Kate says . . .
So you are home now, a beautiful baby in your arms, so sweet, so small and so LOUD! The thing I remember most after bringing our first-born home was an overwhelming tiredness. After a late night delivery with little to no sleep and a nursing baby that seemed to want to eat only at night, I got home and all I wanted to do was take a nice long nap. What a wakeup call that was-literally! Sleep-I did not! There we were, thrown straight into the joys and trials of parenthood.
So now that a young infant has entered the picture how do we get back to our normal marriage?
First thing wives is to understand and acknowledge that life is different now. Finding a new norm, is the goal, not trying to get back to the old. Why? Well quite simply because there is a new baby in the picture. Even if this is not your first baby, each one that comes along is going to make life different than before. Different is not good or bad-it is just different. Sometimes mentally telling ourselves that is very important. There will be piles of laundry that you don’t get to in the time you wanted, forgotten emails and phone calls, as well as dinners that leave much to be desired. Yet the one thing that you want to keep consistent is your marriage relationship. It will be different in many ways, but making a consistent effort is a must.
This baby is not the NEW love of your life!
Looking into that sweet precious face of the baby that needs you for everything, it is easy to fall head over heels in love with your baby. The issue I have is that mothers were created to love their babies! Yet they were created to be in love with their hubby. Yes, I believe there is a difference. We will love our children, always. God created a special bond between a mother and a child, just as he did between a father and a child. Yet the marriage relationship is the only relationship that God compares to Christ and the church. The marriage relationship is THE most important relationship that God created.
Be very careful to make sure your hubby does not feel replaced by this new bundle of joy. I have heard many wives say, “well he can just grow up, can’t he see that I have our child to take care of?” To that I say, “He does not need to grow up. He is your husband and wants to feel close to you. This is the life you created together and he wants to not only feel a part of that but to also feel like he is still your #2 priority behind God!”
What created this baby??
One day not so long ago, you married the man of your dreams. I am sure you had a wonderful wedding and grand dreams about the future. Children may have been a part of that dream, but the vows and the husband came first. This baby was created out of your love and commitment to one another and the special sexual intimacy that God created. It is easy to lose this perspective when we are in the throes of having an infant, yet it is important for us wives to keep close to our husbands. Keep talking to them, keep touching them, keep snuggling with them and sharing the baby with them.
Sex after the allotted time?
Ahh yes, the “when can we have sex again?” Some women are rip-roaring and ready to go, others are iffy, some have no desire, and some are petrified. I remember being somewhat scared about sex, especially after the realities of a vaginal birth. Yet we managed and started to get back on track. Consult your doctor about timing as to when you can resume sex (vaginal or c-section). After that, for those of you who are ready to go . . . go for it!
For those of you who are apprehensive or have no desire, make an effort to get yourself in the mood. Take a shower, do your hair, get into clothes that are not sweats and make an effort to feel normal. If you are lacking desire, sometimes pushing yourself a few times really helps. If you find that you are lacking desire for a long period of time, talk about it. Talk to your hubby first. He needs to know what is happening and is most likely concerned. Then speak with your doctor. I know that is not a favorite for many women, yet it is too important to ignore. Many times your hubby’s support and your doctor’s knowledge will help tremendously. A word of warning: If you do not get the help and answers from your doctor, then find another one. Don’t give up, especially when you know something is not right!
Share the responsibilities!
There is something that happens after we become mommies. We become super mom! It is so amazing how that happens. All of the sudden we think we should be able to do it all and yet at the same time are frustrated with our hubby’s for not helping. Ladies, we have to share the responsibility of this new life with our hubby. If you are nursing, allow them to burp and rock the baby after nursing. Allow them to change the babies diaper and give them a bath. Don’t try to do it all. When you do this, you are pushing your hubby away and saying-“I can do it all by myself.” Some nights you might want to hold the baby and let him cook-even if he is not much of a cook. Other times you might want to hand off the baby and you can have a few peaceful moments in the kitchen by yourself.
When the baby starts crying-don’t go running! As hard as that is, your husband is a good dad and he can learn to handle it. If he is overwhelmed, trust me he will come and find you. I always thought I needed to go rescue Brad and he would always tell me that he and the baby were fine. It was also important for the baby to be soothed and bond with their daddy.
This is only a season
Say it to yourself . . . this is only a season! While this is a precious time and you should enjoy it, it is also good to remember that the tiredness and sleepless nights are only a season. When the baby starts to sleep more and become less needy, that is when you should start to add more time back into your marriage and intimacy. Each time your baby makes more strides and grows up, you can have that time with your hubby! I know for many of you that sounds awful and makes you want to squirm. I am not suggesting that you neglect your child in any way. I am saying, when they start going to bed at a regular time of 7 instead of 9, give that extra two hours to your hubby, not to your laundry and dishes, even if they desperately need done. I guarantee your hubby needs the nurturing much more and the pay off will be much better. Let me also say that I am not just talking about sex. It is good to get back to regular sex, but it is also vital to nurture other areas of your intimacy. Emotional, Spiritual and Intellectual. Sit and watch a movie together, read the Bible together, sit and just talk about your day and snuggle!
Enjoy this time-with your hubby! Continue to focus on your oneness even when sex is not an option. Find joy in the newness, yet keep focused on God’s plan for you as husband and wife. One day your kids will thank you for it!