messy with toddlers, but I swear she does nothing to clean it up. If I’m at work all day, what’s her excuse?”
A lot of parents say that having a baby can make or break a relationship. At least for Andy*, he feels that becoming parents made their relationship stronger and finally, it feels like their priorities have aligned.
“I feel like she had a lot of growing up to do before. But having a baby has made her a lot more realistic about things- money, her job, our future,” the dad-of-tone explained. “For once in our relationship, I feel like we’re finally on the same page about most things.”
Having a baby makes parents grow up- but at least it seems like this mom and dad were able to mature together.
Many new parents feel extra anxious or worried when taking their little one out and about. Think of all the germs or dangers that are waiting to pounce on your baby! While it’s normal to feel overly cautious with a newborn, in some cases it may actually be hurting your relationship.
“I wish we could get out of the house more,” says Kyle*, who’s starting to become annoyed by his overly anxious wife. “My wife never wants to because she gets so stressed about the baby and worried about everything out there [...] everything is a threat. What’s gonna happen?”
Just like having a new baby can make your relationship stronger, it can also put a toll on it. For Mathew* and his wife, it sounds like becoming parents has made them more prone to arguing, and unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like he sees a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I swear she loses her temper more than ever,” he explains. I get that she’s stressed because she’s the one home with the baby, but that doesn’t mean I deserve to hear about it every day.” Only open and honest communication about how each parent is feeling can help solve this stressful dilemma.
Colton* admits that he and his wife weren’t in a particularly good place before they welcomed their son. But it sounds like becoming parents reminded them of why they fell in love with each other- and things are going better than ever!
I’m so much more in love with her than ever. We went through a rough patch right before we got pregnant, and it was going to make or break us,” he explained. “But seeing the way she is with our son reignited what we had before.”
Having a baby doesn’t immediately mean that all rough patches are a thing of the past, and it can definitely bring about new issues. But it’s inspiring to hear of a couple that was able to work through their problems and are now enjoying being new parents!
Most parents recommend waiting until you know your partner really well before having a kid with them. But, sometimes, life just happens.
Adam* explains that he and his partner had a baby early on, while they were still in the lovey-dovey phase. But now he’s wondering if things are meant to last, or if he’s going to wake up one day and regret how they did things.
“We got pregnant really early in our relationship. We were still in the honeymoon phase. But that’s all gone now,” he explains. “Sometimes I wake up and I wonder if I can do this for the rest of my life.”
Most new moms can’t be bothered to do their hair and makeup like they did before baby. After all, they’ve got a little human depending on them for just about anything, so lipstick and hair curlers take a backseat easily.
Anthony* admits that he misses when his wife would spend time getting all dolled up in the morning, although he realizes she just doesn’t have the time nor energy for those things anymore. “I’d never tell her this, but I miss before we had kids and she’d do her hair and makeup on a regular basis,” he explains. “Now she just doesn’t have the energy to do that.”
How would you feel if your hubby said this to your face?
It’s a fallacy to believe that every man or woman would be a great parent. Some people don’t want to be parents, or genuinely don’t seem to be great at the job.
While most people recognize they’re not suited for kids before they become parents, that’s not always the case. Now that they have a child, Rodney* is expressing concerns that his wife may not be cut out for this whole mom thing. “Is it bad I don’t think she was cut out for kids? She doesn’t seem like she enjoys it,” he said.
Then again, transitioning into a role as a new mother is a difficult one, so perhaps Rodney just needs to give his wife some time before he decrees that she isn’t cut out for this.
It sounds like Steven* was worried before he and his wife welcomed their twin babies, even after years of infertility. However, he says things have worked out better than ever- we’re so happy for them!
“We struggled for many years to get pregnant. So when we had our twins, it was everything we’d ever imagined,” he explained. “The first year was hard, but my wife took it like a champ and I think our relationship is stronger because of it.”
Raising twins is tough regardless if you’re a first time or experienced parent, but it sounds like Steven and his wife are handling it with flying colours.
For most moms who have to take time off of work to care for their new babies, it can be difficult taking such a break in their career. Gabe* says that he’s frustrated his wife is expressing interest in returning to work early, despite them agreeing she’d stay home for some time with the baby.
“It irritates me that she wants to get back to work so quickly,” he explained. “We agreed she’d stay home for a few years and I’d take on more shifts, but now she’s second-guessing the whole thing cause she’s ‘bored.’” Hopefully, Gabe and his partner were able to constructively talk this situation out.
Many new mothers struggle to accept their appearance post-baby- and they also may worry that their partner doesn’t see them in the same light.
For Gavin*, he says it’s the complete opposite, as he thinks his wife has never looked better than when she became a mom. Too bad he says that she doesn’t see herself in the same way.
