First comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes a baby in the baby carriage. This is a saying that is almost as old as time. Now we know in this world the order does not really matter anymore. A lot of people have children who are not married, and who are not even part of a parenting duo. Still, a lot of people would choose to be established and married before brining babies into this world, so this article is for all of you!
For those who have a picture in their head about getting married to the love of their life, and then starting a family, they may be heavily disappointed by what may happen to the marriage after that baby comes. The relationship changes, you are no longer boyfriend/girlfriend, or husband/wife. You are now mom and dad, and those titles carry a lot of responsibility.
It is silly and naïve to not expect a marriage to change after you have a baby, but what a lot of people severely underestimate is how much it changes, and sometimes not for the better. This is what couples need to be prepared for. Having a baby together is a joyful blessing, but it is not easy, and as a married team tries to settle into their new roles and figure out how to navigate their new relationships to each other and their baby, trouble can be brewing.
Not all changes are bad and negative, some are wonderful changes that make your love grow even stronger together. Whether good or bad there are 15 absolute truths to a marriage once a baby has arrived, are you ready?
15 Keeping Score
You may be the least competitive person in the world, but you will find that change once baby comes, and not for the better. You may start to ‘keep score’ and this is a dangerous slope you do not want to go down. What I mean by keeping score, is a mom (or dad) keeping track of who is doing what and who is doing what more. A lot of the times, mom gets some sort of time off after a baby comes, and since a lot of moms breastfeed, it may seem like she is the one getting up all night with the little one.
It may work the opposite and seem like dad is doing all the diaper changes, or snuggle time. When a couple starts keeping track of how much they are doing in comparison to their partner it is going to lead to fights and arguments, and even feelings of resentment. The best way to avoid this is to communicate! Talk about it before it becomes a bigger problem.
14 Knocking Boots Less
Intimacy plays a large part in any successful relationship and marriage, and it is also how you came to be with a little one. An unexpectant change that will inevitably happen post-baby is that mom and dad may find the intimacy lacking. First, we must take into consideration the 6-week recovery time for mom. This is crucial, and is there for a reason, having sex before this can lead to some pretty serious infection. It can also even lead to another baby, way too soon.
Even after that 6-weeks is up, mom and dad are tired, and may not feel like jumping in bed together. Taking care of a little person is exhausting and takes up a lot of time. Even if you feel you have the energy, the time may be hard to find, especially if little on doesn’t like to take very long naps. All of this does not sound romantic. It is important to take time for yourself, trust a grandma or close friend to watch baby and don’t lose the romance!
13 You May Fight … A Lot!
Now, you will always love your husband, but there may be a time after birth that you feel like you hate him and wonder what happened to make your marriage change so drastically. The answer is nothing, this is temporary and (to be honest) to be expected. Mom just had a baby and she is dealing with a lot of hormonal changes. She also may be trying to breastfeed, which brings about its own challenges and struggles. All of this may make her a little more sensitive and easier to anger than normal.
The downfall is that her anger and emotions get targeted at dad, as she can not obviously unleash them on the baby. Dad gets frustrated, because he wants to help but doesn’t know how. He also does not understand what he has done so wrong. This can all inevitable lead to arguments and fights. The best course of action is to communicate. Ladies, tell your partner that they have done nothing wrong and they are just a bit emotional. Gentlemen, support your wife and try and have some patience.
12 Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder … Or Forgetful
A married couple experiences a drastic change in their relationship when a baby comes. For the longest time, it was only the man and woman, together. They only had to focus and love each other and everything was sunshine and rainbows. When you add a little baby in the mix, this all changes. Mom and dad love their baby, more than themselves, and often more than their spouse. The baby just seems to fill our entire hearts and we do not have room for anyone else.
This can be potentially dangerous for the relationship. We have to remember that while it is important to love our little ones, they will eventually grow up and move out of the house. When we neglect the relationship, we may at the end of the day, be left with a spouse who it seems we don’t even know anymore. Always work on your relationship, and go on dates, a lot of dates.
11 Parenting Styles
A lot of the time, a married couple will have already discussed their parenting styles before they have children. They will talk about how they want to raise their children, and see if the two styles mesh or not. The problem is, that sometimes you can never say what kind of style you will have until the baby comes. The baby is an important piece of the parenting style puzzle, and without the baby here it is impossible to predict how you will handle situations.
This can (and probably will) cause a lot of issues between husband and wife, especially if their parenting styles do not mesh that well. They both want what is best for their baby, but sometimes they have different ideas of how to go about that. When one part of the couple is stricter than the other, this may cause issues, as the other partner thinks they are being too tough on them. The best thing to do is when an issue arises, talk to your partner about how to handle it, don’t just do what you think is best.
10 In-Law Problems
Some people are lucky to have wonderful in-laws, and they appreciate their presence and advice, others not so much. We have always heard countless stories of intrusive mothers-in-law, and this is enough of an issue when we think about it interfering with a marriage. When we add in a baby, it is a whole different ball game. Grandparents love their children, and they want to spoil them and spend as much time with them as possible. This can cause a lot of friction in a married couple.
If there is already a strained relationship between a spouse and the in-laws then this could be a breeding ground for arguments and fights. Thoughts of what you do or don’t want your in-law grandparents to do, and then having to talk to your spouse about it, who of course sees nothing wrong because it is their parents. The important thing to do is to create boundaries, with both sets of grandparents. The rules should be the same for both sets of in-laws.
Money will always be one of the leading reasons for divorce. Married couples fight about money almost more than anything else, and having a baby just adds fuel to this fire. Babies are expensive, they need a lot of things. Sometimes, one parent may want to even spoil them and buy them much more than they actually need. This can cause some friction if your marital partner is more of a saver than a spender.
