Bringing a child into the world to save a relationship is not only unfair to the baby, but it’s almost a recipe for a break-up. Relationships are hard work and resolving conflicts takes time and effort. Adding a baby into the picture only adds more work, stress, and crazy hormones to a relationship. And it won’t fix any unresolved conflict, it’ll only intensify it.
Bright Side has dug deeper into the daily life of new parents with romantic problems to point out that bringing a kid into an unstable relationship isn’t the answer.
1. Your priorities may not be the same.
If a couple doesn’t share some priorities, chances are they’ll have problems that stop their relationship from thriving, and a baby can make things much worse. If the couple wasn’t working as a team before, they’re unlikely to function as one to take care of a baby. Whether it’s because one of them wasn’t planning to have the baby or didn’t realize how much hard work the little one involved, if one of them doesn’t see the baby as a priority, things are doomed to fall apart — and this just becomes something to add to the list of points that they don’t see eye to eye.
2. You’ll have less alone time to talk and work things out.
Problems are solved through communication. When a baby arrives, or even if it lives with one of the parents, couples experience a decrease in the amount of time spent together. The baby not only takes a lot of their time, but it is also always present. New parents get fewer opportunities to communicate difficulties and look for solutions together and so, problems that are not yet solved, intensify.
3. You’ll develop a perception that one of you is working harder than the other.
They are not just responsible for themselves and now have new little human being to take care of. The amount of dedication and hard work parents put into taking care of a baby and paying the bills has to be evenly distributed. Otherwise, one of them can feel overused and resentful, which will only lead to more problems, according to experts.
4. You may have disagreements about nurturing and child rearing.
Since both parents come from different families and sometimes from distinct cultural backgrounds, they have certain ideas and goals in mind regarding the ideal upbringing. Maybe one doesn’t want a TV in the house, and the other thinks it can stimulate the baby. Either way, research confirms that disagreements related to the correct form of parenting are bound to appear, adding extra tension to the relationship.
5. Dad might get jealous of the baby.
Although the bond between mother and child appears, in most cases, naturally after birth, the connection between the father and the baby takes time to develop and nurture. In the meantime, it’s usually men who witness how all the attention and care their partner gave them, suddenly shifts to focus on the newborn. Scientists explain this can create tension, since dad can feel left out and a bit jealous of the baby.
After all, human newborns are one of the most vulnerable creatures, and they do demand a lot of time and effort. If dad were the primary caretaker of the child, then it would be the mother who would feel a bit ignored.
6. Family members can put pressure on the relationship.
Not everyone loves their in-laws, but when a new member of the family makes an entrance, they and the other family members like aunts, uncles, and cousins can start making judgments about the way either of the parents cares for the newborn. If they’re too nosy, they can go as far as openly expressing their disapproval, which can burden the new parents with stress and facilitate arguments between them, especially if each family has different parenting values and priorities.
7. You’ll have limited time or opportunity to recharge.
A baby is a schedule crusher during their first weeks of life. They can make both parents go through sleepless nights, diaper changes in the middle of the park, and crying marathons. Both can accumulate so much tension that it’ll escape in the form of a lack of patience, irritated behavior, and extra bickering. This is why parents should try to establish a schedule that allows them to do something on their own as a way to relax, reduce stress, and recharge their energy. Studies show that this contributes to their well-being.
8. Hormones can add a lot of strain too.
When a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth, she releases hormones that make her go into a state where she feels deeply vulnerable. The new mom starts fearing that her partner is going to leave her and the baby, which pushes her to become more controlling with him and could hurt the relationship even more.
9. If the relationship is toxic, a baby is a ticket for never-ending contact with the other person.
When a baby arrives, breaking up becomes harder because not only would it put an end to the relationship, it would break up a family. This is especially concerning if one of the people involved is abusive. Plus, even if the relationship ended, if there’s a baby involved, so there will always be some kind of necessary contact that needs to be maintained.
People with no kids can move on with their lives somewhat quickly, when a couple breaks up. However, once there are kids in the picture, they will continue to see each other for their whole lives, in a shared parenting situation. That’s definitely something to think about.
Do you think a baby can be a relationship saver or is it definitely a no-no for you? We’d love to read your opinion in the comments!
Illustrated by Anastasiya Glushkova and Alena Tsarkova for BrightSide.me