“She’s so self-conscious [about her appearance] after having our baby, but I really think she looks better than when we first met. Motherhood suits her,” he explained. Now he just needs to say this to her face so she begins to believe it!
If raising a new baby doesn’t put a strain on your relationship, then the toll it takes on your bank account probably will. Thomas* admits he didn’t realize how expensive having a child would be, and is getting increasingly concerned over the fact his wife seems to want another baby pretty soon.
“Financially we’re not doing great and it's stressing me out,” he admits. “She says she wants the next baby to be close in age with our first, and is already talking about getting pregnant again. Maybe we should’ve waited.” Hopefully, Thomas and his wife can have an open conversation about this to ensure they’re both on the same page.
Raising a baby is expensive, between all the clothes, diapers, and other things a little one needs. This can put a strain on any relationship, especially if the parents aren’t on the same page about their spending habits.
“She doesn’t understand the concept of money!” Ryan* says about his wife and her spending habits since becoming new parents. “‘It’s for the baby’ or ‘it’ll make things easier’ she says when she buys new things. Our bank account is quickly draining and it’s because she sits at home all day doing online shopping.”
This is a problem any couple would need to address ASAP to prevent it from snowballing into something bigger!
Sometimes, when a couple experiences an unplanned pregnancy, they think the right thing to do is to get married as quickly as possible.
It sounds like that’s what happened to Mac* and his now-wife. But, unfortunately, he’s beginning to question whether they got married for the right reasons or not. “I honestly don’t think we would’ve gotten married if it wasn’t for the baby. You learn a lot of things about someone after that, and not all of its good,” he says.
A new marriage plus a new baby is bound to put a strain on any couple. Hopefully, these two were able to work things out, or at least amicably come to the decision that they’re better as co-parents than lovers.
Many women struggle with Post-Partum Depression, and may not even realize it. Not only is it a huge struggle for them, but also for their loved ones. Clarke* says he’s having an increasingly difficult time being compassionate towards his wife who’s been struggling with PPD since giving birth.
“Some days I come home and the baby’s diaper isn’t changed or she hasn’t been fed and my wife is just lying on the couch watching Netflix,” he opens up. “I get that [post-partum depression] is hard but it's no excuse to ignore your kid.” Hopefully, he and his wife are taking steps in order to better her mental health, so that the whole family can be the best they can be!
If a parent comes from a broken home, they may feel even more pressure to make their marriage work so their kids don’t have to go through what they did during childhood. And, since having a new baby can cause a lot of stress within a relationship, it’s not surprising that it can lead to more arguments, too.
Jared* admits that he’s worried he and his wife’s relationship will end up in divorce, just like what happened to his own parents. “My parents got divorced when I was really young. Since we’ve had the baby, we’ve been arguing more and I’m starting to see my mom in her, and it’s [spoiling] everything,” he explains.
Many new parents don’t necessarily take steps to better their relationship or mental health after having a baby, especially given how chaotic being a first-time parent can be. But for some families, seeking professional help can make a huge improvement.
Luke* says he can’t imagine what things would be like had his wife not sought counselling following the birth of their child- and it sounds like it’s made things better than ever. “I’m really happy where we are now that it’s been a year. The first few months were really rough on my wife, but she went to counselling and it’s helped her. I can’t tell her enough how proud I am,” he explains.
Counselling is definitely worth a try for new parents who think they could benefit from it!
If a couple’s communication was bad before baby, then it’s likely to only get worse once the little one is here. Alistair* admits that he and his girlfriend have been doing worse in terms of communication ever since becoming parents.
“I think she’s been worse at communicating since having the baby. She’s so sensitive and cries regardless of what I say. I don’t know how to support her in this,” he explains.
Many women can have undiagnosed PPD or increased anxiety and stress after giving birth. Hopefully, Alistair and his wife were able to take steps toward improving their overall wellbeing.
Cameron* says that his life has changed immensely in the last year- he went from living a carefree life and routinely going out with friends to living life quietly at home with his new baby and girlfriend. And it sounds like he wouldn’t trade it in for anything!
“A year ago I was partying every night [...] Now I have a beautiful daughter and a beautiful girlfriend. My world has been transformed upside down and it’s for the better,” he explained.
It can definitely be a big transition to becoming a parent, particularly if you weren’t expecting it so soon. But it’s great to hear that Cameron couldn’t be happier with the changes that have been brought to his life.
One of the ickiest parts of having a newborn is changing diapers- sorry not sorry! Many new parents struggle to divide the task of diaper duty, including Samuel*, who says his only grievance with his wife as a new mom is her refusal to change diapers in the evening. Hey, who can blame her?
“The only problem I have with my wife is she refuses to change diapers past 6pm. She says it’s my job as soon as I get home from work. Fair enough,” Samuel explains. If that’s the only issue they’ve had since becoming parents, then they should consider themselves lucky!
*Names have been changed