So you welcome a baby, or in my case babies, into the world.
You put all your time and energy into your pregnancy, the nursery, nurturing your growing bump. It’s everything baby for 10 months!
Then baby gets here and your whole world becomes a little bundle swaddled up in that white, pink, and blue receiving blanket.
You know what you’ve forgotten in all these recent months?!
You created that little bundle with someone. Who was it? Oh yeah! That person that sleeps beside me every night!
Relationships are hard at best… Once your baby gets here, it can get waaay harder!
There can be resentment, frustration, and bitterness.
I have 5 children, so I’m pretty much a self-diagnosed expert when it comes to all things parenting (at least I keep telling myself that!)
My relationship with my current spouse is so much stronger after welcoming our babies than it was when I had children with my first husband.
I’m here to let you in on my little secrets of what keeps my relationship strong after baby….
Please don’t go into parenthood without having a conversation with your partner about your wants and needs after baby gets here.
I had my first child with absolutely no idea what I was doing or what was going to happen. Fake it ‘til you make it, right?!
I rocked this whole mama thing, but I felt like I was doing it alone. You know why?
Because my husband didn’t help as much as I thought he should and I never asked him to.
Moms seem to think they are the sole parent and their partners are there to “help.” Well, I don’t agree. We as mamas need to expect more.
The twins’ dad is amazing and we have a true partnership when it comes to parenting. We had several conversations before our sons arrival about parenting styles, night time feedings, work schedules, and pretty much everything else we could think of!
It made for a completely different experience!
It is beyond easy to get frustrated during those sleepless nights, diapers, and sore breasts.
It is even easier to take your frustrations out on your husband.
During my time as a mental health nurse, I learned the art of therapeutic communication and I have applied it to my everyday life.
You would not believe the difference talking it out has made in my relationship. Don’t push him away. You need a partner in this.
If you are not getting what you need, SAY IT! Chances are he may not even know why or what you are upset about. If mommy and daddy are happy, it can also keep baby happy!
3. Alone Time
You just had a baby.
You can’t leave, right?
That would make you a terrible mom, right? I don’t think so!
You need that time away from baby and your mate just to feel, well… like a person again. Even if you are just going for a 30 minute walk or a quick trip to Target, it can make all the difference in the world!
Relax mamas! It does wonders for your relationship!
4. Date Night
This is so important! Don’t forget about each other!
You love one another, so show it! Get dressed up, go to dinner, and don’t talk about spit up, breast pumps, or poopy diapers! This can help rejuvenate your relationship and strengthen your bond!
5. Have Sex
I feel like I can already see the eye rolls I am going to get from some moms just for typing that!
Seriously, have sex. I know you feel gross and unattractive most of the time.
You had a baby and it changes you. It changes your body, your self-image, your confidence, pretty much everything. But think about this… when you see your husband in the middle of the night with his hair all messy, drool on his face, spit up on his shirt and feeding your baby, doesn’t it make you that much more attracted to him?
Your husband feels the same way when he sees you now! He doesn’t see stretch marks and saggy boobs, he sees the mother of his child.
I was exhausted and not thinking about sex at all after I had my kids, but I am ecstatic I put the effort into my sex life. It definitely creates a bond (and keeps me from wanting to scream at him sometimes!) when you barely have time for each other!
6. Laugh With Each Other
Parenting is hard, but it is so much fun.
You get to enjoy the silly things that babies do. If you are lucky, you will witness the first time baby pees or poops on your partner.
Trust me, it’s a classic and you will get way more enjoyment out of it than you should! Control goes out the window and you kind of just have to go with it, so why not laugh it off!
We spent all those sleepless nights awake just watching silly videos or telling funny stories from our childhood. These are the moments to take advantage of and make each other laugh (basically so you don’t cry from exhaustion!)
7. Support Each Other
Let’s face it… no one knows what you are going through more than your partner.
He is there every day, fighting the good fight with you. Not everyone is a natural at parenting.
Let each other know what your fears are. If you don’t know what the hell you’re doing just tell him! If he is better at soothing baby than you are, let him!
And if he is struggling with something, please help him out. Don’t get frustrated and think the worst. I feel like this has been kind of a “me and him vs the world” kind of experience!
On a day to day basis I know that a lot of this is hard to think about. You have so many things to keep your mind occupied and it’s difficult to prioritize your relationship in this stage of life.
Just keep in mind, the longer you let things go, the harder it will be to repair.
I made so many mistakes in my first relationship and most of them stemmed from parenting. Focus on what is important for you in the long run, because nothing is ever guaranteed!
I am so glad that I realized all of these things before I had my twins.
My relationship is stronger than I ever could have imagined by remembering these simple things. I hope yours can be too!