Money doesn’t just cause disagreements when it comes to purchases, but it also can cause friction when deciding where the money will come from. If mom wants to stay home and raise the baby, but dad thinks that they need the income, this will surely cause fights. If dad is fine with mom staying home, he may now be under added stress as the sole responsibility of bringing in the money has now fallen on his shoulders. You may have noticed a trend that to prevent a lot of these post-baby marriage issues is communication.
This one truth has a lot to do with the section on keeping score, a married woman may find herself jealous of her husband. As she watches him leave the house to go to the office, she may get a pang of jealousy that he gets to go out and interact with people. It doesn’t even matter if it was her choice to stay at home, and if she doesn’t even really want to go back to work. She will still be jealous.
If he goes out to get some coffee, or even to do a hobby he enjoys, she will be jealous. It is much easier for dad to run out of the house, and this is due to the responsibilities us moms put on ourselves. Every time dad runs out of the house, even if it is to go to the dentist, there may be some jealousy there, we can’t help it. Jealousy is a sin for a reason, it breeds resentment and arguments, it is much better to talk to your husband when you need a break and a chance to get out. Work with him on how to make this happen!
7 Couple Time Becomes Important, And Non-Existent!
Now that you have a baby, you realize how important couple time is. Time together without the baby, to just reconnect with your spouse and try and hold on to that romance. This is a definite truth to marriage after a baby. Before baby, you would probably get all dressed up on a Friday night and go to dinner and a movie. Now, you are happy to just lay together on the couch, in your pajamas, watching Netflix. This sounds like the perfect couple time scenario.
The problem is, couple time inevitably never happens. You picture putting your baby to bed, getting in some comfy clothes, breaking out the snacks and just cuddling in front of the TV. While, this seems wonderful, it almost never happens. Before you know it, one or both of you is fast asleep, and the couple time just disappears like it was never meant to happen.
6 Nothing To Talk About
Remember when you were just married, or even before, and you had all of these wonderful things to talk about? Well, those days are over. Now, you and your husband/wife have absolutely nothing to talk about except your baby, or other babies. Even when you do go out for those date nights, all you will talk about is your baby who you miss dearly. It doesn’t matter that this is the time when you should be reconnecting as an adult married couple, you will talk about the weird poop your baby did, or the cute thing they said.
It will seem like your brain can have no other idea or though in it unless it is something baby related. Whether it be something your own baby did, or an article you read about something baby related this is all you and your spouse will talk about. It is the only think you two will want to talk about. While this is an undeniable truth, try and find other topics to talk about. It is probably going to be impossible though.
5 Where Are Your Friends?
Gone, that’s where they are. OK, they are not really gone, but any friend relationship you and your husband had before kids will definitely change. All those double dates and game nights with friends will be a thing of the distant past. This can definitely isolate a married couple, and the reason is because once you have a baby, you just don’t seem to have anything in common with these people anymore. When you do hang out, all you talk about is your kid, and if your friends do not have children the truth is, they just don’t care that much.
The best thing you can do is try and make new friends who have children. Start having play dates and get to know new people. It doesn’t mean you should stop being friends with your pre-baby friends, but you need to be around people that you have things in common with too.
4 Things Will Get Boring
Babies can definitely make your life interesting, but they do also have the potential to make things very boring. When you have a baby, routine and structure becomes very important. This means that you are doing the same things, at the same times, every single day. It will seem like spontaneity is completely gone. No more are the days where you and your hubby jet off to go camping, sky diving (if that’s your thing) or even go to an amusement park. This is because you are very hesitant to break the baby of a schedule you have worked so hard to achieve.
You also tend to take less risks as a parent. You have a little one who is counting on you, so your chance of putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation lessons drastically. This can cause a marriage to get into a bit of a rut.
While we know that the key to fixing any of these potential problems is communication, it is the one thing that can be lacking when you and your spouse welcome a baby into the home. It is almost like mom and dad start to work on auto-pilot, just going through the motions of the day without really feeling the need to talk to each other. They know what they need to do and they just do it.
This break down of communication is a reality of post-baby marriage, and it can be the most damaging thing that could happen to a married couple. The important thing to do is to just try, try and talk to each other like you did before. Even if you just take ten minutes at the end of the day to sit and just talk. Talk about your struggles and stress that you endured today. Try and make it a priority and just another scheduled activity in your day, it will make all the difference.
2 You Will Love Them More
If you didn’t think it was possible, you will love your spouse even more after welcoming a baby into the home. Nothing can quite explain the feeling you have when you watch your husband or wife feed your little baby. Watching them care and love the most important person to you will make your heart grow just a little more.
This will only blossom as time goes on, when your little one starts running around and playing, it will be the sweetest thing to watch dad chase them around the park, or mom give them a push on the swing. The baby is, after all, a product of your love together, as cheesy as that always sounds. This is a baby that was made from nothing but the love and commitment you have for each other. It is also the one thing that will connect you both together in a way that nothing else can. When times get hard (and they will), just remember that.
1 It Will Be Hard
At the end of the day, the biggest truth about married life after baby has come, is that it will be hard. It is an adjustment. An adjustment for mom, for dad, and for the relationship. There will be times where mom and dad will fight, and disagree. Times when one feels like they are doing all of the work, while the other one gets to have some glorious sleep. Times when one may even feel like throwing in the towel, and that the marriage will never live through this.
The important thing to remember is that it will. It will take work and effort on both sides, but it will work. If the two love each other and are willing to put in the work together, it will be fine. Communication is the key ingredient in helping a marriage survive post-baby. If you can acknowledge that your marriage has changed, and it is hard, you are already on your way.
Sources: bellybelly.com, parents.com, thebump.com