Having a new baby is a momentous occasion, however it does not come without its challenges, from sleepless nights to trying to soothe a crying baby.
A new addition to the family means that relationships and roles shift. A husband and wife then also become a father and mother. A single child becomes an older brother or sister. These changes take some to adjust to.
A newborn baby is completely dependent on his parents for survival which means he will take up a lot of time and attention from his family. It is usually the baby’s mother that takes the primary role of caregiver, especially if she is breastfeeding her baby since a newborn baby will need to be fed often in the first few days, weeks and months following birth.
When a married couple start a family it can be very hard to maintain a healthy marriage, especially in the first few months after the new baby arrives. It is so important to be mentally prepared for this change and to proactively take steps to look after your relationship.
Here are some ways to keep your marriage healthy with a newborn baby:
Consider Marriage Counseling
Contrary to what many people think, marriage counseling (or any counseling for that matter), is not something you should only do when things start to fall apart. Counseling can be an amazing way to learn how to communicate with your partner, to understand your partner and support your partner, as well as to express how you are feeling and let your partner know what you need.
Counseling can prepare you and your partner for having a baby and it can help you to manage your relationship, learn coping skills for when the going gets tough and give you the tools you need to keep the spark alive.
Go On Regular Dates
You are both going to be exhausted after your baby is born, both from lack of sleep and from having to give another little being your constant attention.
Chances are incredibly high that the last thing you or your partner will feel like doing is going out on a date but this is exactly what you need to do.
You need to have some adult time alone with your partner without your baby to keep the connection between you strong. It can feel weird being away from your baby for the first time, so you don’t need to make it a long time or anything too exciting. A quick dinner at your favorite restaurant or a walk hand in hand on the beach will be perfect.
Get a close family member or friend that you trust to look after your baby so you don’t worry while you are out.
Continue Mutual Interests
It is so easy to get sucked into sleepless nights and endless diaper changes and stop doing things together. Make a point of continuing your mutual interests together. Yes some things will change so if for example you loved binge watching series in bed all weekend it won’t be practical to attempt continuing with that like you used to, but compromise and make one evening on the weekend series evening where you watch a few episodes together.
If you enjoyed cooking together don’t stop, you may need to take turns holding your baby but you can still be together in the kitchen making a meal.
Physical Affection Counts
While you may not enjoy the same red hot sex life that you had before your baby arrived it is still important to have a physical connection. Having sex in the first few weeks is not always practical. You will need about 6 weeks to recover physically from birth before your doctor gives you the go ahead for sex.
Make sure to keep the physical connection, a hug or cuddle goes a long way to show each other that you love and appreciate each other.
Make Time For Yourself
When a new baby comes you will have very little spare time for your relationship or anything else. It may seem selfish to try and find some alone time, but this will in fact be very beneficial not only for yourself, but for your relationship with your partner and to be a better parent too.
Having some time to yourself for some self-care and pampering, or to do something you are passionate about will do you the world of good. This will ultimately make you a happier and more relaxed person.
Try to encourage your partner to do the same and look after your baby so that he has the time and energy to take this time for himself too.