Having a baby is hard on a marriage! There I said it. OK, we’ve all heard the latest research that – counter to popular belief – having a baby often decreases marital satisfaction (at least for the first few years anyway). Lack of sleep, finding balance and feeling overwhelmed, all while living in the often chaotic city of New York, can affect even the most rock-solid of marriages.
So now what? Claudia Heilbrunn of Significant Self Coaching offers some great tips to strengthening your post-baby marriage.
1. Make a firm commitment to your marriage.
2. Set aside alone time for you and your partner each week.
3. Accept outside offers of help whenever they come.
4. Create a mutual and personal support network.
5. Find a good babysitter whom you trust.
6. Listen as much as you talk.
7. Remember: moms and dads have different parenting styles, and that’s okay.
8. Remember that your partner can’t read your mind: tell him how you are feeling
9. Look for the good.
10. Compliment, support and appreciate your spouse.
11. Know who does what.
12. Let daddy have a full day and night with your child, so that he can bond with your child, learn how to do things, and gain respect for you (and you for him).
13. Take time away from your baby, so you learn to let go and let dad do his thing.
14. Look into your husband’s eyes at least once a day.
15. Don’t butt in: let daddy find his own way with your baby (especially if you want your
husband to share in the childcare).
16. If things feel really bad, consult with a marriage counselor or a relationship life coach.
17. Have sex in the afternoon, before you get too tired.
18. Do not force sex before you feel ready.
19. Have family time instead of alternating as your baby’s childcare with your husband.
20. Stop score-keeping.
21. Be honest.
22. Remember why you fell in love in the first place.
23. Remember to cuddle and kiss.
24. Practice self-care by setting aside time for yourself, and have your husband do the
same – you both need time to replenish your resources.
25. Although you may only feel the urge to cuddle with and kiss your baby, save some
loving for your spouse.
26. Be patient, change is slow.
27. Prioritize your spouse, not your parents or in-laws.
28. Aim to have a date with your partner once a week, or if need be, every other week – but no less than once a month.
29. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes when a difficulty arises (and ask that he do the same). Even if you end up disagreeing, it is important to see where he’s coming from.
30. Accept that some marital unrest is often part of becoming a parent (and a part of
married life). If you stay connected, the discord will pass, the tensions will diminish,
and you and your partner will stay united, connected and strong.
Check out Claudia’s video on Post Baby Marriage!
Claudia Heilbrunn is a certified life coach, parenting expert, speaker, and the owner of Significant Self Coaching. She helps moms who feel overwhelmed, frazzled and confused become calm and confident. Claudia is the author of the ebook, The Calm & Confident Mom: Solutions to the Top Challenges of New Motherhood.