Transition to Parenthood Workshops – For Couples


As new parents fall in love with their baby and experience the pleasure of becoming a family, an entirely new pattern of living begins. These lifestyle changes can take a toll on a couple’s rhythm of connection, conflict and intimacy, wearing down partners’ satisfaction with their relationship.

Support, information, and preparation for this transition reverses that trend, helping couples continue to enjoy their connection, and bloom into their new role of parenting together.

The Transition to Parenthood Workshops for Couples helps couples develop the resiliency needed to meet the intense physical and emotional challenges of parenting. Each two-hour workshop provides couples with relationship strengthening strategies and information, as well as ways to develop into a great parenting team. The workshops also provide new and expectant parents opportunities to meet other couples going through this important and exciting life transition.

Participants are welcome to take all or any of the following two hour workshops:

Workshop I

Staying Connected

This workshop lays out the realities that hit when a family of two becomes a family of three. We talk about how to stay connected despite time constraints, constant interruptions, and sleep deprivation. Through discussion, DVD viewings, demonstration and experiential exercises, we will teach a roster of specific techniques that help couples keep the channels of communication, appreciation, and receptiveness flowing.

Workshop II

Managing Conflict
Preserving Intimacy and Romance

Conflict increases for most couples after a first baby arrives. At the same time there is less time, privacy, and energy to process and resolve conflict. There is also less time, privacy and energy for intimacy: snuggling, talking, sex.

In this workshop, we offer rituals for cultivating intimacy despite new time and energy demands. We address how conflict affects your child, and how to prevent the escalation of fights. We teach creative strategies for discovering new pathways through conflict to repair and reconnection.

Workshop III

Creating a Family Life Together
Finding Shared Meaning and Values
Honoring the Past: How You Were Parented; How You Hope to Parent:

People experience a profound philosophical shift when they become parents. Through guided dialogue, partners have the opportunity to express these changes in perspective, as well as their developing thoughts, dreams and hopes about creating a family life together. The idea of shared meaning and values is explored. We explore ways for couples to combine and channel these important visions into daily family life.

The way we were parented can also influence our own parenting ideas and approach. Guided exercises and discussion will move couples toward making conscious parenting choices that incorporate personal history, cultivating the good and leaving the bad behind.

Workshop IV

Becoming a Great Parenting Team
The Importance of Fathers

Parenting together requires communication and flexibility. Teamwork is crucial, but often partners have different parenting styles and ideas. This workshop offers an opportunity for parenting teams to work towards agreement, while incorporating diverse approaches and compromise.

Research shows clearly that paternal involvement is very important for a child’s emotional, social, and cognitive development. But the transition to fatherhood can be particularly complicated – dads often feel sidelined and unsupported.

We will discuss the wonderful benefits of involved fathers. We will explore what it has been like for workshop attendees to become fathers, and how they can be supported and encouraged.

These workshops incorporate the research of John Gottman, Ph.D., and material from the Bringing Baby Home Workshop he created with Julie Gottman, Ph.D. with Family Matters NY’s practical philosophy and approach to parent counseling.

The Gottmans’ research showed that expectant and new parents who took their BBH workshop were more satisfied with their relationship two years into parenting, compared with unprepared couples who frequently experienced a major dip in relationship satisfaction.

Because each segment has a different focus, it is possible for couples to sign up for one or more.

Interruptions for nursing and tending of babies and toddlers are expected and incorporated into the rhythm of the class. Dates, times and locations will be posted on this website.