Marriage After Baby ArrivesAlison Wood | 1, April 2013
People warned you about the changes that are happening. They even snickered and made jokes about your late-night dates and weekend excursions coming to a dead halt once the baby arrived. But undeniably so, your relationship with your spouse has changed since your little bambino arrived home from the hospital. How can you adapt to this change and how can you make the transition an easier journey?
Keep your focus.
Newborns demand loads of care-giving and large chunks of undivided attention. However, do not let this get you side-tracked from cultivating the relationship that brought this new little life into the world. It is very easy to become so centered on your baby that you neglect your spouse. Always keep the relationship with your spouse a top priority. This will ensure a more balanced and loving home for your child.
Don't stop dating!
Just because you are married with kids does not mean that it is the end of your date life. Call the grand-parents, your sister or a trusted friend to baby-sit your little one for a few hours every week. Rotate people so you are not calling on one single person to baby-sit very often. Even if they are your friends, reimburse them for their time they invested in your bambino's care and in your date-night life with your spouse. Short on funds? Have a date-night at home. After the baby is fed, changed and asleep for the night, start your date! Prepare your spouse's favorite dinner and eat outside under the stars or have a picnic on your living room floor.
Budget, budget, budget.
Did I say budget? Adding another little person to the family group can put a squeeze on your finances. Don't let diapers, formula, and baby-check-ups add stress to your marriage. Sit down and figure out your weekly and monthly income. Then come up with a basic budget for your family. Start with the major bills first: house payment or rent, car payment, health insurance, etc. Then add on grocery bills, taxes and so on. Seeing your expenses on paper let's you realize how much wiggle room you have every month for eating out, going to the movies, short excursions and other miscellaneous fun activities. If your income is not sufficient for your estimated expenses, cut back on some unnecessary things. Also, try to think of ways to save on your power bill, grocery bill or gas expenses. If you cut back on these needed expenses, there may be some extra money left over for some fun extras. Take a week to brainstorm and you may be surprised at the frugal solutions you come up with!
Look in the mirror.
Don't let your appearance slide down the drain during the baby years. Yes, you are more busy and yes you are at home most of the time, but your spouse is out most of the day and sees people dressed all the way to their shoes...not their slippers. Staying attractive will also help boost your motivation and make you feel more attractive to your spouse. The majority of parents work harder and are more challenged by their parenting role if they take time to fix their hair, exercise, shower and wear attractive clothing. Your appearance does effect your attitude!
Intimacy after a baby is a little bit more challenging, but the extra work is well worth it!
Take time to kiss your spouse during the day. Give him an extra squeeze as you walk past to change a diaper. Purposely meet his eyes during the day and give him one of your famous flirtatious looks you gave him before the baby arrived. Think about all the physical characteristics you enjoy about your spouse - his lips, eyes or hair. Musing on your favorite things helps prepare you for a more exciting rendezvous upon his return from work. Take advantage of all the newborn naps and throw on some make-up, curl or straighten your hair and slip on something more revealing than your sweats, These small little steps towards a better intimate life will strengthen your relationship with your spouse. Not only will he be happy with your initiative, but you will too as you see the positive changes it creates in this special bond.
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