Easing back into work after a baby

After having a baby, going back to work might be the last thing you want to think about. But the better prepared and supported you are, the easier the transition will be.

That doesn’t mean you have to start thinking about it before you’re ready, of course. In fact, having a baby can directly affect the way you feel about your work.

When you become a parent, you may find that your focus shifts away from work entirely. One study showed that mothers in particular tended to let go of work-related goals as their interest in family-related goals increased.

This may not be the case for you and, even if it is, it won’t necessarily be forever. By the time children are nearing school age, many parents start to take more of an interest in work, and often reconnect with old ambitions, with as much vigour as they had before becoming a parent. Some parents really look forward to going back to work after round-the-clock baby care.

Going back to work after having a baby is a significant life transition. Rather than just seeing it as part of

How to have a good breakup

Is there a right way to break up with someone? Does it really make a difference how you go about severing the tie that once kept your hearts intertwined?

Well, yes it does, actually. And there are two key variables you should try to keep in mind. The first is how direct you are, and the second is how much concern you express towards the person you’re breaking up with .

The more direct you are, the more considerate you’re likely to be. Imagine a scenario where you break up with someone by avoiding them, or drifting away, or even putting all your flaws on display in the hopes that they’ll break up with you.

Not only would that show a lack of compassion on your part, but it’s might also make things harder after you breakup. So, while ending a bad relationship is sometimes the right choice to make, it really is worth trying to do it as kindly as possible.

While it may seem harder, being direct is a much more compassionate way to leave your lover. Be clear that you want to end the relationship,

Are you interesting on online dating

A new report from the Imperial College Business School and online dating service eHarmony, has predicted that, by 2040, almost 70% of relationships will be formed by people who met online.

We’re taking a look at the wider research that’s been done on this topic, to bring you some evidence-based tips on how to navigate the world of online dating as it takes a bigger role in the way we meet people.

In many ways, online dating can make things much easier, streamlining the process and removing some of the challenges associated with meeting people offline.

Flirting with someone face to face can be quite stressful, especially if you feel self-conscious or nervous about meeting new people. If that sounds like you, it might feel like a big risk to put yourself in front of someone you find attractive and try to make it clear that you’re interested.

Meeting people in an online environment takes a bit of that pressure off. Using a dating website takes a lot of the ambiguity out of your intentions, and might help you put yourself out there in a way that feels

What are parenting styles

Authoritarian parenting is used to describe a very strict kind of parent with clear rules in place, that aren’t to be questioned by children. It’s a sort of ‘do as I say’ philosophy which can be very effective in the short term but can lead to children feeling less happy, less confident, and with lower self-esteem in the long term.

Authoritative parenting differs from authoritarian parenting in that rules and guidelines are balanced with warmth and caring. Children can question the rules and are offered explanations as to why they are in place. Children with this type of background tend to be more confident and socially responsible, and may be better at making decisions for themselves .

Permissive parenting is where parents have very few rules and allow children to set their own agenda. These parents may sometimes seem to be in a friendship role rather than a parental one. Children raised in very permissive environments may have trouble coping with stress and difficult situations when they get older .

This is an extreme type of parenting where parents don’t respond to their children’s needs to the point of neglect. This can be incredibly damaging, leading to children with

How to get a good soulmate

When the idea of soulmates first emerged in the 1930s, it was seen almost as a magical connection between two people destined to be together. These days, we tend to think of a soulmate more as a person we can connect with and are compatible with – someone who shares the qualities that we feel are most important to us.

Does your soulmate exist?

The question of whether your soulmate exists is a very personal one. If you’re looking for someone, you may already have an idea in your mind of the important qualities they should or shouldn’t have.

Narrowing down the field like this can help give you an idea of what sort of person your ‘soulmate’ might be – their age, their interests, their hopes and dreams, and maybe even what they look like. Some of these qualities will be ‘deal-breakers’.

But here’s the exciting part: most of us don’t actually know what we’re looking for until we find it. According to relationship research, there isn’t really a specific set of factors that can accurately predict how well you’ll get along with someone. Some of your deal-breakers may even go out of the window if you find someone you really click with

Miracle in Christmas Day For Your Relationship

Relationship research shows that buying gifts for a loved one can make you happier and, for the recipient, it really is the thought that counts.

