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By the time my husband and I became parents we had been married for 6 years. We also didn’t have a normal pregnancy. Once we started telling people we were pregnant we were constantly told how much our lives were going to change. We both would brush the comment off as this wasn’t news to us, we knew there would be changes to our lives including our marriage.
We were overcome with excitement and joy that we knew it was going to be worth it. Since I ended up having a preterm birth, losing a twin, and spending countless months in the NICU there were defiant changes to our marriage. Then once we brought our surviving twin home it changed again.
We spent months being emotionally exhausted. We were tired and frustrated. And we also spent a lot of time watching our baby grow in the hospital. There were changes in our marriage that I never prepared for when finding out I was pregnant. I also didn’t prepare for the roller-coaster journey of having a preemie.
I know even if I would have had a full term birth our relationship was bound to change. As we were bringing a tiny human home. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. Here are the changes in our marriage that happened after having a baby.
1. I loved my husband more.
I knew I loved my husband prior to having a baby. We have always had a strong marriage. But once having a baby and seeing his love for her at that moment I loved him even more.
It wasn’t something that instantly happened.
But in the next couple of months in the hospital, he was always so strong, he put the two of us first, and made countless sacrifices for us that’s when I knew the love I had for him grew. I didn’t know this was even possible but it was. He is an amazing husband but an even better father.
2. We had to get creative in spending time together.
Now that our daughter is here she consumes a lot of our attention. We have had to get a little creative in spending time together. When we weren’t parents we could just pick up and go out to dinner or hang out with friends whenever we wanted to.
Now we have to make arrangements and plans prior.
We make a priority to sit down for dinner together as often as possible and talk about our day. Now our date nights consist of staying home ordering a pizza and renting a movie.
We may not get to spend a lot of time together but we try to ensure that when we are together we limit our distractions and give one another the attention and time we deserve.
3. We had new roles.
A few months before we brought our preemie home from the hospital I had to make the decision to quit my job and stay home with her. It wasn’t an easy decision as I loved my job and I didn’t want to lose the financial freedom that my job allowed me. But I was also so excited to spend my days with my daughter having the opportunity to watch her grow.
It took a few months for the transition to settle in. The way I was contributing to my family changed but I was still just as important as before or more.
My husband now was the only one who left the house each day to work. He felt a lot of pressure on his plate and wanted to support us as best he could. We had to learn to work together in a different way.
We needed to be patient, support one another, and take pressure off of each other when needed.
4. We had to give up things.
Since having our baby and deciding it was best for me to stay home. We had to adjust a few things in our lifestyle. Not only did we just have a baby but our income was downsized.
Having a baby puts everything in perspective.
Even though I quit my job I also was saving a lot of money on fuel cost. We learned what things we could live without.
Besides having to give up things that cost us money each month we also gave up little things such as going out to dinner every Friday night, going away on our anniversary and sleeping in every Sunday.
We choose the items we could let go of each month from our budget and adjust to changes in our lifestyle since bringing our daughter home.
5. We had to be patient with one another.
Going from a family of 2 to a family of 3 is an adjustment to make. We now had a baby we were responsible for. Sometimes our daughter was laid back and other days fussy and hard to please. We went many sleepless nights causing one of us or both of us to be cranky.
We had to learn to not take it out on each other and just be patient with one another.
The first week our daughter was home I caught myself snapping at my husband every morning because I was tired. It wasn’t his fault and it wasn’t fair to him for me to take it out on him. Instead, he would offer to get me coffee or let me take a nap.
We were new parents and we weren’t perfect.
We were going to make mistakes and there would be moments that we would need to ask for help. But we needed to be patient with one another to work through parenthood together.
6. Trust one another.
We needed to trust one another when it came to our newborn. I needed to trust my husband to take care of her just like he needed to trust me. I heard so many times from friends that they didn’t trust their husband to watch their kids.
Wow! That’s a problem. If you don’t trust your husband to take care of your baby then teach him.
Show him how you handle certain situations or what your daily routine is like. Since I stay home with our daughter I get to spend more time with her then he does. There are times he asks me questions that since he is at work he doesn’t know. I show him and tell him our daily routine so he feels comfortable if I’m not there.
Being a parent is exhausting and hard work.
No two babies are alike and they don’t come with a manual. There will be changes in your marriage after having a baby. But like the changes in my marriage, I hope it becomes stronger. Just remember it will take a while to be adjusted to the new role as mom and dad.
It’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it.