Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bringing Home Baby

by Marriage Counseling Hope on June 8, 2012

“We were so in love, Janet said, until the baby was born. Then it was as if I had two children, Jim and Kayla; as Kayla was expected, she was not the problem”. This was Janet’s opening sentence to me when first we spoke. She has a great sense of humor, which allowed for a high level of patience and perseverance when confronted with her husband Jim’s jealous behaviors concerning their newly born daughter Kayla.

In a couples session, Janet told Jim that she wanted him to stop complaining that she did not give him enough attention at night when he came home from work, and that she did not have breakfast with him anymore and that he had no free time to play sports. Janet shared that she was sleep deprived and needed to rest in the morning after she fed Kayla if she was able to .She would love to spend time with Jim at night but she needed to shower and could only do that when he was home . She continued to share that “on the weekends, I would like some time to sleep, since you are home and can take care of Kayla for an hour or two”. It seems that neither Janet nor Jim had discussed or understood what the time constrictions would be with a newborn. They were having quite a challenge as many couples do with the adjustment into parenthood.

Jim stated that Janet and he used to play tennis and racket ball at night during the week and on the weekend. He said he understood that Janet might not be up to it yet, but that he still wanted to have time to do this, and could not understand why this upset Janet They both had a long list of grievances that stemmed from the fact that they now had to care for an infant. They needed and learned through counseling, to look at their situation as a family with shared responsibilities.

Almost all of the work that Janet and Jim, and most other newbie parents, do in couples counseling is about readjusting, and learning how to create a balance once again in their lives. The first year or two of raising a child can be distressing upon any relationship but it does not have to be. Janet and Jim’s relationship grew into an even stronger bond than they had before. They learned through couples counseling how to actively listen to each other, hear each other, make agreements and keep them. The outcome for Janet and Jim and for all couples where both parents want to have a child is most often positive. Change is hard for all of us as often it is filled with unexpected consequences. Adding a child to the mixture of a relationship is wonderful but for some, jealousy, confusion and rejection may be a part of the equation until we understand what our unconscious expectations are and choose to let go of them. Janet and Jim did this and are now enjoying not only Kayla and each other but Joseph as well.

Written with client confidentiality by  Marriage Friendly Therapists Mara Fisher L.C.S.W. She can be found at

Miami, FL marriage counselor

Miami, FL Marriage Counselor

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