Having babies is hard! Marriage is hard! When you combine the two, there’s bound to be trouble, especially for first-time parents. When my husband and I welcomed our first-born, Jameson into the world in the Summer of 2017, we found this out the hard way. Resentment, animosity, and arguing became so routine that we questioned whether or not our marriage would survive. Had we someone to inform us of the hardships our relationship would endure after starting a family, we might not have had such a rough go at it. If you’re wondering how to fix your marriage, then our story can offer valuable insight as well as guidance to set you on the right path.
How To Fix Your Marriage After A New Baby contains affiliate links. This means if you purchase items through my links I receive a small commission, with no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.
Since welcoming our second baby Charlee, we’re a little more seasoned and much less naive to the realities and expectations of becoming new parents. There are a number of factors that contribute to marital friction after bringing new life into the world, so it’s not surprising that there’s more than one solution. On that note, these are my recommendations for how to fix your marriage after having a new baby.
Problem #1: No Sleep ‘Til You’re Dead!
When considering how to fix your marriage after becoming new parents, it’s important to first understand why it’s falling apart. When it comes to lack of sleep, there are no words to express how tired you’ll actually be. For many moms, it starts BEFORE even bringing baby home from the hospital. Laboring for hours, being heavily drugged, and nurses coming in and out of your room all night, all contribute to the exhaustion. And that’s just the beginning. Sure, you’re warned about this from the time you conceive, but there’s no real way to prepare yourself for it. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to recharge your batteries.
How To Fix Your Marriage Solution #1: Get Some Sleep!
Now, I realize this is much easier said than done. With around-the-clock feedings and diaper changes, you’re lucky if you get more than an hour or two at a time. Here’s where you’ll need to follow the old adage of “sleep when the baby sleeps”. I can’t stress this enough. I know it feels like the time baby is sleeping should be used to catch up on chores and emails, but all that can wait. If ever there was a time to sleep, it’s now! There’s no doubt my husband and I spread ourselves too thin in the beginning, and as a result, began arguing and bickering more frequently.
After some trial and error, and learning a little more about our baby, we were able to work out a sleep schedule that benefited both of us. It was hard in the beginning since I was the only one who could feed him, but after weeks of poor sleep, something had to give. We started alternating who gets up with the baby in the morning, and it really worked for us. When one of us was starting to feel the effects of sleep deprivation, we could find comfort in knowing we wouldn’t have to go longer than a day without restorative sleep. How did we do it you ask? Well, that brings me to my next tip for how to fix your marriage after a new baby.
How To Fix Your Marriage Solution #2: Get Your Baby To Take A Bottle
Now, I know this is a controversial topic for many moms due to nipple confusion and bonding, etc. However, if you can get your baby to take a bottle, daddy can aid with feedings to take some of that burden away from mom. If your baby is formula-fed, obviously this makes it much easier, but if they’re exclusively breastfed, you will need to start pumping between feedings. If the sleep deprivation is bad enough, it’s worth the extra time during the day for the extra time you’ll get back at night. Not to mention, it’s never a bad thing to have a reserve in the freezer!
How To Fix Your Marriage Money-Saving Pumping Tip:
Rather than spending money on expensive pumping bras, cut slits in an old sports bra instead. Boom! Instant pumping bra that works like a charm!
These types of things take time to work out in the beginning. Every day is a learning experience with a new baby. By the time we established a bottle routine and sleep schedule, we were already at each other’s throats. As I said before, babies are hard. Be sure to afford each other time to adjust because if you’ve never seen your spouse on the brink of a mental breakdown, then buckle up, honey, because it ain’t pretty!
How To Fix Your Marriage Solution #3: Be Patient And Prepared To See A Monster
You’d be surprised what too little sleep and too much stress can do to a person. Irritability, mood swings, anger, depression, lack of focus, and monster-itis are just a few of the effects stress and exhaustion can have on your body. Okay, maybe not the last one, but you get my point. It brings out the worst in us! You’ll definitely see parts of your spouse you’ve never seen before. It took a lot of tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness to get through some days. Had we not shown so much patience with each other (even though it seemed like we had none at the time), who knows how things might have turned out.
After weeks of just a few hours of sleep a night, we were fighting like Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, only without the animal magnetism. At one point, we even had it out while my mother-in-law was visiting from across the country. It wasn’t our finest moment. In retrospect, the added stress of having guests probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but I can’t say we were thinking very clearly at the time. It’s obvious that lack of sleep can cause tension after a new baby, but it’s compounded even more by the fact that you no longer have any personal time to recharge and de-escalate.
How To Fix Your Marriage Postpartum Recovery Tip:
Stress and lack of sleep can intensify symptoms of post-partum depression and anxiety. Don’t be afraid to seek a doctor’s help if things become too much to handle.
