Starting a family with your partner is a big choice that you will both endure together. Sometimes it is preplanned, other times you’re surprised with a new bundle of joy. Whatever the situation, many parents will tell you that their children have brought them the greatest joy that have ever felt. What they may not mention, is how much of a strain a child was on their relationship. If you are not prepared ahead of time for the responsibilities of parenthood, it may just knock both of you off your feet (and not in a good way). Figuring out what to expect and what steps to take to encourage your relationship’s strength can help parenthood go by much easier with less strain on your partnership.

Once the baby comes around it may be hard to find some mommy and daddy alone time. With all the diaper changes, work, and every day stress you may just be wiped out by the time you get to bed. Nobody would blame either of you if you just wanted to pass out as soon as you get under the blankets. Life with a new baby can be extremely stressful. Many couples complain that post-marital relations are just not as satisfactory. The real challenge here is encouraging yourselves to still be intimate with one another. The intimacy will bring you both closer together each night that you do choose to do so, and you will be happier over all since your brains will be releasing certain hormones that promote happy feelings.

Asking for help when you need it is another sure way to help your relationship with your partner. Many parents become extremely stressed out during parenthood, feeling as though they have nowhere to turn to. Before going into parenthood, go through a mental list of family members or friends that would be willing to assist you during trialing times. Your parents may be thrilled to have some quality time with their new grandkid, and might even offer to watch the baby one weekend a month. Sisters, nieces, or cousins can all be called upon for help and support if you have a very tight-knit family. Establishing a strong relationship with a baby-sitter that you both feel you can trust would also be a useful idea. Any support will help take the stress of off both of you so that you may focus on one another.

Starting a family can be a bit intimidating, but following these steps can help ensure that you and your partner are both prepared for what is in store.