Are you feeling disconnected from your spouse after having a baby? Becoming new parents is a beautiful and amazing journey. It can be so bonding for relationships. But after so many sleepless nights and long days, it can also begin to feel like there is a huge gap for many partners.
This post is not from a professional who has it all figured out. This post is coming at you from a hopeful, still a work-in-progress standpoint.
A baby adds so much to life but also can shift the household dynamics drastically. Moms are often more bonded with babies as we grow them in our bellies and are normally the primary caregivers. This can make our husbands feel left out. They also may be a little intimidated by something so small. This is not always the case. Every couple is different but here are some ideas for keeping that connection going or getting reconnected after baby.
Again from a couple who is still working on it.
Quality Time And Bonding Over Baby
Date nights are promoted for a healthy marriage again and again and I do agree. But if you are in the midst of new baby life getting nights out can be really hard. Instead try to set aside time where you bond together over baby and still spend time together.
Home dates work. You can play with your new baby together and talk about the ways you feel blessed and what you see for the future. You don’t have to go all formal wear but put on clean clothes, get something nourishing to eat, and schedule the time together. Maybe you could have a themed dinner night or if you are super exhausted order food in.
Communicate Often And Patiently
With low sleep, emotions can run high and it can be hard to talk about things. Maybe you neglected to talk about how you would share tasks and handle things before the baby. Maybe you did talk about it but actually having the baby changes things and how we feel. These changes can affect your romantic relationship.
Understand that while this is a very precious time it is also an exhausting time for every family member. Be patient and try to understand each other and see each other’s perspective as clearly as you can. Don’t shut down and hold in anger or resentment will build and regrets will come later. If you struggle with expressing your needs calmly, it’s definitely one of my challenges, then now is the time to practice.
I thought this video had some great points about communication. I, like Megan, took everything on myself and did way too much postpartum. As a first-time mom, I didn’t know how much that would wear me out over time. That can lead to resentment and exhaustion fast so communicate for help and guard against it.
You and your spouse are both parents and both have responsibilities. And yes making all those meals and snacks for your toddler is intense. I pray you have a spouse that will participate in the responsibilities. If not God sees. Keep praying and try to find meaningful ways to include your spouse in the process.
Pay attention when the other is talking. And for the love of all things put down that phone and focus!
There is not much that can make one partner feel as lonely as the other partner never focusing. If you have a focus problem pay even more attention to this. It’s heartbreaking to be in a relationship that makes you feel even more alone.
Help Each Other and Show Appreciation
Parenting is hard work and a lot of responsibility. Some people seem to make natural parents and it’s harder for others but it is new and challenging for everyone. Little expressions of gratitude can go a long way in keeping peace and love.
It’s hard when you are so exhausted but try to see where you can help each other more. Maybe mom could really use a quiet shower by herself to feel fresh again. Dad can watch the baby and give her that time. Maybe Dad is having trouble bonding with the baby. Mom can help encourage the bond more by letting go of some control.
Have a plan for household chores and if neither of you has enough time with your new roles don’t be afraid to ask for help to get the family time you need. Create a priority list and figure out how you can keep things up together. Look for creative ways to get things done that need to be done. Get help so you can focus on the most important things like a strong relationship and taking care of your child.
Teh family can grow and learn together.
Give Each Other Breaks
This is about coming together and being connected but a great way to foster connection sometimes, especially during newness and stress, is to help each get breaks. Allow times when one takes over the responsibilities and the other gets free time even if it’s 30 minutes. This can make a huge difference and help each partner feel more supported. Having a new baby is hard physically but we also need to think about our mental health. We need social support. We also need some alone time.
We need to be restored. When you come back together you will be more refreshed and peaceful. Try to prioritize sleep and self-care. Sleep deprivation can be one of the biggest obstacles to joy as new parents. Try to fix it as much as you can. The housework and other things really can wait. I wish I had taken this more to heart. To stay connected you need respect for each other. That takes rest and restoration.
Remember Having A Baby Is A Lot
I thought this was a really good point from Jess Hover. As beautiful as having a child is, the birth of a child is a lot of change a lot to do, and a lot of overwhelm for both parents. We need to remember that both parents need grace and extra love. A lot of common marriage issues can get escalated after a baby.
“This is just a page in a big book.”
