Marriage After Baby – How Having A Baby Changed My Marriage
Something I remember vividly about pregnancy was realizing just how often strangers love to offer their two cents. Mommas, I know you can relate, when I say that although most of the time they mean well, we typically wish they would just keep it to themselves.
One thing specifically, that I was asked a lot while I was pregnant was “first baby?” I would politely smile and nod. Then they would raise their eyebrows, and the words that would follow, were what I found to be, some of the most annoying phrases:
“Ah your whole world is about to change.” or “Your life will never be the same.”
Like I said, they probably meant well, but as a pregnant woman who had heard this countless times throughout her pregnancy, it really started to get on my nerves.
Of course, I was aware that a baby was going to change my life. Was I fully aware? Definitely not. This wasn’t what bothered me though.
What bothered me was how negative they made it sound.
In my mind, I would always think, “I’m aware my life is going to change, but I’m excited for that change. We wanted this baby and everything that goes along with it.” Looking back now, I can see that I didn’t realize most of the time they weren’t being negative, they were coming from a good place.
As a new mom, I quickly learned what all of these strangers were getting at when they told me my whole world was about to change. I also realized that maybe they weren’t meaning it in a bad way at all.
Sure, having a baby and becoming a mother is no walk in the park. But here is what I’ve learned and how having a baby really did change my whole world, more specifically how having a baby changed my marriage. Here’s a look at my marriage after baby.
You Will Feel Love Like You Never Have Before
When you become a parent, and I literally mean in that moment when you first meet and hold your baby, a new form of love washes over you like a wave. You feel love like you could have never imagined before.
Along with feeling this deep newfound love for your baby, you’ll find that you have a deep newfound love for your spouse as well. You now share this bonding love for your new baby and its an amazing experience to share with the person you created this tiny human with.
Now, obviously you loved your spouse before having this new baby, I get that. So let me clarify by saying, becoming parents, does not change your love, it grows your love by changing your perspective.
What I mean by this is that your love goes to a new level of depth. When Darin and I first had Hayvn, I realized that I loved him on a much deeper and more personal level.
Watching the love of your life help care for and tend the newest love of your life, is an indescribable experience. It completely changes your views and in my case it changed the very definition of love in ways that I can’t put into words. It’s a truly phenomenal feeling.
He was no longer solely my husband, he was also my daughter’s father and my partner as a parent, and was now the sole provider for our family. I had a new sense of respect, understanding, patience, and appreciation for him as a person and as my lifelong partner.
Having a child with someone quickly binds you together forever in a way that nothing else can. It helps you connect on a deeper level and it also pushes you out of your comfort zone, forcing you to open up and be vulnerable, showing each other who you truly are.
Yes, this one is more on the negative side, but it doesn’t last forever! People can tell you to prepare for sleepless nights, and tiring days and they can joke about it on and on, but nothing can really ever prepare you for the real thing.
Like most humans, I value my sleep, and I am definitely grumpier than I would like to admit when I haven’t had my beauty rest, but having a child really whipped me into shape when it came to lack of sleep.
When you’re married, there’s no hiding anymore. You now live with your spouse and they get to see every side of you, the good the bad and the ugly.
Mommas, let me just say the sleep-deprived side of Madysen was very ugly, and poor Darin had to see all of that. But this is when your love really grows.
Like many other couples, my husband works a full-time job and has to be up early in the mornings, so when Hayvn was born, I took the weeknight shifts (of waking up with her through the night), and he took over on weekends.
That two-day break between the weeknights saved my life and braving that storm together with Darin really helped bring us closer together as a couple.
This just goes to show that even through the hardest times, you can come out stronger. There were days when I would feel so hopeless like I was never going to sleep again, but with the two of us together, we made it through and now Hayvn sleeps all through the night and we all get plenty of rest!
Just stick together. Lean on each other and support each other and you will get through it I promise!
Click here to read about our sleep journey with Hayvn and learn how you can get your baby to sleep through the night!
Reaching Your Breaking Point
When you have a baby, there are times when you are pushed to your absolute limit, physically, mentally, and emotionally and you definitely feel like quitting, or at least in need of a serious break.
Obviously, you can’t just quit being a parent. There’s no two-week notice, no mercy call, hey, there’s not even a 9-5 shift. Becoming a parent is a full-time job and let’s face it, it can have times that are exhausting. It’s times like these when your marriage is really tested in ways it never has been before.
Imagine moving two states away, hundreds of miles from family and friends, packing up an entire house, while your husband is glued to a computer screen studying and training for his new job. Oh and did I mention, you only have 2 weeks to find a new house and move? Stressful, right?
Okay, now throw in a 2-month-old baby, who won’t nap, and wakes up every hour through the night, who also can’t talk or communicate in any way other than crying. Oh yeah, and that 2-month-old has a cold, so she’s miserable and won’t stop crying unless you are constantly holding her.
This is what I mean when I say breaking point. When life just gets to be a little too much to handle. Everything seems overwhelming and you just don’t feel like it will ever end.
