There are so many life changes that come along with starting a family, but don’t let your relationship take a back seat to your children. You’ve got to be ready to put in some work in order to have a good marriage after a baby. Read on to learn how.
The moment that you have your first child marks a turning point for the rest of your life. Your goals and routines will no longer be yours, but your family’s instead.
While it’s true that a parent’s most important responsibility is to their children’s happiness and safety, they still have a lot of other worries, needs, and wants.
There needs to be food on the table, the chores that need to be done, and the countless maintenance of daily life. It’s a lot of work for new parents!
You can’t do it all, and you have to realize, that is okay. You can delay a few chores to spend time with your child, and just as importantly, your husband.
With a little one around, when will you ever have some lovey-dovey time with your hubby? It’s so important to value your relationship and have a good marriage even after baby arrives.
If you’re looking for some ways to keep your marriage fresh and exciting after having a baby, keep reading!
Is Marriage Really Work?
We’ve all experienced the honeymoon phase of relationships- that early period with no fights, fancy dates, and that over-the-moon butterflies in your tummy feeling. Although we’d love to hope that feeling lasts long after you’ve said “I do”, the truth is, it doesn’t.
Those feelings start to fade as real life gets in the way. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that your marriage has to take a back seat.
How to Have a Good Marriage After Baby
Once a baby comes along, there’s more laundry, more messes, and more sleep deprivation. There’s fights about parenting styles, sharing duties, and managing your time.
Maintaining a healthy marriage with your spouse after having a baby is work. If you don’t consciously make an effort to work on your marriage, it will quickly lose its luster.
Here are some simple ways to have a good marriage after having a baby and keep the spark alive.
1. Communicate Your Thoughts and Feelings Regularly
Whenever your baby isn’t crying or asleep, or maybe being taken care of by a nanny or relative, make sure to use that time to have some one-on-one with your partner. Take 15 to 30 minutes a day to just talk with your partner about their day, their worries and your plans together as mom and dad.
There are so many worries that come with having a baby. You just experienced a huge life change by converting from just husband and wife to mom and dad.
Having open communication with your spouse is key to a happy marriage. Whether you’re feeling tired, overwhelmed, nervous, or excited- let them know.
The worst thing that you can do is bottle up your feelings and emotions until you hit a breaking point. Talk with each other every day about how your day is going and your feelings on all the topics of life.
A little as 30 minutes a day dedicated to a heart to heart with your partner does wonders for your marriage and keep track of what’s important.
2. Compliment Each Other
Everyone loves to be given compliments, right? Just because you see your spouse everyday doesn’t mean you don’t need to compliment each other often.
Compliments don’t just have to be about appearance. Of course you should be telling your spouse how great they look, how you love their new hair style, or how sexy that new dress looks, but what about compliments on their new parenting skills?
Give them some affirmations on how well they’re doing as a new parent, how much the baby loves them, and how they’re doing a great job sticking to the nap schedule. Parents even want to hear that they did a great job with the diaper change or that they give the best cuddles to their little one.
3. Show Affection and Attention
Your husband and your children deserve the same love from you. Always make sure they feel cared for and noticed.
When your partner comes home, give them a kiss, a hug or even a simple “welcome home!”. This feeling of comfort makes your husband feel wanted and loved. That even with a child, they won’t be “second”. All love is equal in your home!
Attention is something that a lot of couples can struggle with in the first stretch of having a child. Dividing your attention properly is crucial to a happy marriage and keeps both you and your partner happy.
4. Dress Up
Truthfully, when you look good, you feel good. If maternity leave has gotten you to live, work, and play in pajamas, you may have lost sight of feeling sexy and fun.
Get dressed up for a night on the town or simply just to stay in. It will make you remember back to a time before becoming parents when the center of your world was each other.
5. Go on Dates
When was the last time you went on a date? You really took it for granted before having kids and now a date night is few and far between.
Make sure you set aside time for dates to just be a couple again.
One of my favorite date night activity was having a date night jar. Simply throw in some date ideas that you want to do in the upcoming months and pick out one for a designated date night.
It helps make date night fun and give you something exciting to do over just a simple dinner at a restaurant.
