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16 things new mothers want their partners to know

New parents with good communication skills and their newborn babyGood communication between partners is important if they are to navigate the major life-changes that come with being new parents.

For most women, early mothering is an all-encompassing experience—mentally, emotionally and, of course, physically. Sometimes an exhausted new mother, focused on her baby, just wishes her partner could work out what she’s thinking or know instinctively what she needs.

But most partners are not mind readers, no matter how much they might want to help. So here are some things new mums may wish they could communicate…

16 things new mothers want their partners to know

  • This is harder than it looks. I am trying my best but I really need your unconditional support.
  • I know I seem distant or preoccupied but more is going on inside me than you can see. I am protecting this baby with my whole being.
  • I’m recovering from a mind-blowing experience of birth, am physically uncomfortable, sleep-deprived, and my hormones are working overtime. Every hour of sleep is precious.
  • After becoming a mother overnight, I am learning like mad. I’m mastering how to care for this helpless little being and sometimes it’s overwhelming.
  • Can you reassure me and remind me this will get easier? Let me see that we are in this together and that you’ll be at my side.
  • I’m probably tired and hungry (and maybe I need to go to the toilet or have a longer than normal shower or just be by myself for a while).
  • I’m sorry if I’m critical of you. It’s not that I don’t trust your ability to take care of the baby; it’s just that I’m working things out for myself. I’m learning huge amounts every day and trying to become an expert on our baby.
  • Please don’t ask me what I’ve been doing all day. Caring for a baby is more than a full-time job.
  • I know the house is messy and it bothers me too. Rather than pointing out things that need doing, it would be really helpful if you could do something to make a difference.
  • Please show me ways that you can take charge and protect me. I need you to be a barrier between me and the outside world. If something happens that I find stressful, can you handle it?
  • Please say I’m doing a good job every now and again. Sometimes I feel vulnerable and unsure and I need to hear it. Your praise helps my confidence as a mother.
  • My need for intimacy may be at a different level to yours at the moment. I’m exhausted and need time to adapt to motherhood. It won’t always be this way.
  • I’m feeling a little unsure about my body after this incredible feat it’s just performed. It’s nice to know you still find me attractive.
  • Tell me you love me. Even when I haven’t showered and am covered in baby vomit.
  • I still love and need you too.
  • You know me best so if you are worried about me at all, please talk to me. I may need your encouragement or assistance to get the help I need.

About Dr Wendy Roncolato and Prue Foster

Wendy Roncolato is Principal Clinical Psychologist at Cloudberry Clinic in Sydney's East. She feels privileged to listen to and support women as they navigate motherhood and life beyond. A mother to three school-aged ...

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