Balancing marriage and a newborn
You’re welcoming a new baby into your family. It is a joyous time for your family, but comes with many new struggles. You’re adjusting to life with a new baby, if you have other children they are adjusting, and you marriage must adjust to having a newborn as well. Balancing marriage and a newborn is difficult.
One of the most difficult parts of welcoming a new baby into the family is the adjustments to our marriages that take place. As mothers, we become so consumed by our newborn, as we rightly should, that we forget about our other relationships, including our marriages.
It takes time to make the adjustments, but it is essential for us not to put all relationships to the side. All relationships, friendships, and marriage take work from everyone to make them work. Sure, when bringing home a newborn you will have to find the new balance. You can’t expect to keep things the same as before baby, but you can’t ignore everything either.
Bringing home baby
The first few weeks home with a newborn are incredibly trying. You are adjusting to this new life, you’re running on as little sleep as possible, and you’re not comfortable in your body. Everything, from the moment you find you are pregnant, is in a state of change, but the moment your baby comes into the world so many things change all at once. A baby is born, a mother is made, your body is going through major changes or possible major surgery.
The lack of sleep and having someone so completely dependent on you nonstop, day in and day out is extremely tiring. You are being tested in ways you never thought possible. You’re running on less sleep and probably more coffee or caffeine than you ever considered possible. At the end of the day, you’re touched out and exhausted, you just don’t have the energy to put into relationships. It is a very trying time for everyone. If you have a fussy baby this can be made even more difficult.
Through it all, it is most important to remember that our time as a mother raising her children is very limited. We have 18 short years with our children before they move on. At the end of that time, you don’t want to look at your spouse and realize that they were now a stranger because you didn’t take the time to nurture your marriage while being focused on being a mother. It’s a lot to balance, but you need to find a way.
It’s a balancing act
Sure, you know it could take months to get in your new rhythm and find a new normal, but you need to actively try to find that balance. Your relationships will change and yes, everyone else needs to realize that. At that same time, you still need to try as much as possible. I am a big advocate for moms doing their own thing, and not putting more pressure on moms because we get so much of that from others. This is different though.
Your new normal with your husband will look different, but being busy with a newborn isn’t a reason to ignore them completely. Doing small things for your husband will become your new normal. Pass a compliment, a small touch as you walk past, a kiss just because. These small things will help on the busy days, to just connect ever so slightly to your spouse. You’re in this together and it’s a lot of change for the both of you.
That said, husbands need to find their place as well. They need to find a way to help with the
Your relationship with yourself
Nothing says you’re on your own with your newborn. I know how hard it can be to let go and have your husband look after them to go shower or run to the store quickly. If you’re comfortable, you can absolutely have a parent or babysitter come over and watch your baby. You can hire a nanny, or hire a house cleaner to take care of some things for you.
Don’t lose your relationship with yourself on top of all the other relationships. It is INCREDIBLY difficult, but make sure you’re doing things for yourself. Even if it’s the smallest little thing, it still counts. I don’t care if the most self care you do in the day is to brush your teeth, having a newborn is hard work.
Communication is your key
Work with your husband and communicate your needs. The worst thing I did was to ignore my needs for so long. I had completely lost myself. I thought I couldn’t be the woman I was before having a baby because my child needed so much of me. It took months before I told my husband that I was drowning and felt more isolated than ever.
You also need to listen to your husband’s needs. Does he need to sit on the couch and hold your hand at night to feel a connection? Does he want to help in some way with the baby? Find what he needs and desires, and help to accommodate those needs. You shouldn’t be pressured into being intimate with your spouse before the doctor okays it and you are comfortable, but there are other ways that you can connect with your husband.
Take the time to find your new normal, but do not let the new pressures of motherhood push you into doing something you aren’t comfortable with, but don’t let the pressure keep you from keeping relationships nourished either. It’s a tough balancing act that we all have to work out on our own. There is so much joy and happiness, but also stress. We can’t let the stress of motherhood keep us from our marriages and friendships.