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When the two of you become three it is definitely a big change. Bringing a baby home changes your life literally forever. Keeping a healthy marriage can be challenging.
You suddenly have this tiny human to care for who is completely dependent on you. Everyday things may not seem as easy as they once were.
Adding a baby into the mix can definitely make things different but as long as you still keep your relationship with your spouse alive it becomes the best change ever.
First comes loves, then comes marriage, then comes a ….
When Tanner and I first got married we both knew we did not want kids right away. That may work great for some people, but we both agreed we wanted to wait a little bit and enjoy time together, just the two of us.
About 3 years in I started to feel like we needed to start thinking about it. We had sat down and made a “10-year plan” for us and babies were not quite in the picture at that time. I was currently working teaching horse riding lessons for little kids.
For more reasons than one I knew I needed to become a mother and change my career path and raise my children. A few more months went by and a little alteration in our “plan” we both felt good about trying for a baby. Once I became pregnant it then all started feeling real!
We were both excited and nervous all at the same time. I’m pretty sure those were my feelings during my whole pregnancy. The night before I had Thomas I remember leaving our house thinking “this is the last time it will be just the two of us!”
And just like that, our whole world changed! But as soon as we held that precious newborn straight from heaven we knew it would be all worth it.
5 ways to keep your marriage healthy
Parenthood can be a wild journey but we have done our best to keep a healthy marriage all while juggling a new member of the family. I am going to share a few tips that have helped us through the journey.
1. Listen to each other’s needs
Let’s face it, having a newborn baby is exhausting! Not only are we completely and utterly tired but as mothers, we have all of these crazy hormones that are causing us to feel all sorts of different ways.
And for Dad’s, there is a lot of new stress involved having to now provide for this other member of the family. Those first few weeks can be tough. You’re trying to figure out this new parenting thing and to be honest you have no idea what you are doing!
All of these new feelings can be overwhelming. Listening to each other’s needs and helping one another can be the perfect solution. This seems super simple because it is! Observing one another and asking what we can do to help is huge!
Both of you are new to this. Being there for each other shows how you are in it together and are willing to work as a team at this new chapter in your life. When you can rely on each other and receive help it will make the whole journey a million times better.
Plus, being conscious of each other’s needs will help you stay fully involved with one another. With a new baby, it is so easy to become consumed, because your baby requires a lot of time and attention, but we can then easily forget about our spouse.
We need to make sure we are meeting their needs as well. When we meet each other’s needs and help one another, we create a space where we can grow and develop into even better parents and spouses.
2. Keep dating
Dates?! What are those?
They can be pretty and far and few in between now that you have a baby. I get it! Dates just seem like one of those things that will just have to go, now that you have an infant on your hands. You now need a babysitter to go anywhere and then when you’re gone you are just constantly thinking about your baby (I am the worst at this)
So why even bother?
I know those first few newborn months are tricky and it is good to just stay home and soak in every moment with your new bundle of joy but even making a little date night at home can be fun and less stress.
Plan a movie evening or a little game night with your spouse. These simple ways can keep your relationship thriving and lead to a healthy marriage.
Once your baby gets a little older where you feel comfortable leaving him/her with a family member or friend, go out to dinner for an hour. These precious moments alone without the baby can really do wonders and also help renew your energy to better parent.
Sometimes we can feel disconnected from our spouse when we are so involved in our baby’s life and wellbeing. Making time as a couple to go on a date, however small it is will make a huge difference. Even if it’s an ice-cream cone once a month, it is worth it!
After all, dating is how it all began, so never stop!
3. Put your baby on a schedule
I cannot stress this one enough. From the time my baby was born I have always been a stickler for schedules. Maybe I overdo it a little, but to be honest I wouldn’t want it any other way. When my baby is on a good schedule and gets enough sleep, he is happier which in turn makes everyone else happier.
It also helps us be able to predict the day knowing when naps are etc and it really just gets the baby into a good routine which creates healthy habits.
The most important part of this is that my baby has a bedtime. This seriously has been the best thing for our marriage.
We know what time bedtime is and we know that after that we have the rest of the evening to ourselves. This has been so good for our relationship.
Even though I love being a mother and love my baby, I treasure the time spent with my husband in the evenings.
This is the perfect time where we can just chat. About anything and everything. We can connect after a busy day and enjoy one another’s company without our attention divided.
This one is pretty dang important. Especially in those first few weeks after having your baby. There is a lot of change and unknown, and with crazy hormones and feelings, communication tends to take the back seat.
Without communication, things can often get misinterpreted, or taken the wrong way, or simply be confusing.
We must communicate. About everything. This will help avoid any bickering or arguments. Of course, those happen as well but good communication will help quickly resolve any bumps along the way.
5. Pray together
Prayer has always played a huge role in my life. Even from when I was a little girl. Now that I am a mother, prayer is definitely a tool I don’t want to forget about. Involving the Lord in my life is a necessity for me.
Praying as a couple is also powerful and needed. We pray together morning and night and I know this helps our marriage grow and also give us the inspiration and guidance we need as parents.
Becoming parents has been the best decision we have ever made, we are loving every minute of it. These simple ways help us continue to grow a strong and healthy marriage. How do you strengthen your marriage? Comment below, I’d love to hear.
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