Parenting together with your partner

Becoming a parent is an amazing experience. Good relationships need to be supported. Parenting is a lot easier when both parents are on the same page. It is important to get a good balance between work, home life and hobbies.

Taking care of your relationship

Relationships can become strained between parents, especially when you are tired and tense.

Take care of your relationship by:

  • saying a caring word
  • doing something caring for each other
  • letting your partner know you appreciate their support
  • talking about your feelings in a calm way
  • listening to your partner
  • accept offers of help from family and friends
  • sharing the household chores

Allow your partner to develop their own style of parenting and praise what they do well.

Never argue in front of your child. Arguing upsets children. Discuss your feelings in private and work out a solution together.

Sharing care of your baby

You and your partner need to support each other at this time more than ever before. You are building a positive home life and environment for your child together.

Make decisions on how you will share things like:

  • feeding your baby
  • getting up during the night
  • housework and shopping
  • bathing your child
  • taking time off work if your baby is sick

Rest and relaxation

This is a crucial time to take care of each other and acknowledge what you both do well. Agree that being a parent can be challenging and tiring. Care for each other and your new baby.

Extra rest is important for both parents, especially after your baby is born. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing who got the least amount of sleep. This isn't helpful.

In the first few days at home (up to 2 weeks), try to:

  • limit the number of visitors who call to see you and your new baby
  • have a rest or sleep when your baby sleeps
  • accept offers of help with routine shopping or housework
  • allow some of the housework to go undone for now and focus on your baby and yourself
  • prepare and freeze meals ahead of time

Physical activity

Some gentle exercises can help increase your energy levels and help you manage the added work of having a baby.

Build physical activity into your daily routine by going for a walk with your baby. Invite your partner or a friend along and use it as an opportunity to spend time together.

Page last reviewed: 26 February 2018
Next review due: 26 February 2021