Prenatal appointments? Check. Childbirth education program? Check. And I’m sure it’s Happy Homebirth Academy. You’re feeling prepared for your birth… but have you considered your relationship in the postpartum phase and how you can prepare it for the certain shifts that will take place?
Today we’ll be speaking with my friend Laura Spencer, a postpartum coach who has been in the trenches, experienced the difficult postpartum season with her relationship, and now so generously comes to share what she’s learned with us. I know you will love this conversation and take away some incredible ideas.
With her first pregnancy, she had expectations of how she wanted her birth to go, but felt completely blindsided by postpartum.
She hadn’t considered what becoming a mother would be, and what parenting together with her husband would be like.
Laura found herself in a place feeling like she had to perform. She wanted to quit her job. She wanted to be with her baby. However, her expectations, values and desires were not being expressed easily, and her husband did not understand. This led to great conflict.
Fortunately, Laura realized that she had the power to change much about the situation. She began reading “The Power of a Praying Wife,” and she went to counseling and worked with a marriage coach.
After her own difficult experience, Laura now has so much to share with others:
Prepare Your Relationship for Postpartum (Prepare Your Communication)
- Make sure you are in the right place when you prepare for conversation: Spend time with yourself and know what you want so that you can convey it to your partner.
- Communicate with curiosity. Consider, “Am I trying to defend, or am I trying to learn more?”
- Make a plan for post-conflict communication
- Questions to ask one another:
- What does compromise look like in our relationship?
- What will our relationship look like after baby?
- How can we support each other through change?
- What does it look like for you to be vulnerable with me?
- How can I find the courage to be vulnerable?
- How will we split up responsibilities?
- Focus together on how you can play on the same team
- Let go, have grace— for both yourself and your partner
- Consider how you are nurturing yourself. Without self-love and care, you cannot truly give love and care to your partner.
To learn more about Laura, find her on Facebook and join her group: Motherhood Mentoring
- Remember that the birth of your baby is not the finish line! We spend so much time preparing for this, and very necessarily. But building up the foundation of your relationship with your partner is so critical in this time. In fact, there’s a whole module on this inside of Happy Homebirth Academy. It’s crucial.
- Remember that you and your partner made (or are making) this beautiful child together. You can make a great team, but it’s so important to remember just that— you’re a team. The goal is to work together, even when it’s hard and even when you’re functioning on like 2 hours of sleep. Preparation beforehand helps so much with these expectations.