Keeping Your Marriage Intact When A New Baby Rocks Your World

0

When I think about the experiences that have changed my life the most, having a baby definitely tops the list. During the newborn season, my husband and I went from a life of traveling, going on regular dates, and spending a lot of time with friends to learning about and caring for our precious son. We were rightfully excited to grow our family and step into the important roles of mom and dad, and while this eagerly anticipated chapter brought new experiences and joys, it also presented new challenges. Not least of these was the challenge of staying connected and prioritizing our marriage.

We knew that a healthy marriage was the foundation our family needed to thrive, but we were also overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a baby and exhausted to boot! Maybe you find yourself in the same boat, or maybe you’ll soon be going through this transition. The weighty task of caring for a newborn, coupled with the lack of sleep, is sure to affect even the healthiest of relationships. So how can you keep your relationship strong when dirty diapers, feeding schedules, and sleepless nights threaten to put it on the back burner? My husband and I didn’t do this perfectly, but we definitely found some practices that helped. Here are a few ideas!

Have a Weekly Check-In

Schedule a time at the start of each week to sit down and focus on each other for a few minutes. Go over your schedule, sharing any appointments or plans coming up in the week ahead. Then, ask each other a few personal questions, allowing each person the opportunity to open up and share what’s on their mind.

There’s no magic formula here. My husband and I used a weekly marriage journal that prompted us to ask each other the same six questions every week. Among other things, we shared what had recently brought us joy, what had been hard, and what we needed help with in the upcoming week. This time prompted us to be intentional and ensured that the distractions and demands of parenthood didn’t keep us from knowing and caring for each other. If you can take the time to get away on a date every now and then, even better!

Parent Together

Make caring for your child a joint effort. Work schedules and other factors may dictate how much each parent can contribute, but you should collaborate when possible. Go for a family stroll, read a parenting book together, or tag-team the nightly bedtime routine. Caring for your child together allows you to lighten each other’s load, learn more about each other, and experience valuable moments as a family. We still laugh about the time our week-old son sent projectile poop across the room mid-diaper change. Few things have the ability to bring you together like the high highs and low lows of parenthood!

Keep Doing Things You Love

Before we had a baby, my husband and I enjoyed doing a number of things together. Hanging out with friends, going to sporting events, and serving in our church were all staples in our relationship. The early weeks with a baby were chaotic and exhausting, but once the dust settled, we resumed our familiar hobbies and interests. Our son is a toddler now, and while it may look a little different, we still do the things we love! We meet friends for dinner (at 5:30, mind you!), go to the farmers’ market, visit our favorite breweries, and attend church on Sunday. You may have to adjust how or when you do things, but holding on to the things that matter to you both preserves the foundation you’ve already laid “pre-baby.”

Give Grace

Having a new baby is HARD. No matter how much you plan or prepare, nothing can fully equip you for parenthood. I can say for sure that the postpartum season brought out some of my crazier moments (thank you, hormones). Remember that it’s completely normal if it takes time for you and/or your spouse to adjust. Give yourself and your significant other grace as you grow in your new roles. As moms, we can be extra critical of ourselves or hold others to unreasonable expectations. Extending and receiving kindness can free us from the pressure to be perfect parents and provide the encouragement we need when the going gets tough. 

Previous articleA Birmingham Mom’s Ultimate Guide to August Events
Next articleSno-balls in the Magic City :: In & Around Birmingham
Elaine is originally from Mobile, Alabama, but Birmingham has always had a special place in her heart. She made frequent trips to the Magic City as a child to visit relatives and envisioned living here one day. She is 8 years in and loves it! Elaine and her husband Kyle got married in 2019 and welcomed their son David at the beginning of 2021. She is a proud graduate of The University of Alabama and holds a bachelor's degree in Public Relations. She has worked in the nonprofit and corporate sector doing ministry, volunteer coordinating, marketing, and recruiting to name a few! She is currently a stay-at-home-mom navigating the new waters of parenthood. Her favorite things include running, hiking, baking, and eating her way through Birmingham's amazing food scene!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here