Find me at my new blog!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cultivating Your Marriage After a Baby {Guest post by Mary Beth}

Today I am delighted to welcome Mary Beth from New Life Steward!  Mary Beth and her husband have recently welcomed their first son, Thomas.  She, therefore, has experience I do not: being a mommy and a wife!  She has written a post with some really great, very wise suggestions for cultivating one's marriage after the birth of a baby.  This is information I will be glad I have in the future!  I hope it's a blessing to you as well.  Here is Mary Beth!

Date Night
Our first date night after Thomas was born (3 weeks).
When we bring that little one home from the hospital, we want to give them the best of everything. We nurse or buy the best formula for their little tummies. We get the fancy diapers, softest blankets, and newest gadgets. We cuddle and love and nurture that little one--giving them the best of ourselves. Some new and expectant parents wonder what is it that my newborn really needs? What is the best thing I can do for this child who now holds my heart? One of the best things you can do for your newborn really does not involve your newborn at all. Cultivating your relationship with that tiny, new person's father will have long-lasting beneficial effects on his life. You relationship with you spouse is your child's first picture of how Christ loves the church. As she grows up watching you love each other sacrificially, she will gain a better understanding of how Christ loves her. I know it seems like time is stretched thin with a million chores to be done but taking time to focus on your spouse will reap long term benefits for your family. Leave the laundry piled on the couch and the dishes sitting in the sink and spend some time with your husband. Both of you will feel refreshed and renewed if you do.

5 Ways to Focus on Your Spouse When a New Baby Arrives:

  1. Send texts and e-mails throughout the day. If you are reading this, then you likely have easy access to internet either via your computer or your smart phone. Send the love of your life pictures and updates once or twice a day. They don't all have to be about the baby. Remind him of what you love about him. Thank him for working hard to provide for you and the baby. This will help him to feel connected and involved in your day.
  2. Eat at least one meal a day together, at the table, with no TV or phones. Eating meals as a family is a lost art in our society. However, research shows that families that eat dinner together raise more successful children. It only seems logical that eating with your spouse will enhance that relationship. From the first days of his life, we laid Thomas in a reclining high chair (or his was on the nursing pillow nursing) and ate dinner as a family--even if dinner was just cold cereal. This provided a time to reconnect after my husband had been away work all day.
  3. Go on dates. Some of the best dates you will have once you enter the parent club are with a newborn in tow. Time it so that you can feed the baby and immediately head out for your date. Odds are, the newest member of the family will sleep through the whole affair. Remember, dates don't have to be expensive. Take a walk together, pack a picnic dinner, or browse Target (a favorite of ours!). Just get out of the house (I know, your mom told you not to take the baby out of the house until he was XX weeks old, it'll be okay. Just throw a blanket over the carrier. That is a universal DO NOT TOUCH sign.)
  4. Do not neglect the marriage bed. You knew this was coming right? A professor in seminary (I have a Master's in Marriage and Family Counseling from a seminary) once told us that a good indicator of the health of a couple's marriage is the health of their sex life. That's scary, huh? I know the thought of sex probably freaks you out. After all, you either just pushed out a human being or had major surgery to bring the little guy into the world. But when the doctor gives you the all clear, remember your hubby has been patiently waiting for likely over 6 weeks! Inform your husband of the need to be gentle and slow, and then enjoy the wonderful gift of marriage God gave you. Know it will take time to get back to normal, but you will get there!
  5. Pray together. Parenting is hard. Adding a child to the family is a huge transition no matter how many times you've done it. Take time to pray together for your child(ren), for each other, and for any needs you have. Also remember that thank God for the incomparable gift of your child. Even in the hardest days of parenthood, children are such a treasure.
How do you stay connected with your spouse? What are your tips for after the arrival of a baby?




Mary Beth loves Jesus, her husband, and her son. A Southern girl, she enjoys football, a glass of sweet tea, and walking barefoot in the grass. She spends most of her days collecting rocks with her son. She blogs about being a good steward of the gifts God has given her at New Life Steward. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.



