As someone who hopes one day to be a Marriage and Family therapist, I think about marriage and how I can improve mine, well, often.
Having this new babe in the house has, may I quite simply say, thrown a massive rock in the path of our marriage. Things that were easy before now seem incredibly hard. And needless to say, a huge lack of sleep doesn’t help bring us to a place where intimacy would be lingering.
But…my glorious husband and I are working. Hard. We are committed to this. We are doing our best to be honest and (as much as we can) loving. We are trying trying trying to get to a new normal. And I believe we’ve made progress! Yay!
I wanted to post honestly and authentically about what has helped us keep our marriage going post-baby. Just in case there are any people out there that are finding this just as difficult as we are. 🙂
1. Marriage Counselling – just go to counselling. Baby or not, frustrated with marriage or not, dealing with extended family, holidays, finances, a new home, new job, just go to counselling. We all should be doing it.
2. ‘And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives’ By John and Julie Gottman – this book is incredible. John Gottman is an incredible psychologist and he and his wife Julie are the founders of the Bringing Baby Home Program workshops that improve the quality of life for babies and children by strengthening families. Their book has taught us invaluable things about over-stimulation and boundaries with babies as well as how conflict in the home affects babies. And they provide solutions to deal with conflict better and thereby welcome intimacy in your relationship.
3. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy – I can NOT say enough about pelvic floor physiotherapy and it’s benefits after giving birth vaginally (there are definitely benefits for cesarean births as well). Every woman, even if you don’t suffer from leakage can benefit by relaxing and then properly strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. Getting control over these muscles will also help in your sex life.
4. Local and Experienced Babysitters – need to foster and focus on your marriage? Go out without baby every so often! Find reliable, local people who can take care of baby and then get out there and enjoy some quality alone time with your mate. And turn off your phones!
5. Dates – This goes hand in hand with the last one. Have a date completely alone with you and your spouse whenever you need it. It can be for just one hour! It can even be a walk with a sleeping baby. Be intentional and carve out that time for your marriage as often as you can.
6. Clear Expectations – Do your best to keep the communication channels open between you and your spouse. It benefits everyone to have a plan for in the middle of the night when everyone is exhausted and the baby is crying. Devise your plan during the day when you’re awake and can think properly. And then stick to it (sorry honey, for not always sticking to the plan in the night…).
7. Distance – Be sure to get some time out of the house and away from baby and spouse when you need it. Some self-care, ME time. I like to do yoga. My husband likes to go on a walk to a coffee shop. Being away from him makes me miss him and appreciate him more.
8. Compassion – Always remember to have compassion for everyone involved in this process because none of us know what we’re doing! That goes for myself, my baby, my spouse, and even my family and friends.
I hope you can get something out of this. I would love to chat more about these points if you are interested.
Much love, light, peace, and serenity within each of your marriages and intimate relationships.