How To Jumpstart Your Marriage After Baby

How To Jumpstart Your Marriage After Baby

How To Jumpstart Your Marriage After Baby

Having a baby takes a toll on your love life (See my post on how things change after a baby). I think way too many couples somehow think that having a baby will give them a reason to make things work but that is not a reality. It took about 5 months of bickering and sleep deprivation before Adam and I realised that we needed to refocus our attention on our marriage. We had gotten so caught up in our beautiful baby boy that we had completely forgotten about our relationship.

I was beginning to feel like the maid because I took care of a baby all day and then ended up sleeping with him in the guest bedroom so that Adam could get enough sleep to go to work in the morning. When Adam got home from work, we didn’t have the energy to have a conversation or cook dinner or do much of anything, and our relationship was suffering the consequences. I broke down in the car one day and told him I wanted to go back home because I was so miserable here. I remember him looking at me. I remember him calmly saying five words. I remember the words so clearly.

You have completely ruined me.

When he said that, my mind started racing and the tears started falling. He wasn’t being malicious and he wasn’t wrong in saying that. I was homesick and suffering from PPD and devastatingly tired. I was miserable. Unfortunately, I had no other outlet, so all of my emotions (for five months) were being thrown onto him, and I somehow expected him to pick up the pieces. Of course, that was taking his toll on him and we both finally broke. We spent a lot of time talking about our expectations for each other in our marriage. We knew we had made a mess of things and that we needed to fix it, and we did.

I’m telling you all of this because it matters. Your relationship matters. Babies can really distract you from a beautiful love. You both think you know what is best for your child and you fight about that. You had different expectations of parenthood and you’re disappointed by the reality, so you fight about that. He buys you the wrong food from Burger King and you fight about that! You are emotional and tired, so your fights are even more dramatic than they should be. Having a baby will test your relationship in ways you didn’t know were possible.

After working on our marriage and communicating, we are doing a lot better. We have learned to lean on each other and lift each other up. We communicate more and bicker less. Here are a few of the things we started working on to jumpstart our marriage and more importantly, our love!

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  1. No Phone Zone: This will sound so stupid, but literally just put down the i-things! No ipods, iphones, ipads, ilaptops. PUT THEM AWAY. There is nothing more annoying than watching something together and then looking over and realising your partner isn’t even paying attention! We try to focus an allotted amount of time per day on each other without electronics and it has really given us time to just focus on loving each other.
  2. Get Baby in a Routine: Again, this has been huge for us. Before, Hudson would go to sleep when we went to sleep which meant we spent ALL of our time with him. We didn’t have ten minutes alone because he even slept in our bed! Now, he goes to bed around 8 and that gives us a few hours to watch tv, talk about our day, and cuddle! Plus, he usually wakes up at around 10pm and Adam puts him back to sleep and that gives me half an hour of silence which I really need by the end of the day!
  3. Get Out of the House: We always felt too tired to leave the house, but now we try to take Sonny to the beach every day and get out on weekends. I am always surprised by how much better I feel once we force ourselves out of the house! A bit of fresh air and sun can really work wonders. Plus, there is usually ice cream involved in days out and ice cream makes everything better.
  4. Bow Chicka Wow Wow: Being intimate is such an important part of a relationship and it’s so easy to be too tired or just not in the mood. I know. You feel uncomfortable in your new body and your exhausted and you don’t have a minute alone, but if you aren’t ever having sex, you aren’t nurturing your relationship. They call it making love for a reason.
  5. Date Night: This can be a night in or a night out. Take a bath together, surprise him with dinner plans, make dinner together, play video games together, order two pizzas and gorge; just do something nice together. I have only left Hudson twice since he was born, but we have still found ways to have fun together. Nothing like a little spa evening at home to leave you both feeling refreshed and energised!
  6. Communicate: If you are upset about something, tell him. Solve the problems as they come and don’t let them build up like I did. You are married. You love each other. Just say what’s on your mind. He probably either feels the same or had no idea that something was bothering you. Leave him a little note in the mornings saying you love him or send a cheeky text during the day to let him know you’re thinking about him. It’s easy to feel like you’ve been forgotten once baby arrives, and he probably feels the same.

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My best piece of advice is this. Call up a restaurant right now and make reservations for tonight. Send your man a text and tell him you have surprise for him. When he gets home, take him to dinner, get a bottle of wine, talk about how you are feeling and tell him you love him so much and you just want to focus on your relationship, pay the bill and go home. It’s the little things like that that go a long way!

How do you keep your marriage alive after a new baby? Would love to hear your ideas!

Always,

Alexie

www.alwaysalexie.com

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12 Comments
  • This is a WONDERFULLY honest post. Your advice is real and you give action steps! I feel like so many of these types of posts stay in the abstract realm and don’t give readers who are struggling actual steps toward improvement.

    Thank you for being so honest and sharing your experience with me. I would love to hear updates or even more specific ways or stories of how you accomplished this daunting task. Even when you were exhausted and didn’t feel “romantic” how did you buck up and take a shower, and go out to dinner? I know it’s simple, but I am sure there were times when you didn’t feel you had the energy!

    Harvey
    hashtag-adulting.com

    • atflook@gmail.com says:

      so glad you enjoyed reading it! I hope that I can help at least a few women. And yes, as I said, the hardest part usually is mustering up the energy to put on clothes and get ready and leave the house! But I guess the reality is, you have to make these changes or you risk losing a beautiful love. I would rather man up and apologise for being nasty and take my husband to dinner than lose him. That, at the end of the day, is my inspiration.

  • Healing Mama says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I agree with all of your points. It’s easy to become a child centered marriage. While that’s a good thing, it can take a toll on the intimacy of the marriage.

  • OH words of wisdom…. 4 kids in and it’s always a race it sometimes feels like me against 5 and I can lose my mind I’m glad that Hubby knows when I need him to step in but sometimes I need to get me time or us time. 14 yrs and it’s so important to remember that without us being close well there wouldn’t be any kids Ha

    • atflook@gmail.com says:

      Thats such a good way to put it!! Kids are a blessing but they are hard work and we have to work together with our spouse! well said.

  • Sophia says:

    I agree. So many relationships start to fall apart after a baby. You have to make an effort to keep things together in your marriage.

  • Patricia says:

    Oh how no sleep and a newborn can make everyone bicker! We did so much during the first year! Took us a long time to figure this out.

  • I wrote a similar post about this-it’s important to remember that first, you were a couple, prior to being parents. This is a very truthful and brave post, and these topics need to be addressed!

  • Yes, this is SO Important! It so easy to be completely overwhelmed by all the baby business and when he finally falls asleep at night to both be completely exhausted and just hide behind your screens. I definitely need to work a bit on this as well! Thanks for writing such an honest post!!

  • Egle says:

    Lovely article! Going out every weekend became our tradition. Unfortunately, we haven’t got an opportunity to go for a date night, however, we enjoy our family weekends and it really helps 🙂

Hi, I'm Alexie Flook

I am a twenty-something year old world-traveler, turned stay at home mom! I live in Maryland with my 2 year old son, one month old daughter, beautiful British husband, and neurotic boxer dog! This space is filled with honest reviews, personal musings, and my successes and failures as a natural homeopathic mother and wif

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  • Those moments when your toddler comes over and asks you for a cuddle and falls asleep in your arms. They are so few and far between and I swear there is nothing sweeter. In the midst of the terrible twos, his peaceful slumber is always the reminder I need that he's still my baby.
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