Linking with: Far Above Rubies; Growing Home; Thankful Homemaker; Time-Warp Wife; Call Me Blessed; Cornerstone Confessions; Lessons from Ivy; To Love, Honor and Vacuum

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me Jaimie! I'm excited to be here!

    Mary Beth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary Beth, it was an honor to have you here. :) Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

      Delete
  2. wonderful. i just had someone write a guest post on this same topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read it! SO good! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I'll have to stop by and read that post!

      Delete
  3. Great reminders! Thanks for sharing! I blogged about marriage this week too! C'mon by Wani's World for a visit sometime! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just stopped by your blog--love it. :) I write about marriage a LOT--click on the "Marriage" tab at the top, or on the "marriage" label at the right, to see more posts on the topic! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I will head your way now!

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. I didn't write this particular post! :) But thank you, Aunt Kathy. I have some talented blogging friends. :)

      Delete
  5. Love this! I am due with our first baby any day now, so advice like this is much appreciated! I like the idea of taking the baby along on dates at first. Once the baby is old enough to be left with a sitter, it'd be great to go alone, but you can still have dates with a baby too. Thanks for all the advice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I stopped by your blog, Diana--love it! And yes, I hadn't even thought of that...a very tiny baby will sleep a lot, and if they're fed right before the date, we should be able to get through a meal without any interruptions! And how easy would it be to nurse in a dark movie theater? :)

      Delete
  6. great ideas!!!

    we did many of these (and still do!)

    as far as date nights go, I try to do "at home" dates when we can't go out. using 'nicer' dishes, dressing up at home, or cooking my hubby's favorite meal & dessert.

    or we have done silly things like "camping" in the living room and 'going on vacation" from hom when we couldn't go out. Baby #2 is due in 6 days and I plan on doing fun "at home' things with hubby until I'm up for going out again.

    here's the post about one of the "at home" dates I made up recently. we had so much fun!!!
    http://www.hopefulfuture.blogspot.com/2012/07/at-home-date-night-fake-vacation.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paula, I visited your blog yesterday--your love story is great. :)

      And I am going to read that post right now. You guys sound like such a fun couple! Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  7. We have three kids, and our youngest is almost 6 months. I can honestly say we have grown closer and more crazy about each other with each one! (Which isn't to say, of course, that there won't be hard times of adjustment - there will be!)

    I am certainly not an expert, but here are just some ideas that popped into my head:

    I think it's really important to heap praise on the new dad every chance you can. Tell him the baby is looking at him like he's the most important man in the world - because he is! Tell him he was so thoughtful to bring you that burp rag/water/magazine right after you sat down to nurse. Tell him you're so thrilled that the baby has his gorgeous eyes/smile/hair/whatever. Tell him how much you appreciate how hard he is working to support his little family. Men do things differently than we do, and he will most likely be feeling insecure about his new role - I have found that being proactive about building him up and praising as much as possible can make a big difference!

    Find ways to make sure he knows he is still your #1 priority! Try to make him a special lunch once in a while and sneak a sexy/flirty note in there. Meet him at the door with a big kiss and maybe a slightly PG-13 hug! Get him his favorite drink or snack or meal and offer it to him in the evening. Anything that lets him know that you still value him as your husband - not just the baby's daddy.

    Also, cut him some slack! He isn't going to say the right thing all the time. He isn't going to do the right thing all the time. He's probably going to be insensitive and not meet your needs the way you wanted him to. He can't relate to the crazy emotions you're having and will not bond with the baby in exactly the same way you do. Try hard (and pray hard) to LET IT GO. God made men and women different for a reason! Offer grace and try to focus on the positives. The more you look for positives - the more you will see them!

    Congrats on all the new babies! There's just nothing like laying in bed together with that little miracle between you and realizing that your love created that and you both got to be part of a miracle! God is amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Megan, these are all SUCH great suggestions! I'll really need to come back to this post when I have a baby! :)

      Delete

I love reading your thoughts and opinions!