Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Marriage After Baby

Maintaining a strong relationship after having a baby is not an easy thing to do. There are so many changes. There are so many added responsibilities and there's much less time to get everything done. Much less. Sleep deprivation is running rampant and postpartum hormones are out to stir things up at any chance they get - thanks for that, hormones.

They say that men's marital satisfaction actually shows an increase during the few months following the birth of a first child. Then, a few months down the line it shows a steady decline. For women, they say the decrease in satisfaction happens immediately (mostly due to hormonal and any drastic lifestyle changes), although, in some cases, the "new baby high" lasts for both parents throughout the first year and then the reality of parenting kicks in sometime after the baby's first birthday.

For majority of couples there seems to be a common denominator in this decrease in marital satisfaction - the division of responsibilities and a lack of communication. Ding, ding, ding, ding! 

I'm not sure where we fall with those statistics. We haven't necessarily had a decrease in marital satisfaction, but I do think we have to work a little harder. We have our moments and they definitely happen more often than they used to. 

I do think, however, that the simple acknowledgment that this is something very common and taking the time to talk about our responsibilities - who will do the majority of 'x' chore and who will take care of 'y' - can make a WORLD of a difference. The power of a conversation can be amazing.

- Some people suggest to get your communication on during walks with the baby. This way, you both are looking ahead rather than face to face which eliminates misread body language or damage from unintentional eye rolls. -

For the past week, John and I have spent more time together than we have in a long, long time. In this short time, I feel like our relationship and understanding of one another has been revived, in a way. We both see how hard the other works, whether on the job or at home, and we are both appreciative. But I think the real game changer has simply been that we have been TALKING. We've talked about work, about our business, about our baby and our home. We've talked about chores and how much its going to suck to have to do an emergency clean up before the bug man comes to spray the house. ;) But we've also had the chance to talk about the small things, the silly things, and the unimportant things. The things that connect us and make us laugh together. The things that were the only things before there were other things. (You follow?) 

Like I always say, I know everyone and every situation is different and I am not an expert by any means. It's still early in the game over here. But in our case, communication has been key at this point. Taking the time to connect to one another again and to BE FRIENDS again, has made us a better team and with that we can be better parents - happy parents.

A little time apart spent with friends is important, too!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post, it is a huge adjustment after you have a baby, especially, during those first few months when baby doesn't sleep through the night. You get accustomed to being a caregiver and often neglect the wife role. However, I promise you that it does get easier as time goes on as long as you communicate and hang on to the hope. Once your baby is sleeping through the night, you will have a few more opportunities to have time to be intimate again. Thank you for sharing your honesty.