East Riding Life Coach Helen Thorburn is a busy mum of two. Each month she will write about topics that all mums face, take two minutes for yourself to read on… 


From snappy to happy!

How to cope with relationships and a baby

You and your partner have a new baby. You’ve been planning and preparing for months. It’s an exciting, happy and magical time. You planned for that bit. It’s also exhausting, worrying and stressful. You didn’t necessarily plan for that. The lack of sleep, upheaval in lifestyle and knock-on emotional rollercoaster ride leaves you both with barely enough time or energy to cover your most basic needs. It’s no wonder that it places strain on your relationship. You’ll probably both feel snappy. There’s a good reason why. So how do you manage at a time when you need each other more than ever?


Here are a few questions about your relationship to reflect on and bear in mind in your day to day life. As you have limited time a reflection is probably more achievable and the best advice we can ever take is our own.


How is my partner feeling?

Sounds like an obvious question but one we sometimes don’t ask ourselves. It’s easy to make assumptions. Take a moment to see the situation from their perspective and try to understand how it must feel for them.


Do I show I appreciate what they do?

We are all more willing to be kind and supportive if we are praised rather than criticised. Try and focus on the positives you see rather than the negatives. Niceties breed a nicer environment. Even if you have to say ‘Thanks’ through gritted teeth- say it. Definitely more productive in the long term than point scoring!


How do I communicate how I am feeling? Is it helpful? Might there be a better way?

The words you choose are important. When we’re tired and in ‘survival’ mode, we often forget to use our better judgement, yet we all want a positive outcome from our conversations. If you’re not getting one, think about why this might be. Try to avoid saying anything that assigns blame and start sentences with ‘I’ rather than ‘You’, which is less confrontational.


Is my way of doing things really the only way that works?

The reality is that you’re not the only one who can take care of a baby properly. It may be easier at times to accept the views of others in the grand scheme of things.


What do I want my family to be like?

We often get so lost in the jobs and routines that appear urgent to us, that we put the things we consider important to the bottom of our list of priorities. Try to focus on what is important for you as a family and not the dirty cups on the side that need washing or a conversation about who got up in the night.


We aren’t necessarily fore-warned about this aspect of having a baby. I certainly didn’t get it right all the time. These questions are a starting point. The reality however is that you need each other. More than ever. Right now.


Helen Thorburn has worked in education for the past 15 years both as a teacher and in an advisory capacity. Having experienced the positive impact of coaching on young people’s lives through her work in inclusion, she has progressed to coaching adults. She is currently working towards her Level 2 & 3 Diplomas in Life Coaching and is delivering her first well being retreat, in conjunction with Angela Stone Yoga instructor, this September at The Orange Tree in Rosedale. Look out for regular articles, when Helen will provide East Riding Mums with advice and tips on how to cope with modern family life.

Copyright 2015 Helen Thorburn