Healthy people make healthy relationships and are happier healthier parents so take care. Find ways to cope so there is less stress and more joy and peace at the end of the day. Little things can make a big difference.
Don’t Forget To Be Affectionate
While your sex life is on hold, it can be a great time to bond in other ways. Cuddling on the couch with a newborn baby in your arms is a different kind of physical intimacy. Find new ways to show love. Hold hands and rub each other’s backs and help each other feel calmer during this stressful time to build a healthy relationship as a family unit.
Talk about what you value and what you are grateful for. If you are brave, share your fears and what you are struggling with. Being vulnerable this way is hard but that is what builds trust and encourages deep intimacy. Don’t be afraid to cry either mom or dad.
Look at how far your relationship and marriage have come through ups and downs. Remember your dating life. Look at pictures and talk about your favorite experiences and times together. You could also share the ones that were hard for you and how you came through together.
So far you have gotten through everything together and created a new life. Think about how you are a team and act like it.
As you go down memory lane you can also talk about ideas for a new routine and how much you will enjoy taking your baby on the adventures that you enjoyed before the baby. You may miss your old life at times and that is ok but you have a better chance of being happy and hopeful for the future if you plan times for emotional connection and family outings.
Plan A Getaway Together
Plan a little local trip and take the baby with you. My husband and I had a wedding anniversary when our baby girl was two months old. We stayed in a historic house turned hotel in the city where we live. We weren’t far away in case we needed anything but it was such a beautiful break.
We held her in our laps while we ate at restaurants and I carried her in her warp while we walked around. We read and relaxed too. Such special memories.
Look for local deals. It does not have to cost much or be fancy. A short weekend doing something different like that can make you feel renewed and help you connect by sharing a new experience. Act like tourists in your city. Look for free things to do like museums and tours.
People will love seeing you out together and you may even get a free dessert like we did.
Write Each Other Notes
Writing little notes is a great way to connect and bond and show your appreciation for each other. You can leave them around the house for the others to find. One of our favorite things to do was to write on our bathroom mirror with dry-erase markers.
Some of the messages were sweet and some were meant to make us laugh. Take pictures of the ones that make you smile to remember later.
Take A Parenting Class
Whether you take an actual class or just watch YouTube videos or seminars, learning how you want to parent and the different styles can bring connection. This goes back to that teamwork. You are learning something new and doing things together.
Learning to be parents together will help you move forward with a clearer understanding of what it takes and how you want to grow your family.
Do Some Dreaming And Goal Setting
While you are bonding with your new baby set aside some time to do some dreaming and goal-setting together. If you have never done this before it can bring a stronger connection and help you know each other deeper.
If you have set goals in the past, it’s a good time to revisit those goals. You can see if anything needs to be changed now that the baby is here and how you can still reach for those goals together as a family.
Use Your Spouse’s Love Language
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman has revolutionized how many couples interact. The premise is that people feel loved in different ways and I have found this to be true. If you have not taken the quiz to find out how you and your spouse feel loved best now could be a great time to do so.
You could try doing a study together on the book and talk about your thoughts after each chapter.
Read The Word and Pray Together
This new life you have created together depends on you to be good parents and have a strong marriage. It is so important to be a united family unit. The enemy hates this bond and will do everything he can to break it.
The world wants to make couples think that their life ends when a child comes in. But the birth of a new baby is such a beautiful miracle despite the sleepless nights and new challenges. Make time for Bible study together. Maybe you have heard the phrase a family that prays together stays together.
Some of the things in this list are things that my husband and I did do that helped. Others are things I wish we had done and some we are still working on making a priority for our family.
Don’t give up.
As I said the enemy wants you to. The enemy wants to divide you. Don’t let him win. Ask for wisdom on how you can reconnect with your husband and build true trust and intimacy as you grow in this new life together. Marriage is work, parenting is work. All of it is hard work but with God’s help, we can do it.
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.Mark 3:25
With God all things are possible and hope remains.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 KJV
When you are sleep deprived, maybe carrying extra weight, and trying to learn all the things it can feel overwhelming. But God set you up as this child’s parents and what a wonderful gift. That threefold cord is you, your husband, and the Lord. And now your precious new gift- your baby. Give that baby a happy marriage and a happy home.
Don’t forget to laugh together.
Do you have a tip? Share it in the comments!
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