Procreation is the societal norm of marriage. If couples cannot have children, they may seek other means of having children. They may choose adoption or surrogate motherhood. Very few couples choose not to have children. Prior to having children, couples usually enjoy the comfort of each other. However, the birth of a child leads to drastic changes in how couples associate with each other.
Transition to parenthood may lead to various challenges that couples must be ready to face. Parenthood leads to divisions of work and responsibility according to gender. The added responsibilities of parenthood lead to a permanent change in the relationship between the couple.
Therefore, it is critical for the couples to be ready for parenthood. Failure to have good preparation may lead to creation of tensions, which may threaten the peaceful coexistence of the couples. The birth of a baby leads to permanent changes in the couple’s lives. This paper focuses on the effects that a baby has on the responsibilities and sexual relationship of the couple. These may create tension in the marriage.
Bonnie Fox’s book, ‘when couples become parents,’ provides a clear explanation of the changes that occur when couples become parents. Divisions of work and responsibility based on gender is one the initial changes that occur when couples become parents. Usually, the society expects women to take care of the children. Women feed and clean the children.
Division of work and responsibility based on the gender may the source of initial problems in the transition to parenthood. This is because it places more childcare responsibilities on women. Husbands may be reluctant to share the child rearing duties with their partners.
Division of responsibilities may also lead to conflicts among the couple. Time pressures are the major factor that leads to conflicts among the couples. Division of responsibility forces the new parents to juggle between their parental duties and their careers (Fox, 2009, p. 156).
Traditionally, women are the main gender that takes care of the children. In traditional marriages, women remain at home looking after the children while the men work. However, men also look after the children. Men may wash, feed, or cuddle babies when they cry.
However, in most instances, men care for the babies due to the insistence of their wives. Women usually have a special closeness with their children. Women may have telepathic communication with their children. However, there are men who may perform caregiving duties without the insistence of their wives.
Such men usually envy the fondness that their wives may have with their children. Women usually ensure that the children are well fed and cleaned. In some instances, women may still perform these duties even if the men were home on a fulltime basis (Fox, 2009, p. 173).
It is critical for couples to divide their parental duties among themselves. Therefore, while one parent is looking after the child, the other parent may be performing various housework duties. However, how the parents share their duties is dependent on how they shared their duties prior to becoming parents. Sharing duties increases the mothering that the babies receive. This is beneficial in the development of the child.
However, the man’s failure to undertake domestic responsibilities or childrearing activities does not mean that he is bad parent. The man merely helps her partner in the chores. The man may choose to help his partner or not. However, the society considers women who do not undertake their domestic responsibilities as bad parents.
This is because the society considers domestic activities and child rearing activities to be the domain of the woman. Motherhood leads to a complete transformation of the woman’s life. However, there may be very few changes in the man’s life. Husbands simply acquire additional responsibilities on their lives.
Husbands mainly ensure financial provision of the family. Therefore, children increase the financial burden that husbands have to overcome (Fox, 2009, p. 181).
The divisions of role of parenting usually change dramatically after the birth of the baby. Women engage in more domestic work than they did prior to the birth of the child. After the birth of the baby, women usually seek leave from their places of work to bring up the children.
Women usually take a few months off to care for the baby. In some instances, women may quit their jobs to become fulltime parents. However, men rarely take time off from work to look after their children or wives. Those who do, spend only a few days away from working taking care of the baby. Engaging in domestic chores makes a woman have a feeling of accomplishment.
However, the birth of the baby may make the husband engage in less domestic chores. This is because the woman may quit work to become a fulltime parent. Therefore, men may leave all domestic to their wives. Engaging in domestic chores and child rearing activities is a tiresome activity to women.
Most women claim that they do not have spare time for relaxation. This is because, the birth of the increases their domestic responsibilities. Even if women received support from their husbands in domestic chores and child rearing duties, they would still feel that they do not have enough time (Fox, 2009, p. 185).
The birth of a baby leads to complete transformation of the relationship between the couples. It is vital for the couple to ensure that they support each other. The couples usually shift their attention to the baby. Therefore, they may not have time to make their relationship work. The birth of the baby leads to drastic changes in the sexual relationship of the couple. The birth of the baby usually reduces the frequency of sex.
Very few couples have sex within the first two months after the birth of the baby. Most couples resume sex only after weaning the baby. Couples may not have sex due to the infrequent sleep pattern of the baby. In addition, women are not ready to engage in sex due to the exhaustion of the domestic activities.
Various women are not comfortable having sex after the birth of the baby. However, as the baby grows, the couples may start having sex more frequently. This is because women have more time for relaxation. In most couples, their sexual relationship does not revert to the way it was before the pregnancy.
The daily stress and exhaustion of women, coupled with the lack of a sexual relationship may be detrimental to the marriage. During this period, most couples may have a feeling of discontent towards their partners.
This may ultimately result in the breakup of the marriage. On other hand, the need to have emotional and sexual satisfaction may compel one or both couples to cheat on their partners (Fox, 2009, p. 250).
Therefore, it is critical for partners to be ready for parenthood. The birth of the baby may lead to the creation of various issues that may threaten the peaceful coexistence of the couple.
Birth of the baby increases the demands of both parents. Women are mainly involved in domestic duties and child-rearing activities while man ensure they cater for the financial needs of the family. The birth of the baby leads to permanent changes in the sexual relationship of the couple.
Fox, B. (2009). When couples become parents: The creation of gender in the transition to parenthood. Toronto: University of Toronto.