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She "Wants It All"; He Thinks That's Impossible.
Chris: During Mariam's first pregnancy, everything was cool--we did yoga all the time, traveled, even went to India. Then the baby was born, and we couldn't keep living like that, even though we thought we'd be able to. Mariam found it hard; she felt trapped in hotels with the baby, breastfeeding. So that has become an issue with us; she wants to be involved in everything that is going on. But when you have a child, there's a trade-off--you can't have it all or do it all.
Mariam: It's true, I want to work and travel, but I also know my young children need me. Yet I'm afraid of being stuck in the house alone while Chris is out having an exciting life.
Dr. Peterson: Chris, because you're gone a lot, it's especially important that there are times when you have primary, hands-on caretaking responsibility for the children. That way, Mariam will feel you understand her and what she deals with. If Chris finds a way to help Mariam do the things she wants to do, she feels he's supporting her. That really strengthens your bond. It's important for the children too--it makes them feel secure with both parents.
As you're all learning, the birth of a baby represents the birth of a family. Every stage--such as going from a couple to having one child, then a second --requires negotiation and adjustment. Your challenge as a couple is learning how to stay connected through time and conflict. Family research shows that's what makes all the difference.
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