Shopping for gifts at this time of year can be a stressful experience. There’s the crowds, the expense, and an extra special stress reserved for the desire to find the perfect gift for a loved one.

Choosing the perfect gift can feel like an ideal way to show your partner how much you love them, so it makes sense that you’d put a lot of pressure on yourself to get it right – particularly if you find it difficult to express your love in other ways .

Well, research has shown that spending money on other people can make us happier than spending money on ourselves .

So how do you choose the perfect gift?

While it might seem important to get your partner something they can keep forever, you might want to think about going for an experience instead. Depending on what your partner likes doing, consider buying them a few laps round the track in a sports car, or tickets to a new musical.

An experience like this can help you both feel closer to each other, and give

Choosing a faith

In an interfaith family – broadly speaking – you have three options about how you fit religion into your family: one faith, both faiths, or no faith.

You can choose to raise your child within the values of one set of religious beliefs and values, or, as many parents do, you can opt for a combination of the two. If you don’t want to make this decision for your child, you may also opt to set religion aside, so your child can form their own belief system .

Of the various research projects done in this area, some results suggest that a mix of both faiths is best, while others say it doesn’t matter too much as long as you are consistent and present a united front . So, as long as you work together, whatever you choose is probably going to be what’s best for you.

Faith and the transition to parenthood

Whatever your faith, it’s useful to be aware of the impact that parenthood can have on your couple relationship.

Research into how inter-faith couples have handled the transition to parenthood suggests that there are both benefits and risks to having multiple faiths in the family.

On the one hand, having children can accentuate

Loyal readership

10. Plusbaby is OnePlusOne’s new service for new parents

Our very own super-smart researcher Hannah Green gives a personal account of becoming a parent for the first time, and how she handled the transition. Hannah also talks about how our PlusBaby tool was a big help to her. Check it out if you’re about to become a new parent.

9. Having a baby doesn’t have to hurt your relationship

We’re always talking about how having a baby puts a strain on the couple relationship. And, while that’s true for the most part, it doesn’t mean your relationship has to be damaged by it. Here, we talked about how your relationship can boom as you face up to the challenges and joys of parenthood.

8. How to have a good breakup

You might think of a breakup as a crash site for the relationship. It’s all gone awry, and your relationship has careered off the road into a ditch. There’s debris everywhere, smoke and fumes, and you both need to climb out of opposite windows, wondering if the insurance will even be worth claiming.

But sometimes, if you know a relationship is about to conk out and give up the ghost, it’s possible to avoid the heavy

Partner due a date night

More than a third of couples admit that they can’t remember the last time they went on a date together.

A new survey from OnePoll has asked 1,000 people in relationships how often they have a dedicated date night together, and 39% of couples say they have left it so long that they can no longer remember the last time.

Spending dedicated time together allows you to catch up, and remember what you love about each other. It’s an opportunity to talk about the things that matter with someone who cares, away from the banalities and distractions of everyday life.

So, for the one in 10 of us who say they never manage to organise anything, and the one in five who say they only manage it twice a year, let’s take a look at why it matters and what we can do about it.

Why should we have a date night?

Those who regularly make time for date nights say that they feel happier – in fact, 78% of couples believe they are less likely to split up if they make time for each other. Date nights facilitate some of the most important aspects of your relationship, including:

  • Communication. There’s a reason we talk about

Sex and research on merriage

When psychotherapist Brett Kahr carried out a sex survey of 19,000 people in the UK in 2007, he found that 32 percent of people have sex less than once a month and that 21 percent of women and 15 percent of men do not have sex at all.

Research from the sociology department at Georgia State University suggests that about 15 percent of married couples have not had sex for around six months to a year. Denise Donnelly, who led the study, answered the following question:

Can people in a marriage that has become sexless rekindle their sex lives?

“Some do. But once a marriage has been sexless for a long time, it’s very hard. One or both may be extremely afraid of hurt or rejection, or just entirely apathetic to their partner. They may not have been communicating about sex for a very long time (if ever) and have trouble talking about it. Couples who talk over their sex lives (as well as other aspects of their marriages) tend to have healthier marriages, but it’s hard to get a couple talking once they’ve established a pattern of non-communication.

“There are mixed opinions about what to do to rekindle marital sex. For some couples,

Dating over a lifetime

Relationships aren’t born fully formed. After you and your partner get together, you continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. There will be ups and downs and all couples go through difficult phases as they adjust to these changes. But those who make it through the tough times often find themselves stronger at the other side.

