7 Tips to Keep Your Marriage Strong During Parenthood
Many couples are eager to start a family when they start married life together. However, a lot of them do not realize the strain that a baby can have on a relationship. Of course, having a baby is one of the most wonderful experiences for parents but it is important not to ignore the strain and pressure that can come from having a little one.
When you have a baby, your life can be turned upside down. Everything from regular night feeds and lack of sleep through to dealing with teething or coping with the financial strain can take its toll. This is something that can affect your stress levels, your physical health, and your quality of life. It can also have an enormous impact on your marriage in some cases, particularly when it comes to your first child.
An ongoing issue
You also need to remember that this strain on your marriage is not necessarily going to be a short term thing. As your child goes from baby to toddler, you will still have a lot to cope with. Toddlers can be hard work to look after so the strain is something that could affect your marriage for a number of years. This is why it is important to find ways of keeping your marriage strong during parenthood. By doing this, you can look forward to the joys of parenthood as a close and committed couple rather than letting the strain of parenthood drive a wedge between you.
Some tips that can help
There are a number of tips that can help when it comes to keeping your marriage strong during parenthood. Keep in mind these key points:
- Work together: Looking after a baby or toddler is hard work and if it is left to one person it will cause resentment. You need to work together as a couple when it comes to looking after your child and taking on duties. If necessary, you can even come up with a rota to help keep things organized (and to ensure that you are both doing your fair share).
- Ask for support: As new parents, you should never be afraid to ask for support from family or even friends. There may come a time when you are both unavailable and it is unfair to expect one person to make the sacrifice and give up their plans. However, if you have family and friends available to help, you can avoid this situation from arising.
- Take time out for yourselves: Having a baby will keep you busy; there is no doubt about that. However, you still need to make time for yourselves as a couple otherwise it will simply increase the strain and you are more likely to lose the spark from your marriage. Plan occasional date nights, where you can enjoy spending some time together without the pressure of a baby to look after. Speak to family members to see whether they can babysit or have the baby overnight on these occasions.
- Look after one another: When you have a newborn, it is all too easy to get wrapped up in looking after the little one and forget about one another. However, it is important that you take the time to look after one another as well as the baby – after all, you will both need to bit fit, healthy, and have plenty of energy to keep up with your duties.
- Communicate effectively: One of the things that is often lost when you are caught up with looking after a baby is time to communicate with one another. However, this is particularly vital when you have a little one to look after, as there is so much to decide. From planning duty rotas to discussing changes in work routines, you will have plenty that needs to be sorted out so make sure you take time out to sit and talk about issues rather than letting them slide.
- Resist the temptation to compete: There are cases where mom and dad will both try and compete for the most attention from the baby. In a way this is natural but at the same time it can cause hidden resentment. You should therefore always work as a couple and resist the temptation to try and get one up on your partner in the baby stakes.
- Keep a hold on your social life: Yes, having a baby is tiring and you will be worn out sometimes. However, both of you should make sure that you do not abandon your social lives altogether. Make time to see friends and family members while the other parent looks after the child. This will give you some ‘me’ time and a break from the routine.
With some careful planning, lots of communication, and the ability to work together, you can ensure that your marriage stays strong even when you have a new baby or toddler to look after. This not only helps you but will make for a happier baby and a more relaxed ambiance in your home.