Being a parent is often the hardest job a mom or dad can take on, and it puts a lot of pressure on your marriage, too. Being able to work through these challenges is important but not always easy.
There are many different stress points associated with being a new parent. One of the most common is losing sleep. It can stunt your reaction time, shorten your temper and lower your attentiveness, but the topic of sleep can also prove to be a major issue for your marriage as well. A new study out of Penn State identified that disagreement between spouses over the bedtime for the children can lead to significant tension and even divorce, making things very challenging for you and your family members.
Questions were provided to 155 fathers and 167 mothers about their policies as parents for checking up on their child over the course of the night between the ages of 1 month all the way up to 12 months. Those mothers who had stronger beliefs about tending to their children regularly also tended to have more issues with their spouses. Communication wise, there tended to be a disconnect between the father and the mother in those relationships.
As time went on, the general concern for the child in question would decrease in both fathers and mothers, however, if you are looking for ways to cut down marital tension it’s a good idea to set up a conversation with your spouse to determine how you are going to approach bedtime and who will be responsible for checking up on the child over the night.
A difference in opinion could ultimately lead to fights that are exacerbated by your lack of sleep and the other general pressure points associated with being a new parent. Having these conversations upfront and being on the same page can help to unite you as a team and to empower you to work together rather than against each other as you are preparing for the sometimes difficult and yet, substantially rewarding role as a new parent. Your partner can become a crucial asset as you work together in this process.