family life cycle

Transition into parenthood and challenges for relationships.

For most of us, the journey toward becoming parents is an exciting one. From making the decision as a couple that it's time, trying to fall pregnant, the elation (and all other sorts of feelings!) associated with being pregnant, to the life-altering experience of bringing a new life into the world and being responsible for caring for a little one.

No matter how eagerly anticipated though, no-one can really prepare us for the huge changes that becoming parents means for our sense of ourselves, and for our relationship with our partner.

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What stage of the family/relationship life cycle are you in?

Couples and families move through a number of stages through life - this has been referred to by family therapists Monica McGoldrick and Betty Carter as the family life cycle. A young couple with no children are dealing with different issues and concerns than a couple with young children. Parents with teenagers, who may also be caring for aging parents, have different stressors than the couple facing retirement, who perhaps are wondering how to rediscover who they are - both individually and as a couple - away from the distractions of children and work.

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