As relationships develop over time, most people try to find a balance between keeping their individuality and being part of a couple. The trickiest times are usually the transitions from one stage of a relationship to the next. Being aware of how conflict can come up during these times will help you to deal with difficult times and find a way through together.

The following model is from OnePlusOne’s booklet ‘Supporting Couple Relationships: A Sourcebook for Practitioners’, showing some of the different stages a relationship might go through. Couples don’t necessarily move smoothly from one stage to another and you might find you go back and forth, depending on various life events.

If you’re going through a rocky patch, this model might help you to see that it’s perfectly normal and that things can get better. During these difficult periods, it can help to make

How to do right

Sexting can be fun, but there’s a lot to consider if you want to get it right. Learning about the risks can help keep you and your partner safe and free from undue pressure.

When we talk about sexting, we’re including anything from sexually suggestive texts to any sexually explicit message sent by text or social media, including those with naked pictures attached

Sexting is fairly common among teenagers, and even more common among young adults and university students. One report suggests that half of adolescents have been asked to send naked pictures of themselves and one in four have actually done it . These figures get higher among students and young adults

OK, so what are the risks?

You may have already heard a lot about the public concern around sexting, as it’s had a fair bit of media attention. There was even a law passed that means under-eighteens could be prosecuted for taking explicit pictures of themselves.

A study in 2012 showed that the majority of teens were not happy about being asked to send naked pictures, and girls were particularly bothered by this .

So remember this if you’re trying to convince someone to send you a naked picture. Even if you have

Planning for the future as a couple

Although money isn’t the most romantic topic, it’s an unavoidable part of any relationship. Your financial situation as a couple differs depending on whether you are married, civil partnered, or not. Married or civil partnered couples have a legal duty to support each other but cohabiting couples don’t, even after a separation.

Working out a budget can help you keep track of the money you have coming in and how much you spend. You can find a budget planner on the Money Advice Service website.

Separate bank accounts

If you are not married or civil partnered, you won’t be able to access money held in each other’s separate bank accounts. If one of you dies, any money in the account will be unavailable until the estate is settled.

If you are married or civil partnered, you can only access money in your spouse’s or partner’s account with their permission. If one of you dies, the account becomes part of the inheritance and automatically goes to a spouse or civil partner, unless the will says otherwise.

Joint accounts

If you have a joint account, you both have the right to access the money. If one of you dies, the account immediately becomes the property of the other,

Couples with a new baby

Having a baby is usually a happy event, but it’s also a major milestone that forces changes on your lifestyle and relationship.

Adding a baby into your family dynamic can stir up issues and test you to the limit. It’s normal to feel unsettled and adjusting to the new situation can naturally put a strain on your relationship.

Research shows that many parents feel less satisfied with their relationship after a baby, at least in the short-term. This isn’t surprising, since both partners are probably tired, anxious and emotional. You may also be worried about issues like money and loss of freedom, or you may be just generally overwhelmed by new responsibilities.

Becoming a parent can also bring up difficult memories. It might help to talk to each other about your own experiences of being parented, your expectations, and any feelings you haven’t yet shared. Understanding each other can help you to be more realistic and prepared for the ups and downs of parenthood.

Less time for each other

A new baby means extra work and less time for each other. It can be hard to find time alone just to talk and support each other, or to go out as a couple.

As your identity

Married in the eyes of God

In earlier times, the validity of a marriage depended on the consent of two people publicly announced or at least symbolised by the exchange of rings or love tokens.

These were spoken rituals, celebrated by the people themselves; their witness and memory of the events was evidence that made the marriage legitimate.

Among Anglo-Saxons, the Beweddung was a public ceremony led by the father of the bride. The groom and his people offered weds to the bride’s guardians – these were guarantees that the bride would be looked after.

In Scotland and northern England, couples exchanged vows (plighting the troth) by joining their hands in the handfast. They were then called wyf husband. A woman without a guardian – such as a widow – gave herself to the groom. The partners exchanged weds and rings, kissed and clasped hands and this was overseen by an orator. The man would give the woman the gift of a ring to imply a formal contract.

