First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.
This old adage is true but what no one explains to you that after the baby, there are an abundance of changes that happen to the marriage. The marriage evolves into a new entity that is filled with sleepless nights, colic-filled cries, disagreements about who got up with the baby last, and who should fold the clothes.
And to top it off, we as women are still dealing with the physical demands of birthing six to ten-pound baby.
Our emotions and hormones are easily disrupted, and we are often left with an overwhelming sense of not knowing ourselves anymore. We feel lost because we have this new title as "mom" with the old title of "wife/fiancée/girlfriend" seeming too complex to even fathom. So along my journey of postpartum-hood filled with many bumps in the road I have learned a couple of things.
Here are my tips to help your marriage/relationship withstand the blessing of a new baby.
Be Patient With Your Significant Other.
The birth of your child brings about new stressors and causes new ones to develop. Anyone telling you different is obviously lying. The important thing to remember is that you are going through this experience together so, while you may be changing diapers, your significant other may be clocking in more hours at work. Both jobs are equally as hard but drastically different.
Communicate how you feel and what you need to feel supported. This might mean that you need a girl's night out when your husband has an off-day or you plan a romantic house picnic (yes, there is such a thing) when your man gets home from work. Whatever it is, just be sure to communicate openly about your needs. Nothing breaks up a relationship faster than assumptions and the distrust built from those assumptions.
Don’t Forget To Say "Thank You".Young family in livingroom
The first few months after the birth of your baby are busy with learning about your baby, making appointments, revamping your finances, and trying to figure out a normal routine. Often, the first things to go in your relationship are the simple nuances that make the relationship thrive. Don't forget to tell your significant other thank you for the simple things. "Thanks babe for bringing me a bottle of water." "Thank you for taking my turn last night with our crying little one." "Thank you for cooking dinner and making my plate."
All these things seem like small gestures but you must realize that these small gestures mean that you continue to see your partner as someone that is helpful, loving, and most of all an individual that is there with you and for you during this transitional time in life. We all want to feel appreciated so be sure to show gratitude to your loved one during this time.
As a first time mom, there were times where I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I have put on diapers wrong, got poop on my hand, and been sprayed by my little one (boy mom problems). All these things are now jokes between my spouse and I because at the end of the day, our little guy is happy and thriving. If you can still find moments to bond over laughter at your mistakes and even at your triumphs, this will continue to bond your relationship together. Laughter releases stress and lets us all know that there is joy in all things.
There are no perfect recipes for a thriving relationship. There isn't such a thing as relationship goals. Each relationship is faced with its own set of obstacles and challenges. The birth of my son has been one of the best things that have ever happened to me. It has strained my relationship with my spouse as well as caused it to flourish in ways I never expected. At the end of the day, if the good times outweigh the bad and you have your partner by your side, your relationship will blossom and overcome the obstacles of postpartum-hood.
Featured image by Getty Images
Tabitha Rivers is a wife, mother, and a thrill-seeker learning how to navigate the world as a successful black millennial women, all while making sure her crown never falls.