6. Find Trusted Childcare
For couples that are both working, you’ll need to find a babysitter or childcare that you can trust.
Taking care of a baby doesn’t have to be the parents’ job 24/7. You must realize that if you are stressed from taking care of the baby, you can associate your baby with stress.
You don’t want to cause tension in your marriage from either being worried about your child in the hands of someone you don’t trust, or not having enough help that you take it out on your spouse.
If you are able, find someone that you can trust with your baby. Candidates for people who can take care of your baby can be your retired parents, siblings, or a professional nanny.
7. Plan, Plan, Plan!
To control the chaos of childcare, make a to-do list for yourself and your husband. Split up your responsibilities for the household accordingly so that neither of you gets overwhelmed by all the baby stuff.
Not every plan works for every couple, so take stock of your own situation and plan accordingly.
Planning is a great tool to help minimize the stress of taking care of your baby. Oftentimes, most of the anxiety that comes with childcare is due to poor planning.
Being proactive instead of reactive will help you immensely in keeping your marriage active and stable.
8. Be Aware of Your Finances
Financial security is another worry of new parents. Checkups, baby formula, diapers, and all of those childcare costs can shock the unprepared.
In some unfortunate cases, some parents may even have resentment towards their children for being the cause of their financial troubles.
Every couple’s financial situation is different so plan out how you want to make financial decisions.
Do you want to mutually agree on any big purchases? Will you combine all of your finances or keep them separate? Will one spouse need to get another job to afford the additional cost of living?
With proper planning and accounting, your child doesn’t have to drain the bank. Live within your means and do not go overkill on the baby stuff.
Remember, babies grow, and if you don’t plan on having more at the moment, just buy the essentials. Your toddler will enjoy toys more than your infant.
9. Give Yourself Some Personal Time
Taking some time off is a great way to relieve stress and de-stressing can help you have a good marriage after baby.
Personal time doesn’t just apply to both of you, but it’s important to take some time off by yourself as well.
It can be watching an episode of your favorite show or a session of light workouts. What matters is that it keeps your mind clear which can in turn bring about better communication and interaction.
10. Validate and Support Their Efforts
It’s easy to feel like the world is against you when you’re henpecked by chores and responsibilities. Your partner likely feels the same way.
They are expected to earn a living for their families, spend time with their partner and child in equal measure, and find time for friends at the same time. In many ways, that’s very hard to get through.
As a partner, you need to validate your significant other’s efforts. Support them through the tough times and let them know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated.
Motivation is something a lot of people find themselves struggling to keep up when stressed. By validating each other, you can motivate your partner and give them pride for all the hard work they put in for the family.
11. Laugh with Each Other
Everybody needs a laugh now and then. Even at our most stressed, we have to remember that we can’t be serious 24/7.
You and your partner are under a lot of pressure and it can get overwhelming. To get through it, have fun whenever you can.
Movie nights or playing games, whatever can get a smile, go on and do so.
Happiness is something you have to remember even under all the stress. A lot of problems in marriage can be traced to lack of leisure time for the mom and dad to cool off, so remember to smile!
12. Don’t Forget Sex
Between night wakings with your baby, being covered in spit-up, and going crazy memorizing feeding and nap schedules, sex can be one of the last things on a new parent’s to-do list. Add to that a mother’s postpartum body insecurities and the fact that her breasts now belong to baby, moms tend to just not feel sexy after having a child.
For most couples, sex is an activity that can make or break a marriage. It’s very important to make sure that you and your husband set time aside to have sex.
If you’re just not feeling sexy because you haven’t gotten your body back, stay healthy and try out some light workouts. However, both sex and exercise are not recommended until six weeks after delivery to be truly safe.
Shower each other with compliments and don’t lose sight of what made you both decide to be parents in the first place.
Remember to take things slow. You can be sensitive after pregnancy, so don’t rush into it. If you have a babysitter, plan a day where you leave the baby with them so you and your husband can enjoy some personal time.
When it comes to stress relief and strengthening your relationship, there is no stronger relief than sex with your soulmate.
Having a good marriage after baby does take some work, but it doesn’t have to be hard. If you use these tips consistently and try to set up a daily routine or putting your marriage first, you will have a stronger relationship that ever.