Looking for tips on how to keep marriage strong after baby? These 10 relationship tips for new parents can help many marital problems that come from life with a newborn.
Welcome to the joys of parenthood!
No matter how prepared you may think you are, when your little one finally arrives there is bound to be a moment or two when you think, “I did not imagine it would be anything like this…”
Probably one of the main things married couples don’t expect when they have their first baby is the toll that it will take on their marriage! You would think that having a little one would draw you closer together than ever before, and in some ways, this is certainly true. But then the reality of night feeds, diaper changes and stretched nerves starts to sink in and if you are not careful you may find that your marriage begins to fray at the edges.
So, these 10 tips can help you to enjoy the first year of parenthood and still manage to keep your marriage strong after baby.
10 Tips to Keep Marriage Strong After Baby
1. Remember who came first
First it was the two of you.
You chose each other and committed yourselves to one another in marriage. So when a little one comes along, don’t forget who your first love is. Even though your time may rightly need to go mostly to the baby, especially in the first few months, it does not mean that you cannot still be there for each other in a very real, although somewhat different, way.
2. Ask for help
Let your spouse know where you need help so that you can figure out a way forward together.
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It means you are being realistic about your limitations and seeking the best way to make progress in your situation.
And don’t be shy to accept help from friends and family who offer – whether it’s doing laundry, washing dishes or changing baby’s diaper- be grateful for all the help you can get, and see it as ‘bonus’ time and energy to spend with your beloved.
3. Adjust your expectations
If it is your goal and expectation to have baby sleeping through the night in the first few weeks you are bound to be disappointed. And the same goes for all the other things that you had set your heart on doing with your first baby – whether it is breastfeeding till the age of two, or reading a bedtime story every night.
When you finally get to meet the special little somebody you may just discover that they are completely unique, with their own set of needs and expectations. So if you want to keep your marriage intact, adjust or let go of some of your expectations for each other and your baby. Instead, be open to something different but equally good or even better.
4. Look out for each other
When you have a newborn in the house it is easy to get so absorbed and focused on the baby. But, for the sake of your marriage make a point of looking up and looking out for each other.
If you notice that your wife or husband is struggling in some way, ask gently if there is anything you can do. Simply talking things through and saying how you feel can already make you feel better, simply from having been heard.
5. Be thankful for small moments
Maybe you won’t get a solid uninterrupted hour to gaze into your beloved’s eyes, but how about five minutes, or one minute for that matter?
Make good use of and be thankful for every small moment or opportunity to connect with your spouse and remind each other that you are in this together and you put one another first. And remember that your baby is growing bigger by the day, so enjoy these days of infancy while they last.
6. Express your gratitude
It’s one thing to be thankful, but actually expressing your gratitude is what changes the atmosphere and helps your marriage to remain intact while you are new parents.
A simple ‘Thank You’ goes a long way towards making each other feel loved and appreciated. Sometimes it can feel like you are slaving away at a million or more unnoticed tasks every day and the sense of drudgery can be overwhelming. Find something specific to thank your spouse for each day and you will no doubt notice how the load begins to lighten.
7. Find the funny side
There is nothing like humor to keep the bond of marriage firmly intact.
A lot of the time parenthood can be fraught with incidents that could either make you cry or laugh… so rather choose to laugh about it. After all, by this time tomorrow, or next year, you may be wondering why it was such a big deal. And if it is a really big deal, tell yourself what a good story it will make one day at your baby’s wedding.
8. Check in with each other constantly
Good communication is ultimately the key to keeping your marriage intact at any time, but especially after a baby, during that first year of parenthood. And it needs to be regular and ongoing – it’s no use saying ‘we spoke about that last week’ because a lot can change in a week or even a day. So check in with each other constantly.
Share your needs and challenges, and stay connected and close as you raise your little one together.
9. Don’t compete
Parenthood is definitely not a competition to see who can get the “best Mom” or “best Dad” certificate. Together the two of you are the best team for giving your child a good home and teaching them what they need to know in this world.
So don’t feel threatened by your differences- rather appreciate each other’s strengths and help to compensate in the weak areas. Complement each other and you will find you don’t need to compete because your marriage is complete.
10. Remember the long view
Remember that of all the parents in the world your baby got YOU, and vice versa. The first year of parenthood can seem to be taking a very long time, but in fact, before you know it your little one will be walking and then running off to school and college. So enjoy every stage while it lasts and most of all enjoy each other and always put your marriage first.
Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy, happy marriages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google+ and Pinterest.