Life after baby can be a whirlwind. Between the feedings, diapers, lack of sleep, and slipping on the used nipple pads on the floor, it’s no wonder your spouse can take a backseat on the priority list. But, I’m here to give you some tips on how to keep your marriage strong after having a baby.
My husband and I got pregnant one whole month after getting married. We never lived together before marriage, so although we dated for 6 years prior, we were still getting to know each other. You can read more about our story here.
We realized being newlyweds and new parents would be a challenge, but we were up for it! My husband and I were so excited to be married and to bring our daughter into the world. And while we tried our best to prepare our relationship and communication, sometimes we fall short and just have to learn along the way.
By the way, we are totally NOT pros, but these are tried and true methods we use on a daily basis to make sure our marriage is progressing and not regressing!
How to keep your marriage strong after baby
Know each other’s love language
Before you do anything else today, you need to take the love language quiz, if you haven’t already. I swear by this love language theory. It has tremendously helped our communication and understanding of how we each like to give and receive love.
You can read more about the love language categories here. But essentially, I am words of affirmation and my husband is acts of service. I need to be told I am loved and appreciated. My husband likes when I do something for him. When there is no confusion on the types of love we like to receive, there is no resentment or feeling a lack of love.
And trust me, when you’ve had a long week with a crying baby, and your husband knows you’d rather have a love note telling you how much he appreciates you than a box of chocolates, it helps!
Enjoy the quality of time together over quantity
The truth of the matter is, you won’t have as much time to spend alone anymore. And while we unfortunately only got about 10 months of alone time, we still find ways to make the moments we do have count.
We try to schedule date nights. We hang out during the babies nap time when we are both home. When the baby goes to bed for the night, we try to make that our time. Those couple of hours of eating dessert together, drinking a glass of wine, reading, watching a show. Those two hours out of an entire day aren’t much, but we make the most of it and appreciate the time we do get.
Give each other space
Giving each other some space is just as important as spending quality time together. There are days that you will just need a few minutes or hours of you time, and your spouse will need the same.
For me, I like to go grab a coffee, run errands or get my nails done by myself. For my husband, he likes to tinker around in the shed, work on his truck or do some other boy activity.
Be patient and forgiving
Give your spouse grace. I know I have moments when it just isn’t my day. The baby wouldn’t nap, she was fussy and I end up exhausted. Sometimes I might snap on my husband. It is important to not project your negative emotions and exhaustion onto your spouse.
But since we are all flawed and have these moments, it is equally as important for your spouse to be understanding, patient and forgiving when emotions get the best of us.
This sounds silly but I’m serious. Give long hugs when you see each other and say goodbye. Hold each other while you are laying in bed. Snuggle up when you are watching a show on the couch.
These physical touch moments are so pivotal in your relationship. I know by the end of the day, after the baby has been crawling all over me, the last thing I want is for another human being to be touching me!
But, separating the “annoying” touch and the intimate touch is so important. It signals love and connection with your spouse.
My husband and I take time to do weekly marriage devotionals on Sunday nights. We did a quick google search for “marriage devotionals” and picked one we liked. There are tons out there on the internet.
Marriage devotionals use bible scripture to focus on a particular subject and pertain it to your marriage. There is usually a lesson, bible verse and then a discussion question. Devotionals really help promote communication and to solve problems focused around prayer and God.
If you are not religious, this can still be a good exercise! You could also just do a quick google or Pinterest search for marriage discussion questions and dedicate a night of the week to participate!
It was you before the kids
This is actually something we learned in our premarital counseling. We were told that children are amazing, but don’t let them consume your life until there is nothing left for your spouse.
Because without your spouse, there would be no children. Appreciate them and acknowledge them. Your spouse is your best friend, teammate and life partner. You need each other! Don’t forget it!
What do you do to help keep your marriage strong after babies?