- What is the baby clash?
- What elements are at the origin of the baby clash?
- How to get out of the baby clash and avoid separation?
What is the baby clash?
It can be defined as a crisis that occurs in the couple after the birth of a child.
The arrival of a child reshuffles the cards on all levels and the couple after a baby can be seriously shaken. You are no longer just partners, you are also parents and you now form a family, with all the changes that entails! This sudden transition is sometimes difficult to accept and requires some daily adjustments. You have new responsibilities, your days are organized differently, you have less time for yourself and for your other half...and you can sometimes feel like you're no longer on the same wavelength at all. After pregnancy, the couple may be in danger. Arguments and disagreements then multiply, and instead of floating on a little cloud of happiness, the slightest spark sets things on fire...
The statistics on the separation of couples after the birth of a baby speak for themselves: it is estimated that 20 to 25% of parents will separate in the few months following the arrival of the child (2). As Bernard Geberowicz, psychiatrist, points out in his book Baby Clash: The Couple and the Test of the Child, this couple crisis after pregnancy still remains taboo. In the collective mind, the arrival of a baby is equated with total happiness, a period during which we must necessarily be happy and many parents are ashamed to share their difficulties.
What elements are at the origin of the baby clash?
The major changes brought about by the birth of a baby can cause conflicts within your relationship. And this is completely normal since parenthood is a world in which you have everything to discover! It may therefore be a good idea, during pregnancy, to discuss your future organization once baby has joined you. The couple can prepare to become parents, it is better to discuss your future life beforehand.
Fatigue, which is very present after a sometimes trying childbirth, can quickly take over. Tasks pile up, this mental load associated with a lack of sleep can lead to overall exhaustion, which can ultimately trigger parental burnout. All the ingredients come together to trigger arguments, harsh comments and post-baby relationship problems .
When you return from maternity ward, you discover another side of your partner! You knew him as a partner, a spouse, and here he is a parent, with his own way of doing things that is not necessarily the same as yours, which can lead to misunderstandings on both sides. other or be a source of real altercations.
Just after giving birth, many women feel more like mothers than companions and moments of intimacy with your partner become rarer, which doesn't help anything in your daily relationship.
So what can we do about the baby clash? How to overcome difficulties and turn your back on conflicts to peacefully enjoy your first months as parents?
How to get out of the baby clash and avoid separation?
If you are lucky enough to have family nearby, neighbors or friends ready to lend you a helping hand, do not hesitate to ask them: either to look after your baby or to help you at home with all the household chores (laundry, cleaning, meal preparation, etc.) The desired goal? Free up your time and allow you to enjoy moments together : a movie, a restaurant, a sports session or simply a walk as a couple to find yourself far from the hustle and bustle of the house.
For everyone's good balance, it is also essential to be able to carve out time for yourself. It is about the happiness of the couple, getting along well is only possible if both people in the couple feel good and are doing well individually, each on their own. Taking breaks to breathe and get some fresh air is far from being selfish, on the contrary, these moments allow you to better recharge your batteries to better be able to invest in life as a couple and in this new family life. .
No loved ones nearby to support you? You can turn to a post-natal carer. She can provide you with emotional but also logistical support. A first session with a support person trained by Oh Mama Care (the specialist in postnatal support at home) is also included in our Mama Saver postpartum kit.
You can also call on a cleaning lady (some aid can be paid by CAF, under conditions) or a babysitter who will give you some breathing space.
To avoid criticism and clarify who does what, do not hesitate to set up schedules or task lists. Certainly a bit military, this process will allow everyone to visualize what they have to do and to better distribute the mental load. In order to reduce the latter even further, we have prepared a checklist for you to facilitate the organization of the postpartum period. We can send it to you by email if you wish. It will help you get your bearings and give your partner an idea of the “to do list” that is your responsibility and which can affect your level of fatigue and good mood on a daily basis!
Since the birth of the baby, your relationship has been going badly and your efforts to preserve it do not seem sufficient? Do not hesitate to call on an outside person who can help you get your relationship back on track and overcome this ordeal. In France, for example, you can consult a marriage counselor in the Maternal and Child Protection Centers (PMI) in your region. Or even a psychologist who can help you communicate better and implement concrete actions together to better experience the arrival of your baby and get your bearings together in this new daily life.
(1) Elabe Institute study for Wemom
(2) Dr Bernard Geberowicz, co-author of the book Baby Clash