Entering Parenthood and the Transitions it Brings

When you enter parenthood we go through a number of transitions.

I recently had the opportunity to listen to Elly Taylor author of Becoming Us: The Couple’s Guide to Surviving Parenthood and Growing a Family that Thrives

Below are some of the transitions Elly identifies we go through when we enter parenthood.

Physical transition:

Mothers more than fathers or same-sex partners who aren’t carrying the baby go through a major physical transition.  Let’s face it our bodies will never be the same. Mother’s bond with baby during pregnancy. Father’s often feel it doesn’t become real to them until baby is born or even up to the 6 week mark when baby is becoming more responsive.

Financial transition:

There are often more expenses and the loss of a double income.  For dads this can cause immense stress especially during the third trimester.  The pressure to buy the best pram, the best cot, maybe upgrade the car.

Psychological transition:

A new identity and there can be a whole heap of unmet expectations.  I remember one friend saying, “I didn’t think it was going to be like this, awake all night, only getting a few hours.  I heard about it but I didn’t realise it was literally true.”  All of this can be compounded with difficult with the births, with babies health issues.

Cultural transition:

The in-law influence!  I hope I won’t be one of those in laws but the reality is families have expectations around parenting.  It can be really hard to negotiate differences.

Relational transition:

Dynamics change, there can be new balances of power with one partner being a carer and the other the provider.

Sexual transition:

Mis matched libido can lead to some interesting moments.

Social transition:

Saying goodbye to work colleagues can be hard.  Making and finding new friends extremely difficult.

Spiritual transition:

Becoming a mother can lead us to be less material and more spiritual.  Elly writes of her experience, “I discovered a whole new side of myself, which was hidden from my partner, and hard to put words to. I discovered new strength, but I was uncomfortable negotiating this new strength with my partner.”

For others it can be a loss of faith if there are complex health and birthing issues.

Generational transitions:

Parents can make decisions to stop generational problems.  For example, the misuse of alcohol stops here with me, with this generation.

There is a lot going on in your world when you enter parenthood.

Now we have another transition called Isolation.

It is a transition, a difficult transition.

At times if you feel a little overwhelmed or anxious it is not wonder.  You will probably never experience so much change as you are feeling right now.

Be kind to yourself.  If ever you want to chat about these transitions you can always contact me or one of our counsellors on site.

Belinda Wood

Belinda is a clinical social worker specialising in pregnancy and postnatal counselling.

Sara France

Sara is a social worker specialising in mental health, depression and family counselling.

Both girls operate from Tailrace House at the Tailrace Centre.  They also have on line services if you don’t want to leave the safety of home.

We also have a blog post on the importance of creating healthy parenthood practices during the coronavirus outbreak.

Click here to read it.