There are so many challenges that come with adding a new baby to the family. The only reason I stayed sane was because of my husband after having babies.
10 Simple Ways My Sanity Was Saved By My Husband After Having Babies
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Having a baby is an incredible experience. The highs and lows are even greater than anyone can imagine before becoming a mom.
Most of us have an idea of how incredible it is to hold your baby is for the first time. I found I greatly underestimated the challenges that come with having a new baby.
Between breastfeeding problems, sleeping problems, and balancing this new role of being needed 24/7, becoming a mom is tough and brings a whole new meaning to the word “exhausted.”
Thankfully, I have a partner who was helped keep me sane when I was ready to lose my mind. Here are the simple (yet powerful) things my husband did that made a world of difference for myself and our marriage after having our babies. Maybe these are things you could ask of your husband to help make mothering a newborn a little bit easier.
1) Filled Water Bottles
Drinking water is super healthy for everyone, but it’s especially important for new and breastfeeding moms. I’m an advocate for saving money on food and drinks, so I rarely buy bottled water.
Instead, we have a few good quality water bottles that we refill. But when I was an exhausted new mama, I hated refilling my water bottles all the time. It was so hard to do with one hand (and baby was usually in my other arm).
To help with this, my husband would fill 4 water bottles with water and line them up on the counter at the start of each day. It was awesome and I’m also convinced drinking lots of water contributed to having a healthy milk supply for nursing.
2) Went Grocery Shopping
Pre-baby, I did 99% of our grocery shopping. I made the list, kept track of what we ran out of, planned the meals, and did the shopping. However, after having babies, I had zero desire to be seen in public with my tired eyes or to waste any free moment I had in the aisles of a grocery store.
Thankfully, my husband agreed that if I made the list and planned the meals, he would go to the store to get the things on the list. If he didn’t get the right thing, I didn’t make a stink about it. I was SO happy that he voyaged the grocery store and I didn’t have to.
3) Baked Lactation Cookies
Yes, for real. When I had to go back to work after my first baby, I was worried about losing my milk supply. I was relieved when I found a recipe for lactation cookies with flax seed, oats, and brewer’s yeast that helped maintain my milk supply.
Of course, as a busy, tired, working mom, baking cookies was really hard to fit in. It was one of those things that I really wanted to have but didn’t take the time to do.
I knew it was a long shot, but I was thrilled when I asked my husband if he’d bake me cookies and he said yes! During those critical first months while I was trying to ensure I had enough milk for baby, my husband baked me lactation cookies several times and to this day, it’s still one of THE best things he’s done for me.
4) Washed Bottles & Pumping Parts
House chores are one of the first things to go when you’re a new mom. Laundry hiding in a laundry room is easier to ignore, but dishes piled on the counter drives me nuts.
I strongly disliked washing all the different parts of electric breast pumps and bottles, so it was a huge time and marriage saver when my husband stepped in and shared the responsibility of washing all those parts.
5) Encouraged Buying a Vitamix
A good blender is something I had wanted to years. I ate chunky green smoothies and struggled to get my toddler to eat vegetables. So when my husband encouraged me to just buy a Vitamix blender already, I was hesitant about the investment…until I made one real green smoothie. I finally understood how people got their smoothies to look the way they do and I’ve used our Vitamix to get both my toddler and baby to eat loads more veggies.
Without my husband’s encouragement, I’d probably still be coveting a Vitamix and chewing gross chunks of kale in my non-smooth smoothies.
6) Upped Responsibility for Older Kids
Many parents, myself included, worry about the transition from one child to two. I was especially nervous how our two-year-old daughter would handle having a sibling. All she had known was a 1:1 or 2:1 adult: child ratio.
So when baby #2 was born, it was a huge help when my husband took our toddler outside to play, for walks, to the park, or even to his parent’s house for a day. This allowed me time alone with our new baby, time to rest, or time to work.
Working at home is a blessing, but it’s challenging to figure out how to work from home with a baby and a toddler. So it was a gigantic help when my husband took on more responsibility with our toddler so I only had one child to care for instead of two.
7) Communicated with His Parents
In-laws get a bad rap but I am blessed to have terrific in-laws. Like many new grandparents, they are eager to visit. My husband did an excellent job communicating with both me and his parents about when was (and wasn’t) a good time to visit.
If he had just told them to come whenever there could have been more stress involved with having visitors while trying to figure out a new human being and role as parents.
8) Didn’t Judge My Online Grocery Shopping
Like I said earlier, I really didn’t want to go grocery shopping in those first blurry months after having a baby. My husband was a gigantic help and went to the grocery store sometimes. He also helped by not judging my online grocery shopping. When I discovered I needed to buy special food for my babies’ food allergies, I didn’t want to go to several different stores or travel further to the health food store.
So instead I found places online to order food without spending a bunch of money, like Vitacost, Amazon, and Brandless.
My husband had zero snarky comments about the increase of packages at our front door, which I really appreciated. If you haven’t heard of Brandless yet, it’s an online store where everything is just $3 and you can read my Brandless review to learn all about it.
9) Told Me to Take a Nap
I really don’t like being told what to do, but music to a tired mama’s ears are the words, “Honey, go take a nap.” Enough said.
10) Listened To Me
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my husband listened to me. I admit, I complained more than I liked. I was exhausted. There was spit up all over my clothes. And I had milk leaking through my shirts. And despite all of that, he listened to me.
He heard me and helped me when I needed it. He didn’t criticize or judge me. And because of these things, we survived a level of exhaustion I didn’t know was possible–together.
It’s common for moms to get a lot of the credit and responsibility for all things baby. But, I handled the new ups and downs of motherhood so much better because of my husband. And I wanted to make sure Dads and husbands like mine get their fair share of the credit as well.
These simple yet powerful tips are things I hope to teach my son to do so he can help keep his future wife sane after they have babies.
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