In the beginning, your marriage was hot. You went out regularly, you enjoyed sleeping in together on the weekends, and you couldn't keep your hands off of each other. But once your baby arrived, things may have changed — big time. The combination of a lack of sleep and postpartum hormones have made you feel anything but attractive or attracted to your partner. Although the addition of a baby will definitely change the family dynamic, it doesn't have to mean that your once romantic marriage is over. If you want to make sure all of the air doesn't leave your marriage, you definitely need to know how to keep marriage intact after baby arrives.
Remember, you were a couple before baby arrived, and hopefully, you'll be together long after your little bundle of joy has left for college. That's why it's important to do everything you can now to make your relationship a priority. And as clinical psychologist, Jerrold Lee Shapiro, PhD, mentioned on WebMD, having a good relationship with your partner is one of the best things you can do for your child. Besides giving them a sense of security, you are also giving them positive examples of how to handle conflict and how to treat others.
Marriage is work, and kids make the job even harder, but a little attention to your relationship can make all the difference in keeping things on track.
1. Make Time To Talk
A new baby will change a lot in your relationship, and you and your partner will inevitably experience a lot of emotions (both good and bad). Make sure both of you can feel comfortable sharing your feelings. According to Parents, couples should make time to check in with each other every day.
2. Have Constructive Disagreements
According to Care.com, it's important for couples to make sure their fights are as positive as possible. Try to avoid insults and generalizations, and focus on the issue at hand. Also, it wouldn't hurt to hug it out once the fight is over.
3. Learn To Compromise
You may agree on your favorite pizza place, but you are bound to have at least a few disagreements on things that pertain to your baby. According to Parents, couples should learn to compromise on everything from whether or not to sleep train to when to start solid foods.
4. Divide And Conquer
Taking care of a new baby is a lot of work, but someone still needs to take care of the laundry and the grocery shopping. Work together to figure out a fair way to split the household responsibilities so that no one feels overwhelmed, as Parents recommended. It may not always be possible to split the work 50/50, and you both should be ok with that.
5. Don't Forget The Romance
Romance can often be the first thing to go when baby enters the picture, but as Women's Health noted, it's important to maintain a romantic relationship with your partner after pregnancy. You may not always be able to do things outside of the house, but sharing a glass of wine on the couch after baby goes to bed can be a great way to spend time together.
6. Give Each Other A Break
You and your partner may have your baby outnumbered, but don't underestimate his power to leave both of you completely wiped out. If you can't get out together, tag in and relieve your partner of parenting duties for a while. Giving each other a chance to get out with friends or catch up on sleep can help you both find some renewed energy.
7. Don't Forget To Laugh
Raising kids is serious business, but make sure you give each other something to smile about every now and then. Share a funny video or meme to give your partner a chuckle, especially if they're having a tough day.
8. Don't Forget The Small Gestures
If you thought you were busy before, a new baby will demand even more of your time, making it tough to have one-on-one time with your spouse. Leave an "I love you" note on the bathroom mirror, send a sexy text during the day, or send a surprise bouquet of flowers to the office to let your loved one know they are on your mind. A small gesture is sometimes all it takes to keep the spark alive, as mentioned on SheKnows.
9. Make Time In The Schedule For Sex
SheKnows advised couples to continue to make sex a priority, even after the baby arrives. Add time for lovin' to your calendar like you would an appointment at the dentist. It's definitely just as important.
10. Celebrate The Wins Together
Sleeping through the night, taking first steps, and saying first words are major milestones in your baby's life. Celebrate those little moments as a couple and give each other a pat on the back for making it through the tough times.
11. Remember That You're A Team
Don't waste time worrying about who's right and who's wrong. You and your spouse are a team, and it's in your best interest to work together for the common good — your baby.