Economics and of having a baby
Are you considering a baby and discussing who will stay at home with the child? Are you wondering how you will manage the finances of having a baby? Is your partner thinking of stopping work after the baby is born? Are you concerned about this and your role? If you are the husband, are you worried about being the sole economic breadwinner if your wife stops working? For the wife, have you discussed the economic realities with your husband and how he might see you after the baby is born? Are you guys worried about how the power dynamics in your relationship will change if one person stops working to care for the child? If you are the woman, are you worried about how your career will be impacted and your economic dependency may affect your marriage?
Having a baby is a very exciting time. However, most people don’t sit and think about how they are going to pay for the baby after it’s born or how their relationship and power dynamics in a marriage will change if one person decides to stop working and stay home and care for the child full time.
One of the most common disruptions of marital dissatisfaction is the birth of a child over time in which couples do not prepare for how their relationship will change. Couples grossly underestimate the impact of having a child or second child and what it does to their marriage.
It usually takes about 3 years to recover from the birth of a child. Meaning, to address all the economic, emotional and relational power dynamics have to be resorted and agreed. During this period most couples grow apart, stop having sex and become greatly dissatisfied with the quality of their marriage and their home life.
They often lack the skills to be able to discuss it and it’s usually after 5-7 years of having a child that they seek out therapy. Usually due to infidelity, threats of divorce, lack of sexual intimacy and general unhappiness, dissatisfaction and distance.
Most people think of therapy as a last resort to address crisis. However, the best way to approach therapy and think about therapy is an investment in your marriage and developing skills. If you are considering having a baby and there is already economic or financial tension about how you are going to pay for the baby, who is going to stay home, how that will change your marriage…
This is the time now, to have a discussion. One of the things that happens is when couples get married, they are saying ‘yes’ to the version of the person they are marrying. I’m saying ‘yes’ to the way you look, your body shape, your economic possibilities, the job, the career, the power, everything you have. What people don’t anticipate, discuss or plan for, is how those things can change over time. And one of the factors that can change it is having a baby.
If the discussions of having a child or second child are creating tension, there is a lot of discussion about pain, a lot of dissatisfaction because one person is not the primary breadwinner, one person wants to stay home and people are not able to figure out a workable solution, it is better to address this directly and head on, than swiping it under the carpet and hope it goes away. Therapy helps couples work through these very difficult and emotionally demanding topics. These issues are really key to setting up a long-term marriage and you want to correct them as soon as possible and not let them fasten a way with resentments and unhappiness.
Couples who struggle to talk about the financial realities, what they want from their partner, how they envision their financial future and their family, how they want to manage and parent their children need to be discussed and need to be worked out. These are often difficult and emotional conversations that don’t have easy answers and require huge amounts of emotional regulation, creativity and flexibility.
If you would like help to learn how therapy can help you, contact All In The Family Counselling Center Pt. Ltd. at +65 9030 7239 or email us at email@example.com to learn how we can help you.
All In The Family Counselling has been providing therapy for over two decades in Southeast Asia and Singapore. Tammy Fontana, our expat English-speaking therapist, has extensive training qualifications and knowledge to work with couples and individuals around sexual and intimacy issues, anxiety, depression, communication and conflict. Contact us now!
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