We’re coming up on Valentine’s Day, a holiday of chocolate, roses and, frequently, a lot of weird pressure and expectations! Romantic relationships are challenging in the best of times and, let’s face it, these are NOT the best of times. 

Relationships are ever-changing, ever-evolving things. They can come with exquisite joy, deep vulnerability, and also a lot of hurt and negotiation. If you’re in one, having a baby is one of the most exciting and terrifying things that you can do to it. Having a child changes relationships. Time changes relationships! And if we’re honest with ourselves, most relationships could use a little (or a lot) of work to stay strong. 

As a doula, besides all the birth support, one of the things I love is offering a bit of relationship insight–not as an expert (I’m not!), but as a human who likes to listen and help and learn. 

So here are some of my favorite resources for tuning up your relationship and getting it to maximum strength for any and all obstacles ahead!

Classes

  1. Barb Buckner Suarez’s Becoming Us Classes (there are before and after baby versions). I know Barb personally and she is funny, engaging, non-judgmental and really knows her stuff! 
  2. Holden Counseling & Education – Gottman Bringing Baby Home Program

Books

  1. Come As You Are” by Emily Nagoski – Ok, it’s about sex, but it’s about sex and SO. MUCH. MORE. Highly Recommend. Don’t take my word for it, if you click the link you’ll see that at the Multnomah County Library, all copies, in all formats, are in use and have waiting lists!
  2. Hold Me Tight” by Sue Johnson – This book is all about attachment, so it’s relevant for both parenting and romantic partnership. A must read. 

Podcasts/Videos – if you’re a little too exhausted from parenting to dive into a book right now, I can relate! Here are some shorter talks from the same authors. All of these were so full of gems and can’t possibly begin to encapsulate them. You just have to listen!

  1. On Being with Krista Tippett – Interview with Alain de Botton The True Hard Work of Love & Relationships
  2. Cracking the Code of Love with Sue Johnson (link is to youtube, but you can also find it in podcast form)
  3. How Couples Can Sustain a Strong Sexual Connection for a Lifetime – TEDx Talk with Emily Nagoski

As ever, I hope your relationships are well. And if you or anyone you know needs Doula Services, a Birth Class (the next series starts on 3/7/21), or a referral to another service, I’m always happy to help. If you’d like to write me a Google Review I would love that too! It helps other people find me and get to know what I am all about.