That’s when you get to choose, do I let the stress take over and take it out on my spouse? Do I nit-pick and argue over small things that don’t matter, just because I’m stressed and crotchety due to other things going on in my life?
Or do I take a step back, breathe, and understand that times are tough for both of us and we need to stick together and exercise love and patience.
Now, in no sense, and nor will I ever claim to be perfect in any way. Darin and I have had our fair share of fights and hard times, just like any other couple. However, if I’ve learned one thing since having a baby, its just how much of a difference this choice can make.
When you feel that you’ve reached your breaking point, I know from experience, that it can be easy to crack under the pressure, snap, bicker and pick fights and argue. I know how hard it can be to exercise love and patience when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope.
That being said, I’ve seen the difference it can make to just take a step back from the situation, leave the room, breathe in, count to 5 and choose to be patient and exercise love towards your spouse.
When things get tough and the world feels like its spinning off its axis, make the choice to pause, set the baby down, leave the room, reassess, and come back in with a clear head. This will help with communication, and it will help with keeping the peace in your home during stressful times.
These stressful times have actually bred positive changes in our marriage by building our communication skills and growing our capacity for patience and tolerance.
Having a baby brings an entirely new perspective to the word vulnerable. After all, you just spent hours in the delivery room, naked from the waist down, feet up, bearing all, with multiple nurses and doctors moseying in and out of the room. Talk about vulnerable.
Once you have a baby, you and your spouse start to see a whole new side to each other. For example, up until having Hayvn, I had maybe seen Darin cry twice in our entire 2 years of being together. And when I say cry, I mean he shed one single tear and turned away so quick I can’t be sure he really even cried.
That all changed the night we were in the hospital. When Hayvn was born, he really cried. He was so happy he cried tears of joy and that was a whole new side of him that I had never seen before and I loved it.
Becoming parents together was truly a unique and bonding experience. I felt myself letting guards down that I didn’t even know I had up. I felt myself letting loose a little more and becoming even more comfortable with Darin than I ever had before.
I found myself caring less what I looked like (dumb, I know, but hey we all have our thing), and caring more about how I could be a good mother and a good wife for my new family. I started to feel more comfortable with who I was and in turn, felt more comfortable in my marriage.
Becoming a mom brought me a new sense of identity like I actually mattered and meant something to someone (not that I didn’t feel this way before, just a stronger sense). I felt like I was actually part of something bigger.
It brought me more confidence to be vulnerable with my husband and to learn to navigate this entire journey together.
Center Of Attention Shifts
Obviously, its not just the two of you anymore. You now have a new little life added into the mix, and this definitely changes things. But its a good change! It’s just something to get used to.
Upon finding out we were pregnant, we got bombarded with congratulations and questions, and good wishes, but what I realized was that those were mostly directed towards me, seeing as I was the mother, the one who was actually carrying the baby.
I think it happens more often than we realize that the dads get lost in the commotion of everything. The focus is centered on the woman because she is physically carrying the baby.
This was definitely an adjustment in our marriage because sometimes Darin felt left out (even though he will never admit that out loud). Most of the conversations we had with people were directed towards me, and they became conversations that he would lose interest in because he couldn’t really participate or relate.
So, mommas, be aware of your husband during your pregnancy, bring him into the conversation and help him to feel like he’s just as much a part of it as you are, because he is. Encourage him to feel the baby when they’re kicking or moving.
Update him on the little things. There are many different apps that you both can download to read about your baby’s current size and stage of development, and that can really make him feel more involved.
Not only does the center of attention shift during pregnancy, but it also shifts once you bring your baby home. I remember Darin feeling as though all of my attention was focused on Hayvn and he started to feel a little neglected.
When you become a parent, its easy to focus all of your time, attention, and energy on your new baby. After all, they are very energy and time-consuming. But its also important to remember that your spouse still needs the love and affection you used to offer when it was just the two of you.
To be honest, I had no idea he was feeling this way until he said something, so be sure to check in with your spouse and ask them how they’re feeling and adjusting to all of these new changes and take the time to make sure they feel loved and supported. This goes for both spouses, check-in with each other and let them know you care. You’re in this together.
Click here to see how you can reconnect through date nights at home!
You Learn To Let The Small Things Go
I almost titled this section “You Grow Up, Quick.” But I decided these two things go hand in hand. Once you have a baby you and your spouse grow up quick and learn to handle things with more maturity, therefore letting the insignificant nuisances go.
Before having Hayvn, Darin and I would find ourselves in arguments over the silliest things and looking back now, its funny to laugh at.
That changed drastically once we became parents.
At first, it wasn’t a conscious change, at least for me. It was more due to the fact that I just didn’t have the energy to argue over something small and irrelevant. As time went on, I realized we argued less and less because we simply stopped nitpicking silly little things that really didn’t matter.
As parents, your focus shifts dramatically and seemingly all at once, so you focus your energy on more important things rather than small annoyances.
You Truly Realize Who You Married
We all know the first year of marriage is when you do a lot of growing and you start to fully understand who you married, right? Well, the next step to fully understanding who you married, is having a baby together.
When Darin and I first brought Hayvn home, I started to realize who I actually married and I was so grateful to discover that the man I married, was a very thoughtful and caring person.
