Bob and Lisa have just hung up the phone after talking with the doctor’s office. They are both elated! They just had the good news confirmed: Lisa is indeed pregnant. After a few years of struggling with fertility issues, their baby is now on the way.
Lisa told me that she had never received so much attention from family, friends and even strangers as when she was pregnant.
“People are so kind and interested,” she said. “They want to know the due date, the sex of the baby, and what names we have chosen.” She added it was a great opportunity to connect with others especially around such a happy event.
Bob had also been so happy and excited to share this very special moment of becoming a father. He attended childbirth classes and helped decorate the baby’s room.
After months of planning, the big day arrived and the couple joyfully welcomed their new baby. Despite their exhaustion, they felt so happy and connected; they were now a family of three. It was their dream come true.
But, as any new parent knows, there is no “baby instruction manual” that arrives with their little bundle of joy. And that bundle of joy requires a new skill set that stymies every parent.
How do you take care of the baby? How do you bathe, feed, and comfort? How do you start shaping baby’s behavior? What does it mean to be good parents? These were among the many questions that Bob and Lisa struggled with answering.
As the days went by Lisa and Bob were feeling more and more exhausted, sleep deprived, and lonely. Outside attention seemed to fade away. When Bob returned to work, Lisa felt isolated, struggling to take care of her baby. By the time Bob made it home at the end of the day, she was often so exhausted and had very little energy left to spare. They started to fight over small things. Both were deeply disappointed that what should have been a time of great joy was becoming a time of bickering and hostility.
Read the rest of the article that was originally published in the Houston Family Magazine.