Then Comes Baby in the Baby Carriage

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?

You don’t!

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!

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19 Responses to Then Comes Baby in the Baby Carriage

  1. Rarely is physical intimacy not an option. Maybe not penetration, but almost always couples can connect sexually in one form or another. “Heavy petting” was a great way for me and my husband to keep this aspect of our lives alive while I was recovering from having the baby.

    • Hi L! Thanks for sharing with us. You are very right, there are always options even when penetration is not a possibility. Yet many times there are more then just phsyical blocks. Many new moms are exausted, overwhelmed and their attention is diverted. So sex intimacy goes down, down, down on the list. Some couples never struggle and pick up right where they left off, which is such a blessing. Others struggle and so looking into communication and how you share this new blessings is always good! I hope that other readers will see your comment and be encouraged to keep the flame going! Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  2. This is so good…before our first son was born (we just had our third), an older woman gave me the best advice I’ve ever gotten about marriage/parenting: “Whatever he wants to do with the baby, let him and don’t comment. The more you criticize, the more he will back away from you and from helping with the baby.” She was so right. It gives me a break while showing your respect for him and that you think he’s competent. That has helped us immensely as we’ve worked through all the newborn exhaustion every time.

    • Hi Elizabeth! That is such wonderful advice and what is even more amazing is that this older woman took the inciative to share with you! I remember hearing a mentor mom speak at one of my MOPS meetings, sharing that your hubby will be fine when you leave the kids alone with him for an evening or a day. He might feed them popcorn for all three meals, but really they are no worse for the wear! I took that to heart and it is so true in all ways. It just so happens that my hubby is a fabulous cook and the kids prefer his cooking, so that part did not apply to us. Yet in other aspects is did-so what if they sleep in their clothes and are all in the same room on the floor. They are making memories with their dad! Great stuff! Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  3. Thank you for these posts on entering babyland :), we are looking forward to those days but not without some trepidation on the part of my husband. So all the help we can get is greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Joy, So glad you found this to be helpful for when you do enter the world of babies! It is so fun and sooo tiring. But God is good and will supply for your needs. Just keep that hubby close and give him lots of love! Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  4. That was SOOO good! (especially the responsibility sharing section) I think I am going to read the whole post again…and again…and again!

  5. This is an awesome post!! Wish One Flesh had been around when I had my babies! But I went ahead and sent this to two of my “spiritual daughters” with new babies. So good!

  6. Great post, Kate, and OH so true!!! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in motherhood and neglect the wife stuff. I definitely messed this up when we started having kiddos. 🙁 I thank God that my eyes were opened! One of the perks of focusing on being a couple is that you become MUCH better parents. When you are focused on mommy stuff all the time, you are not working as a team with your hubby.

    • Hi Nicole! Thanks for writing and sharing! There were definitely times I messed up too! I did not do it all right by any means. In fact Brad said to me not long after our first was born . . . “wow, I didn’t realize how mean you could be until you are awoken up repeatedly in the night!” He was right, and he learned something new about me and not so appealing! I have no doubt you are doing a fabulous job on focusing on your hubby! Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  7. We are going through this right now. Our 4th is now a month old. I’m having a really hard time balancing mother and wife. I don’t want to be touch anymore by 10am. I’m nursing and its painful still, my baby sleeps best on me, so to let my husband fondle me as he wants to just does not sound appealing. And there is no way he’s touching me in my lady bits. To me, that is kinda gross while To me that is kinda gross while things are healing. things are pretty much healed up now, but I’m still emotionally spent by the end of the day. I don’t know how to get back to putting us as a couple as a top priority.

    • Hi Christina! Thanks for writing and sharing where you and your hubby are! My heart goes out to both of you as I remember being in that place. A couple of things I would suggest are to remember that this is a season in your life. You will not always have young kids that are literally sucking the life and energy out of you. That being said, being purposeful in finding ways to keep your marriage 2nd priority is so important. A couple of things that come to mind are:

      Once you are all healed up find ways to make time for your hubby sexually, even though you are crazy tired. Ask him to help out with cleaning, laundry and the other kiddos so that you can have a few minutes to yourself and get in the mindset of sex! This does not mean that your sex life will return immediatly to what it was pre baby, but making an effort is going to speak volumes to your hubby and be like balm to his manly soul!

      As the baby makes strides and gets bigger-needing less constant care-give that time back to your marriage. I know I mentioned this is my post, but it is helpful to mentally remind yourself that time with your hubby is so much more important then any pile of laundry!

      Keep praying and seeking God’s word as a wife. The Holy Spirit can give you all you need to get through this time and the thrive, not just survive! Pray and ask for that help. I wish that I had done this more, becuase now I do this often in my life and I am always in awe of how God provides! You can do it! You can be mom and wife! Remember that your kids are a product of your love and marriage, not the sole existance of it!

      Finding a moms (MOPS perhaps) group also is a good outlet so that you can chat with other moms like yourself and be encouraged! Know that you are not alone! All moms have been where you are! Please know that we are praying for you! Blessings, Kate

  8. I wrote a post about this myself from the male perspective at sexwithinmarriage.com/2012/05/how-pregnancy-affects-sex/ in response to how I was feeling. It’s a little raw though.

    • thank Jay Dee…

      OFM readers, I’ve removed the direct link to this post because the site has links on it to some other material we wouldn’t normally link to (Victoria’s Secret, among other things) Feel free to visit, the article is good, “raw” but fine. I would just caution about clicking on any links!

      God Bless,
      Brad

        • Hi Jae Dee! Truly it is ok! We just don’t like to point others to anything that “might” cause them to stumble. We realize that is a broad spectrum, but there are many who partial nudity can be a trigger for porn viewing (Victoria Secret). It’s just what we have decided as our standard at OFM! Blessings to you as you seek to meet couples where they are at! Blessings, Kate