Watching him take care of me and our little girl was the greatest sense of love I’ve ever felt for someone.
Up until that point, we had never been through anything especially hard or trying (hospitalizations, trauma recovery, etc.). So although I knew he was caring and thoughtful, I didn’t fully realize it until I saw how he cared for me through my recovery and how he helped with diaper changes, late-night wakings, feedings, bathings, and even how he watched out for my mental health.
When you have a baby, it brings out your best and worst qualities. It’s funny what sleep deprivation can do when you’re faced with a stressful situation lol.
But overall, the biggest change in my marriage was just developing a greater appreciation for Darin and watching him shine in the moments I needed him most.
You Appreciate Time Alone
My love language is quality time, and it always has been. So I never thought I would be saying this, but something that really changed for me and my marriage was that I grew to appreciate time alone.
Once you have a baby, its all hands on deck pretty much all the time, so finding a moment to your self can be difficult. This actually worked out for the best in our marriage because prior to having Hayvn, I was very needy and demanding of Darin’s time (poor guy haha).
Upon becoming a mom, I realized just how beautiful alone time could be, and so began an era of me finding time for myself and discovering new hobbies and interests I never knew I had.
Turns out, having a baby and becoming a mom brought out a whole new creative side to me that I never knew existed. Plus it’s great for Darin too because while I have some much-needed ‘me’ time he gets some much-needed father-daughter time after work each night.
Your Life Will Never Be The Same
It will be even better! So now, you can understand what people mean when they tell you ” your life will never be the same.” or “Your whole world is about to change.”
It’s not a bad thing, its just change. We typically associate a negative association with the term change, but in this case, its all for the better.
Becoming a parent was the greatest thing to ever happen to me and my marriage. It has brought more purpose and fulfillment into my life than anything else. My whole world did change. It changed for the better.
I hope you enjoyed reading my experience of marriage after baby and I hope you found it helpful. Becoming a new parent can seem overwhelming and its hard not to wonder how it will impact your marriage.
I want to hear from you! Do you have any personal insight on how a baby changed your marriage? Do you have any questions that I didn’t answer? I would love to hear! Please leave them in the comments below!
Wow – what a great read, Madysen!
I can relate to so many of the things you write about! It’s been seven years since I went through all of this, but man, can you hit the nail on the head!
Things change, you change, your spouse changes, the relationship changes… Although I was never really bothered by the fact, what you say about conversations and focus being all about the mother and the baby, really can make the man feel left out. Here I think you’re very on-point: Make a conscious effort to make him a part of it as well, as he is! It’s just ‘easier’ to talk about the mum and the baby…
Man…how you cherish the moments to yourself when you get them… Because they are so few – especially in the beginning – it feels like you only go around longing for time alone. I remember feeling a bit ashamed to feel this way, but it’s ok to feel this way, right?
Lastly, I found it quite funny to read about your husband’s crying…simply because it was pretty much an exact description of me! I don’t think my wife has seen me cry more than…once?…ever? Until the moment our little girl was born! The gates just opened the moment I saw her head…that was such a wild feeling for me!
This was a great read, and I can’t wait for more!
All the best to you guys,
You’re absolutely right, having a baby brings so much change to every aspect of your life. It’s crazy and you really can’t prepare for it all. I really enjoyed reading your comment. I’m glad you found my post so relatable!
One thing I wanted to say was that it’s totally okay to cherish moments alone, I also went through a period where I felt guilty for loving my alone time. But I found that when I utilized that time alone to refresh and just breathe, it made me a better mom by being more alert, happier, and just overall more clear-headed.
And as far as the crying goes, it’s crazy what a little girl can do to her dad. Our daughter just melts my husband and she already has him wrapped around her tiny little finger hha.
Thank you for your awesome comment I loved it 🙂
Oh man, I’m feeling all the feels with this article! You described exactly how my wife and I were when we had our first baby. It really is a surreal experience then life comes at you quickly when you get home and it’s all on you.
Getting up in the middle of the night was difficult for us. My wife found that she got really lonely caring for our little one during the night, and it really started to wear on her. So we decided to both get up and tag-team it each time baby woke up. She’s also a light sleeper so she’d wear earplugs to bed or else she wouldn’t sleep. So, I would wake her up and we would both go take care of baby. Sleep deprivation was a real struggle.
Having a baby really did make us a stronger couple. Our first two years of marriage were really great! We had our differences, but it wasn’t until we had a baby that life drastically changed. It is true that couples need to be more deliberate in how they treat each other because those little things start to wear after a while.
Thank you for your perspective! I really enjoyed reading about your experience.
Your post made me well up. The prospect of change is so daunting and exciting at the same time. I’m praying it’ll strengthen my marriage too – because I know what a horror I can be when sleep-deprived lol. But like you said, it’s not forever. But the love and bonding is 🙂
I think that’s an excellent point to make sure hubby’s part of it all because I’m already noticing I get more of the attention. I will be sure to make sure he’s more included and ask him how he’s feeling. This was such a lovely read, thanks for sharing.