A baby is a huge adjustment for anyone. The nights spent staying up feeding, changing diapers, and burping are definitely a far cry from your nights before being a parent spent just sleeping!
Often times when huge changes occur in our lives we get anxious. That anxiety is in turn manifested the most in the relationships we have with those around us, most notably our spouse or partner. We have put together some suggestions to keep in mind as you make this huge and exciting transition in your life!
- Be intentional
Since baby needs mom more during the first few months for feedings throughout the day and night it is easy for baby to take first priority and let your partner fall through the cracks. This is not ideal! Be intentional with your time and your juggling priorities- make sure both your partner and baby know they matter and are loved. Check out a The Pulse article on dating after baby to learn more about how to make your partner feel your love and get your spark back post-baby!
- Be communicative
This is tough. Doubly tough when the baby is yelling, the diaper pail needs emptying, and the dog is barking. However, the noise going on at the moment does not detract from the fact that communication is the absolute key to relationship harmony and synchrony. Make sure to verbalize your thanks, your happiness, your sadness, and even your frustration. Keep talking and keep talking through trials and tribulations together. Losing communication can be devastating especially with the new changes happening in your home. Keep an open dialogue and make sure your partner knows it is an open channel- ready for feedback of any kind!
- Be thoughtful
I know this sounds like a given but it is definitely not the easiest task! Try your hardest to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and be extra giving. It isn’t that hard imagining the lack of sleep and the crankiness which you feel as well but try and go the extra mile to show your appreciation. It can be as small as an arm squeeze when they’re changing the baby’s diaper, or a grateful smile when the baby is all squeaky clean and washed when you get home from the doctor. It can be the route phrase of “I love you and appreciate you so much” which everyone loves hearing more than they have heard it. It is truly the small things that make the difference.
- Be engaged
I know not having any sleep is the absolute worst. Being sleep deprived means you are operating under a sort of fog that never truly lifts and make you unable to look at a bed without flopping head first into it. That tiredness also makes it hard to be patient and be present for your spouse or partner. Being absent minded and irritable due to being sleep deprived is totally understandable but is not the best for your relationship. Try and set aside an hour a day- whether it be at dinner or right before going to work at breakfast for you and your partner to be on and engaged with each other. Ask questions and give thoughtful answers- try your hardest to really be there. It’ll be worth it I promise!
- Be gracious
This one is the hardest of all the tips given above because it is not a tip meant for your partner but is a tip meant for yourself. Be gracious with yourself. Be kind. Be forgiving. Make sure you practice self-care and self-love more often than you would previously. Given you won’t have the same amount of time, make use of the alone time you do have (or don’t have and in that case allocate some time for your spouse to take on baby duty) and relax by yourself. Being gracious and loving to yourself will translate into a more patient and holistically loving you to both your partner and your new bundle of joy.