Problem #2. No Life
While there’s no single answer for how to fix your marriage after a new baby, there are things you can do to better prepare yourself for the complete lifestyle change. For us, life as we knew it would never be the same. Weekly date nights became a thing of the past and doing things “on a whim” now required meticulous planning. Sure, to a degree we knew this would happen, but I don’t think either of us fully grasped the magnitude of it. We quickly realized we had to do something to shake the shut-in feeling.
How To Fix Your Marriage Solution #4: Get A Life!
My husband has always worked from home. When I became a stay-at-home mom, it was quite the adjustment spending every hour of the day with one another. Add a needy baby to the scenario and soon neither of us had any time to ourselves anymore, something we took for granted before parenthood. Even showers were spaced out longer than we’d care to admit. Before we knew it, restlessness had set in. With nowhere to go and no one to vent to, we quickly became each other’s worst enemies.
We needed some time apart. We started taking turns staying home with the baby so the other could get out of the house. Sometimes, it was just for a walk or trip to the store, and other times, a night out with friends. This helped immensely! Getting the chance to miss each other ended up bringing us closer together. After a while, we started enjoying each other’s company again. It wasn’t long before our relationship started to resemble something familiar.
Problem #3: Low “Sex-pectations”
Examining your sex life is a necessary step when pondering how to fix your marriage. For most new moms, sex is the last thing on our minds. Hormones, lack of sleep, and stress do a number on our sex drives, not to mention the 6-8 week period it takes to properly heal from pushing a baby out of your loins. Moms undergo a huge transition after giving birth and it can be a really vulnerable time adjusting to our new postpartum bodies and responsibilities.
How To Fix Your Marriage Solution #5: Make A Little Love
When considering how to fix your marriage, you may want to think about the last time you connected physically. It’s no secret how important sex is in a marriage. While mom might not be thinking about it for a while, you can bet dad still is. Sure, your new baby is the most important thing in the world, but it’s imperative that when you get that green light from your doctor, you make a little time for intimacy. As ridiculous as it sounds, mark it on the calendar. Whatever you do, make it a priority. When things finally settle down, you’ll be glad you did.
Problem #4: Resentment
If you’re wondering how to fix your marriage after a new baby, start first by looking at what YOU can do to better the situation. New babies are a lot of work. Sure, dad can help with diaper changes and baths, but for the most part, the majority of the responsibility will fall on you, mom. It’s best to just accept this early on to avoid any unnecessary animosity. When you start to feel like a sleep-deprived, run-ragged, milk-machine, you may be inclined to take it out on dad. But it’s not his fault.
How To Fix Your Marriage Solution #6: Accept And Embrace
Motherhood is a miracle, and while it certainly doesn’t feel that way at times, it’s best to just embrace it and count your blessings. Cherish the time you have with your little one because you’ll never get it back. Relish in the moments they’re strapped to your chest because one day they’ll yearn for their independence. Accepting early on that you’ll be doing most of the work (at least in the beginning) will do your marriage and your attitude a world of good.
How To Fix Your Marriage Pro Mom Tip:
Don’t let the first couple of months with your newborn discourage you. It’s always hard in the beginning. Babies grow fast and things get much easier with time!
Problem #5: Loss Of Tact
With all the stress, hormonal fluctuations, exhaustion, and change that comes along with having a new baby, it’s no wonder we’re so quick to lose our tempers and any patience we may have had in our reserves. When everything piles up, we have to work extra hard to say things with tact, keep things civil, and be respectful. While it’s not always easy to do, we have to at least try!
How To Fix Your Marriage Solution #7: Don’t Go To Bed Mad
It’s true what they say. Harboring anger when your head hits the pillow can easily turn into resentment if given enough time to stew. There’s no single solution for how to fix your marriage, but resolving any issues you may have before going to bed is a great place to start. Consider seeking professional help if it feels like your issues are too much to work out on your own.
How To Fix Your Marriage Solution #8: If All Else Fails, Seek Help
Marriage counseling not only opens the lines of communication but purging pent up feelings and emotions from time to time helps to reset your tolerance levels so you can focus more clearly on your relationship and how to fix your marriage. Remember, when your kids are grown and out of the house, all you’ll have is each other.
Related to How To Fix Your Marriage After A New Baby:
Why I Wish I Could Go Back To Life Before Kids
For Moms Who Are Mourning A Loss: A Poem For The Loss Of A Child
If you enjoyed reading How To Fix Your Marriage and you would like to be notified when I post something new, subscribe to my newsletter here.
Remember to like Mom Snippets on Facebook and follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!Follow my blog with Bloglovin