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Take time to preserve family after child birth

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A happy postpartum marriage takes effort.

A lot of you might be asking, “How much effort when all of the time is consumed with the baby?”

Well, as much time as needed to preserve the foundation of the family.

In my previous blog entry, we learned about stealing time for communication. This blog entry will concentrate on values and goals in a postpartum relationship.

New mothers and fathers will be exploring all sorts of new feelings and priorities. Obviously, the main one is nurturing their new creation. However, new perceptions on life might occur during this precious time. Establishing these values for the family will drive the choices new parents make. A couple has to communicate the top five values they would like to have for themselves as individuals, parents, partners and the family as a whole.

Foremost, we all know that if we are not happy with ourselves, how in the world can we be happy with others? Establish values and goals for this will keep you grounded. Write down your values so you have something tangible to discuss with your partner. Plus, posting them in places that you see daily can help motivate you and keep you on track.

If you are having trouble conjuring up your goals, here are some possibilities:

• Healthy living (one step at a time): Drink more water, quit smoking or get rid of a bad habit.

• Learning on a budget: Take a class at the community college or university.

• Pet time: Walk around the block with the dog at least three times a week.

• Stress management: Get a massage at least once every two months.

• Social or interpersonal time: Go out with friends, read, watch a TV show, exercise or do a hobby.

Remember that your happiness resonates with your baby, partner and family, so your values and goals should be selfish and uplifting for you. The feelings of shame or guilt are natural, but you have to be a full person in order to teach another human how to be. Loving yourself is an everlasting gift you show your baby. Actions speak louder than words.

After re-establishing yourself as individual, discuss values and goals as parents. Questions parents will ask themselves are numerous when developing these goals or values. Ultimately, you want your baby to grow into a healthy child, teenager and adult. These values can change as the child grows. Again, parents should write down the values and goals. Agreeing on these values and setting them into action will rely on the parents having each other’s back. Parents must have a shared front for their baby, child, teenager and adult son or daughter.

These goals and values are probably not difficult to cultivate with your partner, but here are some examples:

• Discipline: Timeouts, grounding and/or spanking.

• Religion or lack thereof.

• Integrity.

• Health: Mental, social and physical.

• Citizenship: Giving back to community, country or world.

Being a role model with your values and goals is a key role in your son or daughter believing in your teachings. Parents may find that one parent is better with handling certain situations when values are being tested. Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses is a part of being good parents. Just remember you are your partner’s ally, not their enemy.

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