Brooke has been the biggest blessing to our lives in the past 12 weeks and we couldn’t imagine our lives without her now. We both had a lot of fears going into the this parenting gig. How would we know what diapers to use? What diaper rash cream works the best? How do we get her to stop crying? What would her personality be like?
A million things go through your mind when you are preparing for a little one, however, preparing your marriage usually isn’t one of them. Luckily, I had some good friends that gave me advise on this subject before we had Brooke, so I was “semi” prepared for the changes it would bring. I actually like to think of it more as equipped and not prepared. I don’t think you can really be prepared because every baby and marriage is different. I just think you can equip yourself in certain ways beforehand, but ultimately, it comes down to living it.
Here are the 5 Tips for Preparing Your Marriage for Baby that I would give someone:
Just as communication is key in your marriage in general, it is even more so when your baby arrives. I have found that Kevin and I have to clearly communicate what we need. He might need 15 minutes to unwind from work when he gets home, and then give me 15 minutes to myself. Or simply saying, I need you to hold her while I make dinner or I need you to go upstairs with her so I don’t hear her cry while I sweep the floors. All of these are so important, because you can easily get overwhelmed and start blaming the other person. If only he would hold her while I make dinner, if only he would help me with he dishes.. etc.
More than likely, especially in the first three months, you are both exhausted so this is key in keeping your marriage strong and fight free.
Take time to be a couple. Put your baby in their crib for their evening nap and the two of you watch a movie together, cuddle or just talk. It is easy to both want your baby next to you every second and forget to take the time to be a couple. Better yet, let grandma or a close friend watch your baby and take a night “off”. Go out with friends, or our to dinner by yourselves. Don’t forget the individual relationship you two have.
Be A Team
Come up with a schedule that works for you two. Does dad put baby to sleep while mom gets a few minutes to herself? Does mom do the night feedings since dad has to get up early for work? Figure out what works for your life and your relationship. You know each other best, communicate what you need and rely on each other.
It will Pass
Whenever you have an overwhelming day, remember it won’t be like this for long. It will pass. Is the baby extra fussy? Tomorrow is a new day. Are you and your spouse constantly fighting this week? Next weeks has no mistakes in yet. Breathe. Relax. It will pass.
Lots and lots of prayer. Pray not only for your new baby, but for your marriage – constantly. Pray that God would teach you each how to be parents to your specific child. Pray that God would continue to grow and strengthen you individually and as a couple. Pray. Pray. Pray.
And remember. You are doing great. You will do great. I hope this helps equip you for what lies ahead, but remember every relationship is different, so find what works for you two.
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