When the couple becomes a family

For more preparation courses for motherhood and fatherhood that we have done, for more books that we have read, the arrival of a son catches us unprepared.

Nor have they warned us how things will change between us . Now another link binds us, a sacred bond: that of being the father and mother of the common child. With these new roles also emerge new expectations of each other, which will be fulfilled or not.

When the loving couple becomes a family …

Throughout our lives we all experience two types of change.

The first is the change “in slope” , which occurs very gradually, almost without us being aware of what is happening (a typical case is aging).

The other is the change “in step” , a sudden change in which we clearly recognize a before and after; a change that most of the time surprises us, hits us or disconcerts us.

For more books that we have read, the arrival of a son catches us unprepared

Of all the changes “in step” -a move, a marriage, the death of someone close …- the birth of a child is the most remarkable, one of those in which the jump is greater, since the contrast between the preconditions and those after the change is enormous.

And this is especially true when the first child of the couple is born, because it also implies the birth of a mother, a father and, in some way, a family.

We were not prepared for this change!

In “pending” changes, time passes slowly and gives us the option to prepare for new conditions. We ourselves are transformed to the extent that our environment does.

In most “step” changes, however, modifications come before we have been able to develop resources to address them . This is precisely what happens with the birth of the first child.

For more preparation courses for motherhood and fatherhood that we have done, for more books that we have read, the arrival of a son catches us unprepared.

We return home after staying three days in motherhood with a strange being that depends absolutely on us to survive.

We find it difficult to understand their demands and, in our inexperience, we do not know how to deal with our new task.

No one told us how things will change between us

However, the baby does not make concessions: he needs us to feed himself, to relax, to get warmth and comfort, to feel clean, to sleep soundly … But this is not the only aspect of a change for which we are not prepared They have not warned us about how things will change between us.

Usually, we are not aware that the couple will suffer an equally momentous change.

We are no longer the same…

When the baby finally falls asleep, the two people who meet face to face are not the same as they were when they were alone. And not only because they are very tired and what they want above all is to sleep.

Now another link binds them, a sacred bond: that of being the father and mother of the common child . She is not only my wife, she is also the mother of my son. And … I am no longer just her husband, I am the father of her son …. With these new roles also emerge new expectations of each other, which will be fulfilled or not.

It is usually said that recent parents should set aside time for both of them; It is true, but we must not lose sight of the fact that this couple is no longer the same . It is necessary to keep it in mind to save us some disappointments and claims, because we can end up confusing the new dynamics with bad intentions of the other.

Remembering that during the first years the child occupies a central place in our life, we must work together exposing our needs and looking for ways to respond, instead of getting angry with our partner because we think he does not take us into account.

Family under construction

Another question that comes into play from the moment we become a family, and that does so with unusual force, is the question about what kind of family we are. And in this, the family models of each one of us are of capital importance.

Sometimes, soon after the baby is born, the parents begin to discuss about the educational guidelines, the role that the extended family will play and what are the responsibilities of each one. If we do not stop to think about it, the most probable thing is that we want to impose the model of our family of origin.

The challenge is to put the cards on the table, to talk openly with our partner about what are the ideals and models that each of us has on how a family should function and also on what are the fears that do not wake up from that mode.

The challenge is to put the cards on the table, to speak openly about the ideals of each one

This is how the identity of the new family will be shaped : it is not a copy of one model or another or a negotiation by which each one decides a part. It is a new construction; a unique design that we will develop according to our values, priorities and beliefs.

Release to grow

It is important to bear in mind that we are facing a profound change , a change that will also lead to difficulties when releasing what we leave behind.

That we will feel a certain sorrow, and that this is natural and does not imply not being satisfied and happy with the new condition.

That we must work actively and hard to handle a situation that changes at a great speed.

That the idea of ​​family refers us to our own and outdated family models.

Taking all these things into account will help us to better navigate this difficult passage from a couple to a family.