Married ‘in the eyes of God’

In the 13th century, Pope Innocent III declared that the free consent of both spouses was the sole essence of a marriage, not the formal solemnities by a priest or in church. A valid and binding marriage

Avoid problems after a baby

When you feel like things aren’t what they used to be in your relationship, it can be a sad time. Having a baby can bring this feeling on overnight, so it’s important to recognise and accept that all relationships change and adapt over time.

Having a baby is such an exciting time with so many positives that it’s easy to see why couples expect to feel happier together and it can come as a real shock to find that you are not getting on. But research shows that this is normal – parenthood is often the most difficult transition anyone will have to make.

Struggling with new roles

You may struggle to hold onto a clear sense of who you are when you first become a parent. You have to get used to a new identity and sometimes the other roles in your life become secondary, at least in the beginning. This includes your role as a partner.

New mums may also find it difficult to adjust to changes in their body like increased weight, stretch marks, sagging and scarring. The demands of breastfeeding can be difficult to adjust to and many new mums find themselves feeling unattractive or at odds with their body.


Money by making a will

Making a will ensures that your money and possessions will be distributed according to your wishes. When a person dies without having made a will, it is called ‘dying intestate’. Without a will, your money and possessions could be distributed in a way you may not have wanted.

By making a will, you can ensure that your estate (your money, property and possessions) is passed on in the way you want. You can nominate someone to be responsible for dealing with your will and passing on your estate.

It’s important to review your will from time to time and keep it up to date, especially if your circumstances change. After getting married or registering a civil partnership, you will need to make a new will, as any existing wills become void.

Not married or not civil partnered

Couples who are not married or not civil partnered can only inherit from each other if there is a will. And, unless your partner has specifically named you in a will, you will not be automatically nominated as their personal representative to sort out what is left behind.

Without a will, the only option for a surviving partner who feels they have not received reasonable financial provision is

Equality is good for both of you

Equality is one of the most important characteristics of a good relationship. Both men and women say their relationships are happier and more open when both partners have an equal balance of power . In an unbalanced relationship, the partner who feels disempowered may have other negative psychological outcomes, including anger, frustration, and even depression .

If you notice an ongoing unbalance in the power dynamic of your own relationship, try to be aware of any signs of aggression creeping in  and make sure you stay safe. You do not have to stay in a relationship where someone is trying to control you.

The basis of power

Historically, power in relationships was based around money – which usually favoured men. These days, most young couples have a more balanced financial setup, and this is linked to having more equality overall in the relationship . Seeking a balance in your own relationship is a good sign that you’re stepping out of the shadows of history.

Money isn’t the only factor in how people exert power in relationships. Power is also built around emotional resources like communication skills and the ability to meet each other’s needs. Someone who is stronger emotionally may be better equipped to

Tips to be a parent together

In stressful times, couples can often find it hard to communicate and may feel misunderstood or ignored by their partner.

During pregnancy and the first few months of a baby’s life both partners tend to cope better if they can find specific ways to support each other. However, you might find that you and your partner have different ideas about how to be supportive.

Some new parents, particularly mothers, might just want to vent their frustrations, perhaps expressing desperation at feeling unable to meet their baby’s needs. You might hear this and feel your partner wants you to find the answers. However, she might just be looking for reassurance that she’s doing her best and is a good mother.

What most new parents want is simply reassurance from their partner

Many parents, often fathers, feel overwhelmed by having to be the breadwinner, particular if they feel that this is their main role. They may be looking for attention or hoping to be let in more to the parenting decisions. When a parent feels left out, they may also feel angry or resentful towards their partner and the baby.

Both parents can be left feeling unsupported and unloved, which can lead to further difficulties if the

Property and moving in together

Moving in together is one of the biggest decisions you can make as a couple. Whether you are buying or renting, there are a number of things to consider and it’s important to get your legal position clear from the beginning, whether you are buying or renting.


Mortgage lenders tend to treat couples similarly whether they are married or civil partnered or not. However, some mortgage lenders require you to have life insurance as a condition of the loan and single (unmarried) men are treated as a higher risk. You can get past this issue by choosing a mortgage without a compulsory insurance clause.

If you are planning on buying a property together for the first time, you will need to decide how you are going to own the property and make this clear in the property paperwork. It is also a good idea to make a will, if you have not yet done so.

Joint ownership ensures that each partner has a legal share in the property. If you split up and the property is in only one person’s name, the other person has no legal right to a share of the property. This can be changed if an agreement is drawn