It is well-known that having a baby is tough on a marriage. The time and responsibility that babies demand will inevitably leave less alone time for the couple, not to mention the financial and mental strains that it places on the relationship. But these challenges, if approached in the right way, can be used to strengthen the relationship rather than tear it apart. More importantly, there are so many positive things that the arrival of a baby brings.
We have to work together as a team.
There is a lot more to do on a daily basis than when it was just my husband and I. There are bottles to wash, bedtime routines to follow, diapers to change, and much more. In addition, we still have to keep the house clean, go grocery shopping, cook meals–all of the “adulting” we had to do before. These tasks can add up quickly, and because a baby requires supervision during all of his waking hours, there is a narrow window of time to get everything done.
In order to keep our household in functioning order, my husband and I must plan ahead and work together. We must be a constant communication about what needs to be done and what we need help with. We have to be more versatile (and less picky) about who does what. Long gone are the days when I was always the one who did laundry and my husband was always the one that took out the trash.
We appreciate each other’s strengths more.
When we have the opportunity to take care of a little one, we discover strengths about ourselves and about each other that we didn’t know were there. I didn’t realize how many things I could do one handed or how quickly I could find a lost pacifier in the middle of the night.
My husband is particularly skilled at making my son laugh. He can do impressions of animals, sing silly songs, and tickle him in just the right spot to get him going every time. Watching a grown man act ridiculous for the sake of a smile is heartwarming and priceless.
Our “alone time” is more precious.
Between diaper changes, nap times, feedings, and entertaining the baby, it can be hard for us to find time to be alone with each other. We have a few hours to ourselves every night, after our son goes to bed. Because this time is so limited, it becomes much more valuable, and we don’t take it for granted.
We use the time to have meaningful conversations, catch up on our favorite shows, and share meals together. It’s also one of the few opportunities that we have to connect in the bedroom, making it that much more passionate and exciting.
We celebrate new milestones together.
It is such a gift, being able to share in the triumphs of our baby boy and all of his firsts with my spouse. Seemingly mundane things that we, as adults, take for granted, are presented in a totally different perspective when a baby does it for the first time.
We were so proud the first time he waved at us, clapped his hands, slept through the night, learned how to crawl, and more recently, turning one! And the best part is that there are so many more to look forward to.
We became a family.
When my husband and I first got married and bought our own house, we started feeling like grown-ups for the first time. But it wasn’t until we had our son that we truly felt like a family. Within a marriage, it can be tough to always put the relationship first and us as individuals second, but when a baby comes into the picture, there is no doubt where the priorities lay. Having a common goal brings all of us closer together and automatically transforms the three of us into a family—and our house into a home.