The birth of a baby. It can be the most thrilling and, at the same time, the most overwhelming event in a couple’s life.
From that moment on, most of your time and energy will be dedicated to taking care of your child. Some couples handle this transition with ease; for others, the demand and emotional strain of parenting can wreak havoc on your marriage.
You will have to learn to make adjustments to handle both caring for your child and keeping your marriage strong.
Understand the Changes and Challenges
Our modern society has a tendency to encourage parents to be hyper-focused on the well-being of children. This isn't a completely bad thing; we always want our children to be well-loved and well-cared for. It only becomes a problem when the marriage becomes unbalanced.
The more time you spend on your children, the less time you have to spend on your relationship as a couple. That can hurt even the most solid marriage. Ironically, though, a strong marriage is the best thing you can do for the happiness and security of your children. They receive great comfort from knowing you have a stable relationship.
This means you have to strike a balance – individually and as a couple.
As a mother, you must remember not to neglect your husband. He still needs your attention and affection. He also needs to feel involved. As a father, you must understand how your wife’s new responsibilities can leave her exhausted, stressed, and at times, even depressed. And as a couple, you must continually seek ways to keep your marriage strong and healthy.
Some Tips on How To Nurture Your Relationship as a Couple
With patience and understanding, you can strengthen your relationship. Consider a few areas and ways in which you can nurture your marriage and reconnect regularly.
Get on the same page – Quit the competition! You both have important roles to play in taking care of your children. You’re on the same team! So, instead of comparing and complaining about your different parenting responsibilities, work together to support and encourage each other.
Take time to talk, commend, and listen – Make time daily to reconnect and talk. Express appreciation, care, praise, and love for each other and the way you both take care of your family. Take advantage of a joint commute in the car or an impromptu walk. Keeping consistent and early bedtimes for your children can help you create regular communication time at the end of the day.
Keep the romance and fun alive – Small gestures add up. Make your spouse feel loved – reach out with a gentle touch or a tender kiss. Hold hands, send a note or give a small gift. Be playful and have fun. And don’t hide your affection from your children. They may think it’s amusing, but it assures them that you’re close to each other. When possible, do couple things. Enlist the help of a babysitter and have a date night. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive.
Put intimacy on the schedule – Remember that you’re lovers, not each others’ parents. Many couples believe that love-making should be spontaneous and not planned. But think back to those earlier days when going out to a party or for a romantic dinner led to love-making at the end of the evening. It might not have been acknowledged, but it was planned! When the time comes, if you're too tired or not in the mood, make it a snuggle time instead. You might want to consider making your bedroom a child-free zone. Nothing kills intimacy quicker than having a child consistently sleeping with you in the same bed.
Children Can Have a Good Effect on a Marriage
Clearly, having children has its challenges, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Raising children can make you more loving, patient, and kind. It teaches you to work together as a team and support one another. In time, you will become confident and comfortable as parents. And, if you maintain balance, having children will make your marriage stronger than ever.
A Strong, Stable Marriage Is the Best Gift You Can Give Your Children
Suggested Reading: And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives by John and Julie Gottman