Having your first child will probably turn your life upside as a new mother. Planning and preparing for your first newborn is essential, but many challenges will surface especially at the first year, and it might make things a little harder between you and your spouse. This is unavoidable whether you are a stay-at-home mum, or a working mum. Those challenges differ from one couple to another, but some are common between most couples. This is a guide for the most common issues and challenges a married couple would face in their marriage , and how to deal with them.
Most mothers feel a little clueless with their first newborn. But guess what? Dads are just the same. Therefore, plan ahead and educate yourselves on everything baby related to avoid pre-delivery stress. What to pack for the hospital, how to treat your newborn, sleeping habits, and breastfeeding are all topics you both can chat about. So many challenges and issues are avoidable when parents-to-be plan together.
What issues surface in a marriage after the first newborn?
Many new parents face issues after having their first child, some of those issues are:
1-Facing serious changes
At the beginning, you might not notice changes between you and your spouse because the both of you are so busy and focused on your newborn. But as time goes by, the both of you will not remain exactly in the same place. These changes start at a personal level for you as a new mum. You just went into labor, your body is changing from the inside and the outside, and you are probably not getting enough sleep.
The change grows to start influencing your whole lifestyle like daily routines, going out, and even the way you dress! Such core changes lead to irritation which creates endless quarrels.
Having a baby means caring for a little individual from A to Z which will consume most of your time. The amount of effort you put into caring for your baby all day long might leave you powerless to do anything else leaving your house a mess. Feeling lonely, powerless, and messy might lead to a passive-aggressive attitude that widens the gap between yourself and your husband.
One of the most critical issues that you as new parents face is providing financial stability for your little one. It is critical because it does not stop at the first year, but grows as your baby grows. The stress of providing financial stability, and facing unexpected extra payments would lead to you two lashing out at each other which is terrible.
At the beginning of marriage, couples have each other 24/7, but that changes after having a baby. Planning date nights, trips, or spontaneous outings becomes harder when having your first child. It’s not only that the planning gets harder, but the fact that you, a new mum, would rather spend time alone, sleep, or check your phone and social media. The lack of spending time together would ruin your intimacy as a couple.
5-Love and hate
New mums are very hormonal when they have their first newborn. You would become more emotional, and your mother instinct will urge you to only be there for your baby. The mixture between hormones and emotions will make you extra sensitive that you might give an impression to your husband that you actually hate him. The great amount of love for a newborn will over shadow love for anything and anyone else.
6-Conflicts in your parenting style
Many new parents oppose one another in their parenting style. For example, you want to teach your baby to self-soothe but your husband picks up the baby whenever he hears a cry. And the conflict grows bigger with time and big decisions.
Living through something as having your first child would uncover a lot of differences in both you and your significant other. These differences can be in prioritizing, personal traits, and even personal interests.
How to overcome those issues?
Overcoming those issues and any others can be done by:
Do not ignore them or avoid change, but rather work your way around it. If your body changes, deal with it. Start a healthy diet that benefits your breastfeeding. If your style changes and you just want to be comfortable, buy stylish comfy clothes like Seraphine’s floral dress – which you can wear during your pregnancy and after. Another stylish and comfy style: a 3-tiered dress and you through in a belt, leggings and a cute jacket for an amazing autumn look! Think of how much money you’ll save for recycling your maternity clothes!
Do the same as a couple and adjust yourselves to those changes.
Just keep in mind: change might be hard, but it is good when you have a precious little angel!
2-Redefining the relationship
A part of accepting change is reshaping your relationship. You and your spouse are no longer just a couple, but you are now a family. Acknowledge that this family needs your mutual nurture in order to blossom.
3-Lean on each other
Get a whiteboard and schedule tasks and chores for the two of you. Whether its steaming clothes, dishwashing, vacuuming, tasking out the trash, or baby proofing the house, do it together to know you can lean on your husband, and vice versa.
At the end of the day, before falling asleep, talk to each other and show your appreciation and gratitude for one another.
Learn here about pillow talk and how it keeps you connected.
4-Little things matter a lot
Keep the spark in your marriage through little things that’ll keep your partner’s heart warm like sending a cute loving message in the middle of the day, giving a hug for no reason, or making a cup of coffee!
5-Doing more together
Avoid doing these two things after the birth of your first baby. One, take all the control leaving your spouse out; and two, stepping aside. Do these things together:
-Get your husband this apron and cook together
-Read parenting books
–Bathe your baby
-Change the baby’s diaper
And just stick to one another. Works like a charm!
6-Embracing one another
Being different isn’t always so bad. In fact, the little differences between a couple is what makes them maintain their marriage for so long. One completes the other.
None of the above can be done without a lot of patience. Both mum and dad need to exercise patience with each other in order to be patient with their children.
Always stay positive and have faith that having your first child will bring endless joy into your marriage.
How to deal with unavoidable fights?
Sometimes fighting with your partner is unavoidable. In fact, it can be a healthy addition to your marriage because it reflects that you and your partner are communicating and showing emotions to one another instead of bottling them up. However, when fighting, make sure not to lose control during the argument and keep in mind these things:
–Is the reason worth it, and is your spouse aware of it?
–Are you complaining, attacking or requesting?
–Are you listening to your spouse?
The answers you tell yourself will help you during the fight and lead to a better outcome. During the fight, ask for a timeout if needed – and give it if asked. Don’t be too proud to apologize, and tailor your apology to fit your partner’s needs.
Keep in mind what Fawn Weaver wrote in her book Happy Wives Club:
“ No relationship is all sunshine, but once you’ve learned how to play in the rain, you’ve discovered the secret to surviving the passing storm together”
Include the dad
Some mommies-to-be make the mistake of doing all the planning by themselves. They feel safer planning with someone who has experience like a close friend or relative who has children. That is very helpful, but it is more helpful to include your husband in the process and work together as a team. How to do that? Go baby shopping together, encourage him to read for the baby, help pack him a hospital bag, and express your need for his support and love.
In short words, never forget about the dads!
Having your first child is the beginning of a great new adventure with your husband and your little family. Enjoy it, and work hard to maintain it.