A New Study Reveals the Strain Children Put on New Parents’ Relationships

A New Study Reveals the Strain Children Put on New Parents' Relationships

According to new research by The Ribbon Box, 100% of new parents admitted their relationships have undergone significant transformations since having children. More alarming, one-third of these couples reported a negative impact on their relationship, and nearly 90% (86%) of respondents expressed that the new role and responsibilities are not equally shared by the partnership, shedding light on the persisting gender disparity that exists within households.

Worldwide, governments in what are considered to be ‘developed nations’ are fighting problems on multiple fronts, and one of them keeping many senior politicians up at night is how to address declining population sizes.

The obvious solution is to have more children; however, given how the way works, it is far from an easy thing to do. Trying to keep money coming into the household, achieve goals, enjoy life and have a family is difficult, and this has been revealed in stark terms in a new study.

About The Ribbon Box Study
The study, conducted across 1,500 women in The Ribbon Box social media community, aimed to uncover the often-unspoken challenges couples face as they navigate the demanding journey of parenthood.

Eloise Edington founded and launched The Ribbon Box following her fertility struggle after her husband was diagnosed with Klinefelter Syndrome, a condition that affects approximately 1 in 600 men, which made him infertile. The site aims to guide, support and connect people during the IVF and parenting journey and demystify the complexities that arise.

A young couple having an argument

She said, “The unequal division of responsibilities has far-reaching consequences, such as increased stress and burnout for one parent and often restricted career opportunities. This glaring imbalance perpetuates the age-old stereotype that parenting is primarily one parent’s responsibility.

When both parents play an active role in their child’s care, it strengthens the bond between the couple and also benefits the psychological well-being of the child.

The study really shows that despite progress in gender equality, societal stigmas surrounding motherhood persist, perpetuating the notion that women should prioritise family responsibilities over their personal ambitions.”

In addition to the practical challenges, new mothers also face societal pressure and judgment regarding their choices and abilities as parents. Further research has found that 83% of new parents feel the pressures of other people’s ‘perfect parenting’. This can, in some cases, exacerbate feelings of isolation and contribute to postpartum mental health issues.

Key findings:

  • 100% of new parents recognise that their relationship dynamics have changed since becoming parents
  • One-third of participants reported a negative transformation in their relationship after having children.
  • 90% of respondents stated that childcare responsibilities are not evenly distributed.
  • 83% of new parents feel the pressures of other people’s ‘perfect parenting’

A young couple not talking to each other on a sofa

Emiliana Hall, Doula and Founder of The Mindful Birth Group said, “The stats are concerning. This highlights the strain that parenthood can put on a couple’s dynamic. I really recommend starting the discussion around expectations and dividing the obvious daily tasks up during pregnancy.

You won’t always know exactly what will be required of you both, as your baby will have unique needs, but acknowledging that you are in this together and it takes effort to create balance in a new parenting situation is important.

Running a home whilst being a parent could be compared to project management, and it’s only by working as a team and delegating tasks effectively that everyone can enjoy the wonderful rewards and joy that being a parent brings.”

Emiliana has suggested some key things to keep in mind;

Expectations: It’s important for everyone to know what is expected of them to avoid friction

Be flexible: Regularly review how things are balancing between you both. Also, in relation to expectations- go easy on yourselves. It can be easy to get caught up in trying to be a perfect parent, as 83% of the poll participants showed, but this level of pressure is not necessary.

Boundaries: If things are getting too much, how could you outsource a task, make it easier or ask for help in other areas to make it more manageable?

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