208 days ago my husband and my life changed once again when we welcomed baby #5 into our home! I still remember those precious moments after Tony’s birth that I quietly got to spend with my husband. These moments in my eyes are some of the most special ones a couple can experience together sharing in the joy of this beautiful infant being brought into the world.
After a day or two in the hospital you get to bring home this beautiful infant and you soon you realize that your entire lives have been turned upside down, caring for this infant who needs your attention around the clock. It is easy to get caught up in the taking care of the baby that you quickly forget about your relationship with your spouse and only focus on feeding schedules, lack of sleep, and the fact that you constantly smell like spit up, I get it! I’ve been there many times, we have a lot of kids.
I would have to say that having a new baby in my eyes is one of the hardest times (but yet one of the most special times) in your marriage just because of the hormones, lack of sleep, and trying to figure out how to get everything done. I think it is only natural that we quickly start replacing time with our spouse with infant feedings, diaper changes, and other necessary things we need to do for our baby. So how can we care for our brand new babies, but yet continue to focus on our relationship with our spouse?
I have discovered when I focus on a few small simple things that our relationship not only stays strong, but I also get more help with the baby and the other kids, bonus for me right?! So on to the tips that can help your relationship survive your new bundle of joy!
Appreciate the Little Things
It’s so easy after having a baby to go a little crazy! I mean think about it… lack of sleep, something literally always attached to you, hormone levels are all over the place, your hair is falling out making you wonder if you will wake up bald tomorrow, and the one thing you fear the most is that someone is going to come and get your baby sick and send you back to the hospital so you become a major germaphobe! With us, as moms, so caught up with all these things, it is so easy for us to forget about the diapers our husbands changed, the trips to the store he took to get more pads because we were leaking through every shirt we owned, or the fast food he picked up on his way home from work so we didn’t even have to think about who was going to clean up after dinner. Of course, these things don’t go unnoticed by us, but sometimes we get so caught up in the moment doing other things that we don’t let our husbands know how much we appreciate them. We should take the time to verbally acknowledge how much we appreciate these small acts and let them know that they don’t go unnoticed.
Connect Each and Every day
I know what you are thinking! Trust me, I think it too! In fact, connecting each day is the last thing that I want to do, (If you don’t believe me, just read To My Husband), but it is necessary to continue to strengthen your relationship. So how can you do this when you can’t do certain things for 6 weeks according to the doctors? Well, of course, there can be lots of kissing, hand holding, and back rubs, snuggling just the two of you in between all the cries from your newborn, late night feedings, and diaper changes.
After the 6 weeks are up, make time for your hubbies, we don’t want them to be grumpy. 🙂 I know you are tired, I know you don’t want to be touched, I know all you want to do is to go to sleep, but I promise if you take this time with one another it will 1. Put him in a good mood 2. Encourage him to help more and 3. Strengthen your relationship and show that the two of you are still important to one another!
So take a nap, when the baby sleeps (no one will know, I promise). Take a shower every couple of days and make sure to make your spouse a priority too!
Kiss Criticizing Goodbye
Ask my husband, I’m Queen Bee when it comes to criticizing, but with a new baby, it is a learning experience for everyone so we need to kiss the criticizing Goodbye! With so many crazy baby things out there it is easy to be confused between bumbos and boppies. And who really remembers to point little boy parts down so you don’t get peed on at the 3am feeding? I am sure that your husband did not intend for your baby to pee through everything and on you in the middle of the night. Swaddling is an art and I’m sure you weren’t an expert the first time either, so let’s let him catch a break. So go easy on our spouses and kiss the criticizing goodbye and be grateful they are an active participant in your baby’s life trying to help make your life easier, even if it’s not the way you would normally do it.
It’s Not All About the Baby
I totally get that we all just got another demanding full-time job (a newborn!), but I am going to let you in on a little secret… Ready for it? Your life doesn’t always have to revolve around that sweet little infant. Not everyone wants to hear what color their poop was that day, or that they were awake for 3 hours 26 minutes and 15 seconds. When your husband gets home from work really listen to what he is saying, rather than half listening and half thinking when the next feeding is and what side the baby needs to eat on… Let’s make sure we allow our spouses to feel important, even with our lack of sleep and engorged boobs.
With all this being said, babies grow up so fast, so soak up their smells and kiss that soft skin. Nurse them for a few minutes longer because those moments will quickly pass you by, but just don’t forget about your spouses in the meantime. Show your spouse’s how much you love them and how grateful you are for this life that you are building together.
How are you going to show your spouse you appreciate them today?