February 26, 2013

Catholic Marriage Series: Guest Post - Keep Your Marriage on Track After Having a Baby

I've met Carolynne through the blogging world, and just found out that we were married on the same day, which I'm absolutely loving!  And I even more so love how cute her little girl is!  Carolynne wrote a list of practical tips on how to keep your marriage on track after a having a baby, so I hope all of you new mothers and moms to be appreciate the advice!
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My husband Peter and I were married in July 2011 and less than 14 months later our daughter Mary was born. She is such a blessing to our family and has brought us so much joy. But, like any baby, she takes up a lot of my time. While we were dating, engaged and first married, Peter and I spent most of our time together. We lived together, worked together and spent most of our free time with each other.

Over the past five months, I've struggled to juggle the roles of wife and mother.  Here's how I make sure my relationship with my husband remains central to our family:

1. Make time for him
A lot of new mothers are uncomfortable going anywhere without their baby, but I'm not of them.  Less than three weeks after Mary was born, my husband and I went out for dinner while my mother-in-law took care of our sleeping baby.  I'm still breastfeeding so I can't leave her for long, but even spending a couple of hours alone with Peter does wonders for our relationship. Even if you aren't comfortable leaving your baby with a friend or family member, you can still spend time together talking, praying, playing games or watching sports.

2. Shower and get dressed 
When you're taking care of a new baby, personal hygiene can fall way down the priority list.  But nothing makes me feel less attractive than spending days unwashed in my pajamas.
When I shower, do my make-up and put on something nice, I feel attractive again.  And I want to be attractive to my husband! 

3. Appreciate, don't compare 
Obviously, your husband wasn't pregnant, didn't go through labour and isn't breastfeeding. But being a new father is still a huge change for him. Assuming your husband is a good guy — and you obviously wouldn't have married him if he wasn't — he's going to try his best to be a good father and help you out in any way he can.  So take it easy on him. He is doing his best just like you're doing your best. 


And don't compare him to other fathers.  One of my friends' husbands reads parenting books, for example. Another one buys his child lots of toys.  Peter doesn't do either of those things. But he does bath our daughter every night, wash her clothes (including the cloth diapers) and play all sorts of rowdy games. Plus, he works full time.  I'm so grateful for everything Peter does for our family and I make sure that he knows it.
Carolynne is a Catholic wife, mother, former journalist and future lawyer. She lives in Northern Canada with her husband Peter, daughter Mary and three cats. She blogs about her life at Team of Three.

6 comments:

  1. what an adorable family! and great practical tips! :-) I will definitely re-read when me and my hubby to be have our first baby, that is, if God blesses us with one.
    May God bless your family Carolynne!

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  2. I liked these tips because they're so simple yet practical. My husband and I just got married in September 2012 and are expecting our baby in August this year...so I'll keep these in mind!

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  3. I really can appreciate and attest to these as well! Comparing is so easy to do - when I get run down with all the responsibilities I tend to start comparing my husband and I; it's never a good thing to start doing, I totally agree with that. Loved this list, thank you both for sharing!

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  4. Thanks, ladies! And thanks to Caitlin for letting me write for you.

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  5. I love that you included a story on this as part of the Catholic Marriage series. My husband and I welcomed our first child 6 weeks before our 2nd anniversary and adjusting to new parenthood was very difficult. Our marriage suffered. We eventually got our relationship back to a very happy, healthy place but it took time. It helps so much to have the support and advice of those who have been through it and to know you are not alone in the struggle.

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  6. I would add that not everyone has inlaws or parents that like to help with babies. So if you know of someone that has infants etc to offer to help them out one night with the baby so the couple can go on a date. My family doesn't "do" babies--so I speak from experience. I would have loved a night out alone with my hubby after baby.

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