Marriage After Baby

The Dating Divas have a few handfuls of children between them all and we have experienced some of the changes that come to a marriage after baby! We wanted to hear some advice from our dear readers about how a marriage changes with a baby, and some of their tried and tested solutions. So, we blasted out a survey through our newsletter and social media, the result is the 5 major challenges and 5 solutions to those challenges in a marriage after baby.

Banner for marriage after baby with a mom and dad and newborn laying down

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. To learn more about ’em, click here.

Top 5 Challenges to Marriage After Baby

5. Defining Roles

  • “After our first baby, I just wanted to do it myself – I thought I could do everything better than him and he didn’t know what he was doing. I assumed that our baby only really needed me, which was terribly unfair to him.”
  • “Defining responsibilities. I do not think it is the sole job of the woman to change diapers and feed the baby.”

4. Lack of Sleep and Energy

  • “Lack of sleep triggered a lot of other challenges, like being grumpy and not having patience with each other.”
  • “For me it’s my energy level… I feel like I have hardly anything left for my husband at the end of the day!”

3. Intimacy

  • “Reconnecting physically with my husband. After housing a baby for 9 months, pushing it out of me, recovery from that trauma, and then nursing every 2-3 hours, I wanted to do anything but to be touched – but he felt like since I wasn’t pregnant anymore, our sex life should go back to normal immediately.”
  • “Also constant pain and discomfort from recovery and breastfeeding made it hard to be intimate or to even want to be intimate.”
  • “Time for husband – Newborns are very needy and finding time to be intimate with my husband was hard because I was always exhausted no matter what time it was. Also, I started having anxiety and postpartum depression and body image was hard to get over the fact that I was still desirable after pushing 10 lbs of baby out and still being much larger than I wanted to be.”

2. Hormones

  • “Hormones! Your body goes through tons of changes and it’s a transition for sure. (Pregnancy, breastfeeding, FINALLY getting back to normal… then pregnant again.) lol. That and then lack of sleep. Suddenly NOTHING is about YOU anymore, parenthood forces you to be selfless and it can be tough to learn. It’s a lot of sacrifices, but ultimately – so worth it. :)”
  • “I had postpartum depression without knowing it. My symptoms were not laying in bed feeling sad all day. Instead, I was racked with feelings of guilt and being unsure. I felt like I had to do everything on my own. In fact, I aggressively fought to be the sole caretaker of the baby. In short, I was paranoid. And when Momma is stressed, everyone is stressed. I feel like my obsession over the baby was my biggest challenge.”

1. Finding Time to Focus on Husband

  • “The biggest challenge was feeling distant from each other because we lost so much alone time. I suddenly felt like we had nothing in common.”
  • “Finding time to go out and do things with all the extra planning that comes with a baby.”
  • “Our biggest challenge was finding time away from the baby to nourish our marriage and to make sure we were taking care of ourselves and each other emotionally.”
  • “I have a hard time giving my full attention to my husband now because I am constantly thinking about the baby. Even if the baby is in bed and has been for hours. Its really frustrating, but I can’t seem to stop it!”

Mom, dad and newborn laying down with baby in the middle

Does that list sound familiar to anyone?! We get so comfortable in our marriage routine that when we add the baby, we suddenly don’t recognize the thing we worked so hard for: Our Marriage! Luckily we don’t dwell on the negatives around these parts and we have some tips to share from our Divas and Readers on how to solve those common challenges.

The Top 5 Solutions to the Challenges After Baby

5. Involve Both Spouses

  • “[My husband] wanted to be involved and wanted to learn and once I realized that it was better when we were helping and taking part things got a lot better. I started to include him in everything and he really loved every part of it. Instead of me making him feel like he was an outsider, he became a huge helpmeet and the one person that I could depend on.”

4. Remember: This is Not a Competition

  • “Remember to always be a team! Although the mom usually gets up for midnight feedings, when possible have the dad get up to rock the baby, burp the baby or console it if it is not hungry! Tag teaming all responsibilities lets you bond together with the baby as well as avoiding one spouse getting more overwhelmed than the other.”
  • “Don’t resent each other for doing “more” or “less” work (or for getting more sleep!) than the other. You’re both tired, but don’t let that stop you from pitching in a little extra whenever you can. Ask for the help you need, don’t expect them to know what needs to be done.”

3. Allow for “You” Time

  • “Be willing to ask others for help (or just to accept offers of help and contact them).”
  • “Make you a priority. Get ready for the day, buy some new clothes, buy yourself that book, take time to read it. Whatever makes you feel like a person, do it. Every day.”
  • “Trying to have better self-love. I’m still working on it. A little something every day. Putting on your favorite shirt or lipstick and putting a smile on and telling yourself you are beautiful.”
  • “Take breaks. It is okay that I take a minute to recharge so that I have energy for my husband. Napping is not a weakness – it is the best thing ever and when I have the chance to nap (and the stars align) it makes me a happier better person (with more energy) to be with my husband.”

2. Give Your Marriage Time to Adjust

  • “Have a date night shortly after baby is born! Usually when a new baby is born, family is near to help with the adjustments. Take advantage of the help and get out for a quick and quiet dinner for just the two of you.”
  • “The main thing that has helped us is cutting our workload/expectations of workload waaaaay down right after babies and then re-building as they get older.”
  • “Don’t expect everything to be exactly as it was before – there’s a whole new person living with you! It’s ok if you feel like you are disagreeing on more things – just be willing to keep communicating and compromising. We aren’t going to have the same marriage as before – it will be better! (It just may take a little getting used to!)”

{This is our favorite suggestion… are you ready?!}

1. Make Date Night Matter!

  • “The biggest solution to having a baby, I feel, is making sure that date night happens. Our marriage is happier and healthier because we take the time to rekindle and nourish our relationship outside of being parents. We consistently take the time to remember who we are as a couple and as individuals, not just as mom and dad.”
  • “MAKE TIME FOR DATE NIGHT!!! You need a break away sometimes to be husband and wife instead of mommy and daddy. It’s worth the babysitter!!!”
  • “Date night! Find a good babysitter, and put the effort into getting things ready to leave your kids, even if it is a hassle. It’s worth it!”
  • “Your husband came first, then kids. There is a reason for that. I think that kids are better off if they see that you and your husband make time for each other and make date nights a priority.”

We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves! We love hearing our readers tell others how important dating their spouses are!

We really hope that you have been able to commiserate with some fellow “Parent Readers”, but most of all we hope these tips keep you sane during this transition! If you are looking for more ways to keep your marriage in tip-top shape, go visit Becca’s post: The BEST Marriage Tip. It is so easy!  You can also set aside time to reconnect using our Reclaim Your Marriage Program. And to help make that #1 DATE NIGHT happen, check out our fantastic product: Babysitter in a Bag!

About the Author: Shanelle

I am a reading, singing, shopping queen! (I'm very lucky that my handsome hubby likes shopping as much as I do) Married for 6 years and ready for forever, I love spending time with Brigham (my husband) and our girls, Adelaide and Tacy. I teach high school English and in the summertime we love to go on adventures in the great outdoors.

We Love Your Comments

We LOVE hearing from our readers! Thanks for leaving us some love!
P.S. If you want a picture to show up next to your comments, get set up with a gravatar!

Recent Comments

4 Responses to Marriage After Baby

  1. Fantastic post, Shanelle! Love those solutions… #2 is definitely the one we cling to the most. It seems like everything comes to a screeching halt when you bring a newborn into your home, and we just allow everything to slowly fall back into place over time. It keeps us all sane!