Are you wondering how to revamp your marriage after having a baby?
If you find that you are struggling with balancing marriage and parenting, you’re not alone. In fact, about two-thirds of couples become dissatisfied with their relationship within three years of giving birth to a child.
Couples are often enthusiastic about having babies. After all, the old notion is that kids bring the couple closer together and that parenting is one of the most rewarding aspects of life. And, while babies are sure to bring much joy to couples, there’s no denying the toll that it can take on a marriage.
If you’re searching for ways to revamp your marriage after having a child, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s our guide on how to prevent marital problems after having a baby.
1. Separate Sleeping Space for the Baby
Having a separate sleep space for your baby is an essential element to maintaining your private life, your intimacy, and your sleep schedule.
Depending on the age of the baby, this separate space may come in the form of a bedside bassinet or a different room entirely. Some pediatricians recommend the baby to sleep with the parents for the first six months before moving to a separate space.
And, while adhering to this recommendation, you can still create a separate space with the use of a bassinet. Having a space for your baby that is not in your bed shared with your partner is one of the most crucial factors in maintaining your private life and intimacy.
After all, in a house suddenly turned upside down by the arrival of a newborn, having a separate bedroom refuge for intimacy is essential.
2. Maintaining the House
Once the baby is finally born, it’s safe to say that domestic duties automatically double.
While unloading the dishwasher and vacuuming may have been a point of contention beforehand, you’ve got a whole new selection of household duties unfolding.
Putting away the toys, washing the neverending loads of laundry and feeding the baby? Paired with the stress of a newborn baby, these new chores have the ability to turn your household upside down.
What happens when you pair these newfound duties with sleeping nights and a cranky baby? Stress, bickering and a seemingly neverending messy house is often the result.
In fact, in a study targeting married men and women, keeping the house clean was one of the top three most common causes of fighting. That being said, if you can target this issue from the beginning, the odds of this fight developing into something more serious are drastically reduced.
Try a tit-for-tat chart. Each partner has their share of daily household duties that must be complete. While one partner’s duty may be to clean up the toys before bed, the other partner’s responsibility is to unload the dishwasher.
Having established duties are the best way to ensure each partner feels a responsibility to get their share done. This gives each partner a sense of accountability in maintaining the household.
3. Established Dates
You’ve heard it time-and-time-again the importance of “date nights” after having a baby.
The key is to have established date nights on the calendar with the turn of every new month. Just as your add doctor’s appointments and client meetings to your calendar, you need to begin penciling in date nights.
We know, it may not exactly ring spontaneous, but it establishes the fact that the date is set and important.
Having this penciled in ahead of time ensures that babysitters will be taken care of and reservations are made. While couples may not feel bad in canceling on one another, they are likely to feel more shame in canceling babysitters and reservations.
Remember, dates don’t always have to be after work. You can spice things up with a dates in the morning, afternoon or any other time of day that the baby may be in the care of others. Be realistic about your schedule and what is most likely to work for a date with the least amount of stress.
4. A New Kind of Sex
One of the most talked about post-baby points of contention is sure to be sex: How often you’re doing it, when you’re doing it and whether or not to do it in front of the baby.
We get it. You’re doing it half as often and it’s feel like double the hassle. And, not to mention, you may also find that you have trouble gaining your sex drive back.
In a recent study focused on sex-after-childbirth, 30% of parents revealed that they only have sex once a month and 15% revealed they don’t have sex at all.
A reduced sex life after children is normal. But, there are steps you can take to bring intimacy back into your routine. While you may feel your sex life has become close to non-existent, it’s important to voice your expectations and how to best incorporate sex back into your routine.
So, how do we incorporate sex back into the marriage when you’re tired, covered in drool and would simply rather get a good night’s rest?
You plan it. Yes, it’s not exactly sexy but it works.
Find a time that works best for you. Remember, sex doesn’t have to be at night before bed. Instead, try scheduling afternoon sex when you know the baby will be asleep.
5. Manage your Expectations
One of the most important considerations for a marriage after a baby is born is to manage your expectations with your partner and your relationship.
While spontaneity may have once been a part of the relationship, it may be time to bid farewell to that fun and exciting time -at least for now. It’s important to set realistic expectations in terms of your partner and your marriage after the baby is born. Having honest conversations with your partner on different parts of the relationship is crucial. Try Discussing:
- How often you would like to be intimate
- What you expect in your partner as a partner and a parent
- How often you plan to have time to yourself
- Who is responsible for what duties
- What role both sets of grandparents will play your daily life
- How finances are divided
Having these honest conversations upfront is crucial to managing expectations and reducing resentment and frustration.
Combating Marital Problems After Having a Baby
It’s no surprise that the majority of parents face marital problems after having a baby. While this difficulty may be challenging to avoid, there are things couples can do reduce the severity of these issues.
If you feel that your relationship is needing some extra TLC, don’t feel ashamed. Every marriage requires hard work and this is especially the case after the arrival of a baby.
From scheduling date nights to anticipating a new form of intimacy, there are simple steps both partners can make to keep the passion alive.
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