Marriage is hard work in and of itself but add a baby to the mix and things are taken to a whole new level. Your marriage is bound to change when you bring your baby home (and often during the pregnancy), but that doesn’t mean that the fun and romance have to come to an abrupt halt. A little work along with some time and patience will have your marriage right back to the way it was, if not better. Your schedules, routines, and just about everything else will be affected, but the passion and romance does not have to go out the window as soon as a baby comes through the door.
Neither of you are mind readers, so when those 2 am feedings start getting to you and you are ready to kill each other over every little thing, it’s time to sit and talk. A lack of sleep and a new little person absorbing any energy that you do have makes for super cranky moms and dads who often take their frustrations out on each other. Little things that never used to bother you will now have you ready to kill each other if you don’t talk about what you both want and need.
After pregnancy, the postpartum hormones kick in and women are even more emotional than usual, and with what her body is trying to recover from, husbands do need to have a little bit of patience. Talk to her about the things that are bothering you, but don’t forget to keep her feelings in mind. And wives remember that pregnancy and parenthood have affected your husband as well; just in different ways.
You also need to be sure and discuss your ideas and goals as parents. What parenting styles do you prefer? What are some of the things you have in mind for your child? You both need to be clear on how you plan to parent and be on the same page. Vastly different parenting ideas will inevitably lead to arguments and a strained marriage.
There is no way that one of you can still do everything that you were doing before and take care of a baby. Babies may be tiny but they are demanding, and they take priority over anything and everything else that needs to be done. Take the time to discuss who is going to do what; make it as specific as possible so that everyone is clear and arguments are avoided. Discuss who is going to handle meals, house cleaning, and laundry. Discuss the baby’s care schedule, including middle of the night feedings. Most couples find that if dad works and mom stays home, it usually works for mom to wake up during the week and dad to take a turn on the weekends.
While your baby is definitely the first priority, you as a couple need time for yourselves. A night out every once in a while will do wonders for your relationship. Even a night in without your baby will give you a chance to rekindle the flame that has started to flicker out under the demands of parenthood.
It probably won’t be easy to leave baby behind, even for a few hours, but your marriage deserves it. Find someone you trust to watch your new bundle of joy while you take some time for your marriage. If going out is not an option, make time to be together after your baby goes to sleep. Try and nap when baby does during the day so that when night rolls around, you’re not asleep the moment you sit down.
Consider ordering food and watching a movie. Maybe play a game that you enjoy, work on a project together; anything that allows you to spend some baby-free time enjoying each other.
Common Problems to Watch Out For
Many couples end up fighting because overjoyed grandparents begin to overstep boundaries and think that they can invite themselves over 24 hours a day. It’s difficult to complain to your spouse about his or her parents, but respectfully voicing your concerns will make things much easier and help avoid major arguments.
If you weren’t filthy rich before you brought baby home, it’s likely that your new little one has made money even tighter. Financial stress can cause major problems for any couple; let alone brand new parents. Plan and budget together and make the best of the income that you have. Find ways to cut expenses so that the stress is not quite so high, and remember that money will always keep coming and going.
This becomes a problem for many couples after the birth of a baby. The problem is not that they don’t want intimacy – they just want sleep more. Often it is the wife who seems uninterested and the husband is left feeling rejected. To avoid sexual frustration, try planning a time for intimacy. While it may seem ridiculous, if you actually set aside a time for it, it can have a significant effect on your marriage as a whole.
Parenthood is demanding and exhausting, and since you can’t take your emotions out on the baby, you end up taking them out on each other. Don’t forget that you are still partners; you created that little one together and he or she needs you to still be a team. Be patient, be understanding, and make time to be together. Over time you will settle into parenthood and your new life; with a happy marriage and a happy baby.