Focusing on your Marriage after having a Baby

Recently I had someone ask me how my marriage was doing after having a baby.  I answered them really without thinking much about their question.  But then the question lingered with me.  I was touched in a way.  After having a baby people will ask you how you’re doing all the time.  They will ask how the baby is sleeping, or how you’re handling being a mother, or just how you’re coping. But no one had intentionally asked about my marriage.

Ya’ll.  Being a brand new parent is hard and if you’re not careful your marriage can get tossed to the back burner.  My husband and I had some dark moments those first two weeks Gemma was out in the world.  But we also had some of the most intimate moments.  Our marriage is stronger now.  I love my husband deeper after weathering through those first weeks and after seeing him love our daughter so deeply.  But it didn’t happen by accident.  We didn’t coast into a stronger and happier marriage.  We worked for it, day by day, choosing to make sacrifices for each other.

Here are five ways you can intentionally focus on your marriage after having a baby.

PRAY TOGETHER.

There is something powerful and intimate and about prayer.  It brings you to your knees and into a place of humility.  In a time when emotions run high and arguments can spring up out of nowhere it’s important to remember to pray.  And specifically pray together.  Praying together allows you to see each other’s heart.

{RELATED: Prayer for my Daughter}

SPEND TIME ALONE.

Get away together.  Now, I don’t mean go on vacation.  I just think you and your husband should have intentional time with the two of you.  It might have to happen on baby’s schedule.  Dallas and I would always try to give each other attention once Gemma would fall asleep.  Even a few minutes a day could make a big difference in those first few weeks.

LIST OUT REASONS WHY YOU LOVE YOUR SPOUSE

Okay, this is going to sound horrible (unless you’ve just had a baby) but in those first few weeks I needed continual reminders as to WHY I loved and married Dallas.  Yeah.  Post Partum hormones are NO JOKE.  I couldn’t control them and sometimes when I was hurt or jealous or sad or mad or a million other emotions, I needed to take a deep breathe and write out or repeat to myself why I loved my husband.

But the same went for Dallas as well.  In his words, I was a “handful”.  He needed reminders that the emotions would pass, that he would have his wife back.  So there were times that he had to tell himself all the good things about me.  Even when I wasn’t acting any of those things out.

TRY AND EXPLAIN HOW YOU’RE FEELING
& LISTEN WHEN IT’S THEIR TURN.

This is going to sound crazy but it’s honestly how I felt.  In the pits of breastfeeding, when I was crying from pain and stress, Dallas would try to encourage me.  He would tell me how good breastmilk was for our baby, he would encourage me to push through and be strong for our Little One.  And you know what?  Instead of feeling encouraged and confident, I felt jealous.  I was jealous for my husband’s love.  I wanted him to be focused on MY feelings and MY pain… ME.  HIS WIFE.  Seriously, I was jealous of his love and wanted him to give it to me over Gemma.

As shameful as it was to admit that to Dallas, and even though he couldn’t really understand it at the time, it helped.  Speaking it out loud allowed me to hear how crazy it sounded.  But it also gave Dallas a tiny glimpse into the magnitude of my emotions.

And when he would tell me that my attitude was wearing him down, when he would admit how hard it was for him.  I would listen.  I had to.  Even if I ended up crying and needing him to comfort me afterward.

We had to continually let each other know how we were feeling and offer grace to each other.

THINK OF EACH OTHER.

Last thing.  Try, to the best of your ability, to keep your spouse and what they’re going through at the forefront of your mind.  I did my best to include Dallas in every aspect of taking care of Gemma those first few weeks because I know that’s what he wanted.

Dallas would stay up with me at night while I fed Gemma because he knew I needed that support.  I would grow bitter seeing him sleep when I had to get up to feed our baby.  So there were many nights that he would be up as well keeping me company.

 

The truth is having a baby is difficult but it is also so worth it.  I can not describe how much more I love my husband.  I hope these tips can help you through those rough few weeks with a baby!  Let me know of any great advice that you heard or practiced in those first weeks of parenthood.

-Brittany Smith-

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