“First comes love, then comes marriage. Then comes the baby in the baby carriage.” Or so the song goes. But what happens to love and marriage after the baby arrives? What can you do as new parents to stay connected?
Making that transition from a married couple to married with children can be difficult to navigate for many new parents. Many believe that adding children will be unifying, which will bring unending joy, fulfillment, and love. And it is! But we aren’t prepared for the ways it can strain a relationship.
Conflict and stress can tax even the most stable of unions. So, how do you stay connected after a baby? Here’s a good place to start.
17 Tips for New Parents to Stay Connected
- Express gratitude to your partner. Acknowledge the ways you appreciate them.
- Greet each other with affection. Exchange greeting and goodbyes. Still meet them at the door or take 30 seconds to embrace.
- Focus on your friendship. Work to maintain the foundation of friendship you had before the baby arrived.
- Don’t schedule everything around your child. If everything revolves around your children, your marriage is going to suffer. Set boundaries and carve out time alone and with your spouse.
- Don’t put your kids between you, literally. If every time you and your family watch a movie, see a school play or even eat, the kids are between you and your spouse; it can negatively impact your relationship.
- Separate household tasks. Don’t just assume the other is doing something. Talk about who’s doing what.
- Schedule date nights. Remember, before you were mom and dad, you were husband and wife. Make time to date your spouse.
- Listen actively to each other. Actively listening involves not talking or giving unsolicited advice. Instead, reassure your partner that you are “with them.”
- Take a parenting class. In the thick of parenting, you may find a parenting class helpful to navigate the challenges.
- Schedule time to talk about how each other is doing. Talk openly about how both of you are doing. Many changes have happened. You’re both sure to have something to share.
- Set boundaries with friends and family from the start. Setting boundaries will save you much grief. Discuss and set boundaries together for how to handle friends and family.
- Don’t keep score. It’s tempting to keep track of who is doing what. Fight it. Instead, keep track of what your spouse is doing well.
- Manage your expectations. Expectations that are too high or too low can cause stress in the marriage, especially after the new baby arrives.
- Speak respectfully to each other. No matter what. Parenting is hard. You are both learning new roles. Keep in mind how you talk to one another. Communicate with love, even when it’s difficult.
- Create parent vows. Parent vows are a list of things that you promise to do for one another after children arrive.
- Set the mood. Let’s not overlook the bedroom! Sexual intimacy can take a hit after kids. It’s important to “set the mood.” The bedroom should be a sanctuary for you and your spouse.
- Pray. Don’t stop praying for the relationship that started it all. Pray that you’ll be a good spouse. Pray for your partner, strength, and how to serve your family to the best of your ability. Pray. Pray. Pray.
Thrive in Marriage!
Parenting is hard, and it’s hard on a marriage. If you keep these 17 tips for new parents to stay connected in mind, you’ll relationship will thrive amid the new responsibility.
Are you looking for a fun Christian retreat or want to schedule a Christian marriage conference for couples in your area? Contact Eagle Family Ministries. Our mission is to equip pre-marital and married couples with Biblical tools that lead to healthy relationships.