Bringing a baby into the world is one of the happiest days of your life. You get to see their little hands and feet, their cry is sweet music to your ears and you're sad when they're asleep because you just want to see their eyes again.
As you might guess, some of these feelings that you had on the first day don't last very long. Your baby's cry is actually very stressful and you wish they would just go back to sleep so that you can get some sleep, too.
Being a new parent can be exciting, but it is also extremely hard. Most marriages take a hit with every new baby that comes. Couples are sleep deprived, which makes decision making harder and feelings bubble closer and closer to the surface. While a new baby does a lot for your marriage, it can also create some rifts if you aren't careful.
Instead of pretending that everything is just fine, here are four things to do that will build up your marriage when you bring your new baby home.
1. Share adoration and love
A little baby is perfect ... and so cute to look at. But sometimes you forget that when you've been up all night with them. Make sure that you and your spouse are seeing the cute things about your child.
Invite your mother or mother-in-law over and just listen to them adoring your little baby. Hearing people say "I can't believe they have this much hair" or "ohh I just love the way she's breathing" will remind you that your newborn is truly a gift.
These comments of love and adoration will continue to build love in your home and love in your heart for this new baby.
Emotions are always high with a new baby. You haven't slept and your hormones are changing (yet again). Having built up an emotional bank account will give you and your relationship a bit of a cushion to fall back on. It will help you remember and know you are loved and that you have support to get through this.
You can build your emotional bank by spending time each day with your spouse to just talk. Or, make new memories together. Or relive favorite ones from your past. Getting together with friends to reminisce also works, as does snuggling while you're watching television.
Doing simple things consistently to keep you emotionally healthy will save you from a big meltdown or a yelling match at your spouse.
3. Recognize daily stress
The hardest thing to remember with a new baby is that the stress you are feeling that day will go away. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed and we can't seem to find a way out. Remember - there is a reason we have the old saying "it takes a village to raise a child." You are not supposed to do this alone. Recognize that the stress you are feeling will go away and getting help from others (especially your husband), will relieve stress.
Your sleep is important. The best time for you to get your sleep is when your baby is sleeping. This doesn't always seem possible because your friends and family want to come over and see the little blessing. You need the support so don't turn people away, but don't be afraid to request them to come at certain times so you can get some much needed rest.
Protect your naps. This will be hard, but it will also help you to recover from childbirth faster, get some sleep and not resent anyone for coming when you wanted to be snoozing.
Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.