Having a baby can be such a strain on a marriage, especially in the first weeks and months of caring for a new life. Besides the sleep deprivation, healing from birth and all the new life changes can frazzle nerves and turn even the coolest people into crazy argument-starters.
Protecting your marriage is one of the best things you can do for your new little baby. They deserve to have parents who love each other as much as they love that bundle of joy. While this new stage of life can be challenging, there are definitely things you can do to guard your marriage and love your spouse well.
1. Be on the same team
Remember that you are on the same team! When you’re tired and stressed and disagreements arise, it’s so easy to think that your husband is fighting against you. Wrong! You both want what’s best for your child, even if you have differing opinions. Fight with your husband rather than against him. Fight for what’s best for your baby and what’s best for you both as a couple. That might mean sacrificing your preferences or desires sometimes, but if you have the same end goal and are fighting together, everything will end up ok.
2. Prioritize your marriage
It can be so easy to think that baby comes first no matter what, but once you meet baby’s needs, it is so so important to prioritize your spouse. This is a great habit to get into because as that baby grows and gets older, it is important for them to see that your first priority is your spouse and your second priority is your children. Of course you will love and take care of those kiddos to the best of your abilities, but remember that loving and caring for your spouse is an amazing and beautiful way to do that! Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ’s sacrificial love for the church, and prioritizing that relationship demonstrates that gospel picture so beautifully for your kids.
3. Don’t rush into sex postpartum if you aren’t ready
Typically after a vaginal birth you are told to abstain from sex for at least 6 weeks postpartum, but that doesn’t mean that you have to have sex once those 6 weeks have passed! Your partner loves you and wants what’s best for you, and while he might be chomping at the bit to be close to you, you and your body went through a huge change, and he will understand if you aren’t ready yet. Remember that you can satisfy him other ways even if you aren’t ready for sex yet! The first time after baby isn’t going to be great, but it gets better!
4. Talk about expectations
This is such a huge thing for all of marriage, even without a new baby in the house. I can’t even count how many times I have been upset with my husband all because we had different expectations. We try to start each week by discussing our expectations for what should be done around the house and what our plans are so that we are on the same page. Having a conversation with your husband before that baby comes about how much help you would like in those first couple of weeks, as well as discussing each of your responsibilities regarding the baby will help so much! Remember to keep it as a continuing conversation; once the baby comes things might be totally different than you expected! You might have thought you were going to be breastfeeding, but that might not work out. Continually and regularly talk about expectations so that you each get help when you need it.
5. Fight for adult time together!
Newborns seem to take all of your time and energy! They require feeding, burping, changing, rocking, and even more if they have colic or reflux. Remember though that babies sleep! A lot! Try to get even a couple minutes to snuggle your sweetie while your precious babe is snoozing. Prioritizing time together is important for your sanity as well as your marriage! This is when you will be able to have those conversations about expectations. As your baby gets older and has a bedtime, you’ll get more regular time together in the evenings. Just because your schedule is so crazy and dependent on a tiny baby’s sleep schedule now doesn’t mean you can toss your marriage to the side until things get more stable.
The newborn stage is a crazy, stressful, tiring, and amazing time! That baby needs so much attention and love and care in those first couple of weeks and months, but that doesn’t mean your husband can be thrown to the wayside! How did you prioritize your marriage when your new baby entered your life? What tips worked for you? Let us know in the comments below! If you have any questions, remember to Ask a Bestie!