Having a family is a romantic notion... Longing for this tiny being in order to complete the process... Career. Marriage. House. Family. Watching others stroll the streets with cute little babies, looking proud and happy, it’s easy to think – “I want that feeling of happiness and eternal love”.
February is definitely cause for celebration in our house. My twin boys came into our lives on Valentines day 2017.
Long gone are the days of romantic dinners for 2 in expensive restaurants with £30 bottles of wine and flowers and chocs. This year I will be lucky if I get a Domino’s meal deal... But that’s okay…
When your children are settled in a good sleep routine and you are able to enjoy family life, it’s much easier to be grateful for nothing but the love you have in your children. It’s a lot less difficult to gain perspective. I will be content and fulfilled this Valentines day with my large pepperoni, my children sound asleep and my husband by my side.
Are you ready?
Nobody can prepare two people for the ultimate test. Starting a family together. Arguments, pressures of time management, keeping to a routine, self-sacrifice, maintaining jobs, never mind trying to get some sleep!
It soon becomes easy for the special journey to become a survival course – where just getting through the day without the threat of divorce is deemed a success.
“Part of the issue in a marriage/partnership is that sleep patterns often track together. If one person is restless, or has chronic problems, that can impact the other's sleep. If these problems persist over time, you can get this nasty reverberation within the couple," said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, senior author and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.
What the experts say
Research published in the American Psychological Association found relationship satisfaction declined twice as quickly for couples with children than for those without, while just recently a Pennsylvania State University study found night-time arguments in particular are a real sticking point for many parents.
Mums tended to have stronger opinions on how to deal with a crying baby at night, the study found, and if the dad felt differently, it led to more than just a fleeting disagreement; the mum often felt unsupported in her parenting decisions, which could lead to a drift in the relationship itself.
Relationship expert Olga Levancuka says communication can make all the difference…
“The problem is often a lack of honest communication between parents. Say what you need and say it clearly – this is not the time to expect your partner to just understand what you’re going through," she says. "Keep that in mind at all times and always keep the lines of communication open.
Having a family is a team game. Both parents need to play by the rules and be on the same page - whether it’s who’s cooking dinner or how the night wakes are handled.
“Be very clear about your responsibilities and openly talk about what each of you can manage. You have to remember, this is not a competition between you, you are a team and should try to tackle everything together. Talk to your partner if you’re struggling and let them know your needs.”
The 18months during which we suffered the extremes of sleep deprivation had a massive impact on our ability to enjoy being a family. We are very lucky to have accessed reliable support, information and guidance to turn things around and become, and stay, a family full of love!
Get the Romance back in your life this Valentines Day!
Book a free 15min phone consultation to find out more about how I can support you and your family in reaching achievable goals within 2-4 weeks.
Fairy Sleep Mother