It’s very normal and usual to notice some changes in your marriage after the first baby. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly. I mean you have just undergone a major transformation in your lives and it is only expected for your temperaments to follow suit. Whomever says everything is the same after baby isn’t being honest with you.
Below are five of many things that may seem different in your marriage after baby arrives.
- Stress due to lack of SLEEP. Do I hear an AMEN? New parents never realize how much sleep they needed until baby arrived. Like, it gets to point where you begin to wonder who needs more sleep? Mom says, well, if I am the one waking up every 2 hours to feed baby, I should be sleeping more. Dad is like, well, I have to wake up for work at 7am so technically, I need to get as many hours of sleep so I don’t get to work late and tired. The truth is you both need the sleep and can take shifts at different times so you both get enough rest. Even if you have to plan the next day’s sleep schedule in advance, do it to save your sanity.
- Work Life Balance. Mom starts to get upset when dad is constantly working after “working hours” or vice-versa. All of a sudden both of you start paying more attention to how much time either one is spending away from the family. This obviously stems from being overwhelmed with a lot to do at home with baby. Neither mom nor dad is completely wrong here because mom could use an extra hand in helping change baby’s diaper or run baby’s bath water. However, what I have noticed as a parent that can be helpful in these situations is planning ahead. If you or your spouse knows you will need to work after hours just be upfront and explain how long you will be away from the family. This way you can separate work time from having quality time with the family.
- What way is the RIGHT way? As a new mom or dad, you have almost subconsciously set-up some rules on how things should be handled with baby. Also, it is natural for the parent who’s around baby the most to feel in charge of how things should go. If this is the case politely explain to your partner how to handle certain things regarding baby. For example, explain that snack time is only at a certain time of the day not every twenty minutes or that there is a specific sippy cup used for juice. In the end, you both want the best for your child so you will come to an agreement on how things are handled in general. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Feeling Unappreciated. It is easy to feel like you are doing so much for your family and it all goes unappreciated. There is nothing wrong in speaking up and letting your partner know how you feel. Even if you have to give them a hint. Do it. It can be as simple having them acknowledge the little things you do such as preparing baby’s meals or scheduling her doctor’s appointments. As human beings, we know there is no special award given to parents for doing a great job, but, words of affirmation go a long way. Tell your partner what you need to hear to feel loved and valued during the new-parent phase.
- Less SEXY TIME. He wants more sexy time but you are tired. You are both right here. Yes, I said it. Between changing diapers, returning back to work, cooking, cleaning, feeding baby to mention a few, there tends to be less and less sexy time between you two. You have been up for hours with little sleep for three nights in a row, so sexy time is not a priority. The truth is you just have to create the time. To avoid creating unnecessary distance between you setup sexy time and add it to your mental or physical calendar. It may not be as spontaneous but it’s a great way to keep your sex life alive until you guys are back in the swing of things. You can also have a trusted friend or family member babysit one night for a few hours while you both catch up on some alone time.
Always remember you and your partner are on the same team and this transition period is temporary. It only gets better with time so embrace the journey and remember the love you and your partner shared before baby.