Our "Us" Story
It all started when I thought my husband and I were the only ones who weren’t prepared for parenthood.
Then, when I began working as a Relationship Counsellor, I realised most couples were in the same boat:
- Planning for the birth, but not for the weeks, months and years afterwards.
- Not knowing what new parents could really expect in terms of life and relationship changes.
- Not finding out about all the stuff that everybody’s going through (finances, housework, in-laws, sex!), but nobody talks about.
- Rushing to get back to our old, before-baby idea of “normal”, thinking that’s what we should be doing.
- Arguing more because we didn’t know how to approach our disagreements as parents, not just as partners (there’s a difference!).
It got messy. We were lost, disheartened and confused: how did this happen to us? We'd been so happy before. Even our wedding photographer had said she'd never seen a couple so in love! We'd become so focused on the problems of early parenthood we started losing sight of each other. And this was at a time we thought we’d be closer together than ever.
We didn't know where to turn for help. When I looked, I found there was a lot of information and support for pregnancy and birth, and a lot of information and support for parenting, but there was a huge, huuuuge parenthood information and support gap in the middle. I discovered that although parenthood is a turning point for most couples - even happy ones - there's no clear path for them to follow.
No bridge from the "before" to the "happy ever after".
So we fell into the gap.
Deep. We blundered blindly, stumbled into some traps, and sometimes we wanted to give up. But we loved each other, and the beautiful little family we were creating, enough to push on.
Over time, we finally found our way back to solid ground – and each other. We became 'us' again. A stronger, deeper, better, more resilient us.
I want a strong, deep, better "us" for all new families that they don't have to work so hard for. It's my hope that our next generation of parents are at least as well prepared for parenthood as they are for birth. So new families can thrive, right from the beginning.
If you'd like to know more of our story (like where we had our first argument as new parents, can you guess?), listen below:
What we Discovered in a Nutshell:
The transition into parenthood doesn't happen overnight. Some parents take a while to grow into their new mama or papa/partner roles.
Partners don't necessarily go through the transition at the same time as each other. One partner might be "catching up" on the other one. That's normal.
We discovered that when we approached our issues as both partners and parents, we were able to work things out more smoothly.
The times we couldn't agree, it didn't matter so much in the scheme of things.
We found when we were happier as a couple, our kids were much happier and more settled too.
We discovered that the journey was much, much more important than the destination...and that big journeys begin with small steps.
If you'd like to know more about my professional journey, you can read why I'm becoming known worldwide as the Parenthood Pioneer.
If you'd like to know the steps to navigate your own journey, you can find them in my book Becoming Us, 8 Steps to Grow a Family that Thrives.