Welcoming a new baby to your family is always a magical experience, but it’s not always an entirely positive one. You’ll get to enjoy all the wonders of parenthood, but in the process, you’ll also have to make many sacrifices.
You’ll have to deal with a lot of stress, lack of sleep, new family dynamics, and more. All of that takes a toll on every aspect of your life – and especially on your relationship with your partner.
So, when there’s a new baby in your family that takes all of your attention and focus, how can you take the time to keep your marriage strong and healthy? Let’s find out.
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Don’t be afraid to seek help
Regardless of how great your and your partner’s relationship is, when you introduce a child into your marriage, things will change. Some things will change for the better, others for the worse, and both of you will need to learn to adapt. That’s often exceptionally difficult without outside help.
Even if you believe that things are going swimmingly between you and your partner, marriage counseling can help you ensure that there are no hiccups that can get out of hand.
A counselor can help you take on the role of new parents without neglecting your and your partner’s needs. They can help you learn how to cope with the changes and solve relationship problems before they even arise. Moreover, they can help you become the best partners and the best parents you can be. So, don’t be afraid to seek their help.
Schedule regular dates
With a new baby come many new obligations – constant doctor’s appointments, frequent family visits so that everyone can meet your new bundle of joy, not to mention all the daily feeding, diaper-changing, cleaning, and more.
On top of it all, you’ll have to deal with sleep deprivation and overall exhaustion, making it easy to forget to spend some quality time with your partner.
That’s why scheduling regular dates with your partner is so critical. Don’t just casually agree to have a date then keep taking rain checks ad infinitum. Schedule at least a few dates a month and treat them like any other appointment, ensuring you don’t cancel unless absolutely necessary.
Whether the date involves romantic dinners or just a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood while a family member babysits doesn’t matter. Simply make sure that you and your partner have some time for yourselves.
Spend some time apart
While spending quality time together and going on dates even after having children is certainly crucial, so is spending some time apart. Most new parents are so consumed by their child(ren) and their family obligations that they forget to take some time to themselves. They forget who they are away from their partner and their family.
Naturally, this can worsen anyone’s mental health and impact their relationships and family dynamics.
If you want to stay healthy and happy and keep your marriage strong, you must spend some time apart. So, just like with dates, schedule at least a couple of days a month for you both to pursue independent hobbies and interests.
Sharing your responsibilities is perhaps the most crucial factor to keep your marriage strong after having children.
Even though men and women today tend to have similar financial contributions, for instance, women often take on more household and parenting responsibilities – taking care of most of the housework, cooking, and caregiving.
Disproportionately sharing responsibilities can lead to partners developing resentment toward one another, which could easily break even the strongest marriage.
Therefore, you’ll want to do all you can to share all responsibilities equally.
Of course, every relationship is different, so the labor distribution will always be different. You’ll need to come up with a plan on how to share your responsibilities that works for both you and your partner.
Remember to show your gratitude and appreciation
Finally, to keep your marriage healthy and strong after children, you’ll always want to remember to show your gratitude and appreciation for everything your partner is doing.
Acknowledge the little things – the folded laundry, the washed dishes, the changed diaper when it was your turn to change it. Show that you appreciate it when your partner takes out the garbage or when they give you a peck on the cheek before leaving for work.
How you show gratitude and appreciation will depend entirely on you and your partner. Whether you like to express your love with a nice, convenient present, a home-cooked meal, or an impromptu date, make sure your partner knows you notice and value everything they do.
While it’s certainly wonderful, introducing a new child to your family is stressful, and the stress can easily take a toll on your marriage. Fortunately, as you’ve seen from these tips, it doesn’t take much to ensure that your marriage stays strong after having children.