Note: This guest post was written by Surabhi Surendra of Womanatics. I receive messages weekly from folks who are frustrated with their marriage after their newborn baby arrives. It can be such an amazing yet stressful time – enjoy Surabhi’s advice on how to make it joyful!
A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities. ~ Eda J. Le Shan
Your newborn baby opens up an entirely new chapter in your married life.
Often it is associated with sleepless nights, less or no time for the couple, zero sex, more conflicts and other such negative thoughts. But I personally believe a baby brings freshness to a marriage.
It adds a whole new dimension to otherwise disciplined, scheduled busy lives.
Having a baby, undoubtedly, brings a pile of expectations with it. Your sleep gets disturbed; you need extra time or a helping hand to juggle this major new responsibility; the innocent, soft young child cannot take care of itself and thus you have to watch him 24/7.
These are some of those major issues that a couple has to sort out when a new family member arrives. Still, having a cute, little bundle of joy to love is more than exhilarating.
I’d like to share with you some lessons that we’ve learned along the way since welcoming our baby in our marriage. I hope this helps your double your joy!
Understanding that baby is part of your bodies
Your egg and his semen gave birth to the baby. He is neither only yours and nor just his.
He is part of both of you and it is your love that gave him the life he took inside the womb.
It is bliss to see your baby growing into a new person slowly every day, and it gives immense pleasure to see glimpses of each of you in him.
Look at the way he opens up his eyes or twists his lips to smile or raises eyebrows while sleeping. His yawning, coughing, moving, smiling – everything he does will amaze you, especially when his mannerisms match with your own style.
From his body color to hair texture to moles to nails, baby embodies both of you. The more you try to watch him and tell yourself that this young, little piece of life has your DNA, the more you will love him and your marriage for bringing him to this world.
Baby gives you a purpose
A baby brings freshness and colors to life. Forget about those sleepless nights and the pile of dirty diapers for a while and focus on the gift of tenderness.
Every evening when you come home, you have a gentle cooing voice waiting for you. Next morning while leaving for the office, you know at least one person wants you to stay.
I understand many of you may complain about the scene that happens when kids don’t let you go or they are ready at the gate to be picked up beforehand, but I can’t believe that anyone actually hates it. It might disturb you for a few moments or make you late for a meeting but deep inside, every parent is glad that his baby does not want him to leave.
Mommy gets super busy with the baby. Baby gives her abundant love and undivided attention and yeah, he needs the same in return.
After a baby is born, both partners get a sense of purpose. Saving money, getting home on time, building healthy habits, talking softly and politely and much more – these are some of the basic good things a baby’s arrival brings in your daily regime.
Baby lets you love and respect each other more
Who would not love her husband more when she sees him happily playing with the baby? And ditto is for the husband.
When you start taking care of the baby, both of you feel a strong sense of respect and love for each other. It establishes you not only as a gentle, kind-hearted, loving and responsible human being but also makes your spouse drool over you for your simplicity and love.
I cannot forget the day when my husband pecked me on my forehead and thanked me for giving the most precious gift to him – our baby daughter.
Of course, a new baby brings challenges as well. Here are few ways to tackle some of the common issues that may surface when you bring your baby home.
Husband feels neglected
This is the most common of all and also pretty logical. Until now, you gave all your attention and care to your hubby and now there is a new man in your life, so obviously the other man will feel side-lined.
But here is the trick – playing together with the baby or sitting on the couch and watching him groove while you cuddle with each other are some of the best ways to have intimate fun.
- Try to develop a schedule for the baby and put him to sleep (whether in your bed or baby’s nursery cribs) at least an hour before you doze off. That one hour is just yours and you can use it the way you wish to.
- Sit on the bed along with the baby and give him a complicated toy to fiddle with. While he does his engineering, both of you can have your time.
- Talk about the general, light stuff while the baby is awake because as long as he is there, he will keep taking your attention away. Keep the serious matters for the evening.
- Utilize your phone. I remember how I and my hubby talked on the phone in the day time during lunch when my baby was mostly asleep and we were free. Call each other during the day.
- Let your husband rock the baby while you prepare his favorite meals or do something exclusively for him to make him feel special.
- Go for an evening stroll along with the baby. You can chat while the baby enjoys the view.
Less or no sex
If you have lost interest in sex post-delivery, it needs another post to talk about ways to re-ignite the passion. But if it is because of time, you can easily sort it out.
- Like I said above, put the baby to sleep an hour before.
- Hire a nanny or leave the baby to his grandparents for some time while you get intimate.
- Keep some time for just the two of you and do not compromise on that.
- It is actually not about zero sex, it is about zero intimacy. So the key is to get intimate and there are several ways to remain intimate without making extra efforts.
- If for some reason, you actually can not be close physically, make him feel emotionally secured by expressing your love for him.
- While sleeping, as a usual practice, baby sleeps in between. Every morning before getting up, keep a high pillow next to the baby to avoid his fall and hop on to your hubby’s side.
- Show affection. If you can’t show it physically, at least be generous vocally.
With the same amount of limited time and extra added responsibilities, it is normal for a person to feel stressed.
Babies do become sources of stress for parents at times. This stress results in conflicts. But just like other cases of arguments, these conflicts can also be resolved with mutual understanding.
- A baby is not one person’s responsibility. It is a decision that both of you took. So, men should lend a helping hand to their wives often.
- The best solution to sort out conflicts is communication. Talk about the problems and your feelings before they erupt and cause more damage. If you feel neglected, resentful or stressed out, tell your spouse and discuss the possible solutions.
- Discuss the main cause of conflict. If it’s the extra physical work that causes the problem, hire a maid or divide the tasks. If it is your rude behavior, explain to your man that it’s probably because of the various physiological and biological changes your body has undergone. Also, consult a doctor if things get serious.
Having a baby is probably the most important thing to happen in your life. Enjoy it and make it a happy time for the baby, too. His presence will not only make your marriage stronger but will also make it more playful and cheerful.
Since the birth of my 15 months old daughter, my life has changed and it is all for the good.
How do you feel about your baby? Let us know in the comments.
Surabhi Surendra lives in Andamans and blogs at Womanatics – a blog about women, relationships and inspiration. If you enjoyed this article, you may like to become a Facebook fan.