People warned you about the changes that are happening. They even snickered and made jokes about your late-night dates and weekend excursions coming to a dead halt once the baby arrived. But undeniably so, your relationship with your spouse has changed since your little bambino arrived home from the hospital. How can you adapt to this change and make the transition an easier journey?
- Keep your focus. Newborns demand loads of care-giving and large chunks of undivided attention. Do not let this get you side-tracked from cultivating the relationship that brought this new little life into the world. It is very easy to become so baby-centered that you neglect your spouse. Always keep the relationship with your spouse a top priority. This will ensure a more balanced and loving home for little one.
- Don’t stop dating! Just because you are married with kids does not mean that it is the end of your date life. Call the grand-parents, your sister or a trusted friend to baby-sit your munchkin for a few hours— every week, if possible. Rotate people so you are not calling on one single person to baby-sit very often. Even if they are your friends, reimburse them for their time they invested in your bambino’s care and in your date-night life with your spouse. Short on funds? Have a date-night at home. After the baby is fed, changed and asleep for the night, start your date! Prepare your spouse’s favorite dinner and eat under the stars or have a picnic on your living room floor. For more exciting, romantic ideas for a date night at home or on the town check out this site which is dedicated to boosting romance in marriage.
- Budget, budget, budget. Did I say budget? Adding another little person to the family group can put a squeeze on your finances. Don’t let diapers, formula, and baby-check-ups add stress to your marriage. Sit down and figure out your weekly and monthly income. Then come up with a basic budget for your family. Start with the major bills first: house payment or rent, car payment, health insurance, etc. Then add on grocery bills, taxes and so on. Seeing your expenses on paper let’s you realize how much wiggle room you have every month for eating out, short excursions, shopping trips and other miscellaneous fun activities. If your income is not sufficient for your estimated expenses, cut back on some unnecessary items. Also, try to think of ways to save on your power bill, grocery bill or gas expenses. If you cut back on these needed expenses, there may be some extra money left over for some fun extras. Take a week to brainstorm and you may be surprised at the frugal solutions you come up with!
- Look in the mirror. Don’t let your appearance slide down the drain during the baby years. I know, I know. You’re busy and you enjoy being comfy at home. But what about your hubby? He is out most of the day and sees people dressed all the way to their shoes—not their slippers. Staying attractive will also help boost your motivation and make you feel more attractive to your spouse. The majority of moms are more excited about their role if they take time to fix their hair, exercise, shower and wear attractive clothing. Your appearance does effect your attitude!
- Communicate. Don’t forget to let your husband know that that you desire to to re-focus on your marriage. Voice your concerns about becoming too infatuated with your new bundle. Ask him if he feels neglected. Discuss scheduling special moments throughout the week so you can each reconnect. Always be open and honest and never hide things from your spouse. Communication is a major key in marriage success.
- Pray. Always seek God’s help to guide your marriage and family. Many times He will lead us in a different direction and show us how to navigate through the storms and difficulties. God has the power to turn your and your spouse’s heart towards each other once again. He can bring back those butterflies and chemistry you once enjoyed.
- Stay intimate. Intimacy after a baby is a little bit more challenging, but the extra work is well worth it! Take time to kiss your spouse during the day. Give him an extra squeeze as you walk past to change a diaper. Purposely meet his eyes during the day and give him one of your famous flirtatious looks you gave him before the baby arrived. Think about all the physical characteristics you enjoy about your spouse—his lips, eyes or hair. Musing on your favorite things help the romantic fires ignite! Don’t forget to take advantage of all the newborn naps and freshen up for your hubby. These small steps towards a better intimate life will strengthen your relationship with your spouse.
What do you do to cultivate your marriage after baby arrives? Share your thoughts!