Marriage After Baby


Babies bring a whole new twist to marriage. You're chugging along, figuring out the how to's and what for's of being a married person then...Bam! Hormones, spit-up, crying, diapers, and lack of sleep pull the rug out from under your feet. It's enough to strain even the best of marriages. 

But this doesn't usually happen without warning (unless you are on one of those "I didn't know I was pregnant " tv specials). You have 9 months to prepare for your newest little addition.

So today I thought I'd share with you my advice for marriage after baby. 

1. Don't expect a dad to think like a mom. There are some things moms just know or at least think they know best. Don't expect your husband to have the same intuition or intricate knowledge of all things baby. If you know the baby needs 3 diapers and two burp rags in her diaper bag, say so. Use those exact words! Don't make the mistake of saying, "could you please pack the bag for church," then be shocked when all baby has are extra socks and no pacifier. 

2. Respect your husband's authority. The role of mother is naturally a bossy one, so it's easy to forget that we are first and foremost created to be wives that submit to our husbands. I may be the manager of my home, my husband is still the head of the family and ultimately responsible for how we raise our children. It's important that I share the details of our day with him (and it's important that he take the time to listen!). I look to him for guidance and wisdom even in the small things. Don't get so caught up in your role as a mother that you start treating your husband like a child. 

3. Don't expect your husband to like changing diapers. Sounds obvious, but when we first brought Rooster home I loved everything about caring for my son. Even his poopy diapers were wonderful! So I was greatly offended one day when I heard my husband use the word "nasty" in reference to a dirty diaper. How could any good parent be grossed out by their child? I've since changed my tune. Babies are gross. Wonderful, but gross.

This is one of my favorite pics of Rooster and my husband. That blanket is his spit up shield. You can never be too careful!

4. Be unconventional with date night. Date night doesn't have to mean a babysitter. While getting out of the house together for some alone time is nice, it's not always practical for a breastfeeding mother who is slightly overprotective.Take advantage of time together as a family. We love to go on walks together and often pretend like the kids aren't there (they usually fall asleep anyway!). Long car rides provide lots of time for good conversation, and family movie nights provide a chance to snuggle up together on the couch. Also, consider a "no housework after bedtime rule". Those dishes will still be dirty tomorrow. Stop and spend time with your husband! 

5. Be affectionate. Now I know that each marriage has it's own unique way of showing affection. We are mushy-gushy kind of people, but you may not be. That's not important. However, it is important that you keep doing whatever it is that made your marriage fun before you had kids. Love notes, playful teasing, good old-fashioned practical jokes, making out in public, be creative :)

I saw this on facebook from So true!
Image Credit

6. Have patience in the bedroom. Speaking of affection...don't expect making the second baby to be quite as carefree as making the first. Being intimate with kids in the house takes time and patience. Things are rolling along just fine until the baby starts crying and mom suddenly remembers she forgot to put the clothes in the dryer. Twenty minutes later the mood is gone and you can barely keep your eyes open. Such is life. And while this type of scenario rarely bothers me, it can greatly frustrate my husband. Take time to talk about your expectations for one another, and just remember that loving someone means putting their needs above your own. 

7. Pursue common interests. My husband and I both love books. Reading together and trips to the used bookstore were a big part of our relationship before kids came along. And while my time is more limited now, we do try to take time and read together still. Whether you are readers, or movie watchers, or avid hunters, maintaining a common interest will strengthen your friendship with your spouse. 
Remember, you still have to be married after the kids are grown and gone! Better make sure you have something to talk about.

8. Encourage one another. If you are really thankful your husband took the time to sweep the kitchen floor, say so! If you are really impressed with the way he handled a discipline situation, speak up! You don't have to be all sappy if you don't want to. A good ole attaboy goes a long way! Parenting comes with lots of unfamiliar territory and even the most confident of us can feel like we're in over our heads. Taking the time to give positive feedback is essential to maintaining good attitudes.

9. Sleep in separate rooms. Now I'm sure some marriage expert out there would throw me under the bus for saying this, but sometimes sleeping separately is helpful. I sleep better when I am alone and I know someone is taking care of the baby. So when things get tense around here, I just plop myself in the guest room bed and let my husband sleep with the baby in our room. This is a temporary solution during those first few weeks that makes sure the four hours of sleep I get are actually restful!  

10. Accept that different isn't always a bad thing. Yes, there are times when I would love to go back to our before baby marriage. Back to when we slept in on Saturdays and had "date night" every night! But now that we've crossed that baby threshold, I know we are much better for it. We are less selfish and more forgiving, less prideful and more understanding. Over the past year and a half of dealing with one parenting crisis after another, we've become a team. We curl up on the couch at the end of a long day and just laugh together at our mistakes and our triumphs because no matter what we are in this together...

For better or for worse.

P.S. This is one of my "for worse" moments. 
NEVER let people throw birdseed at you. Just don't. 

How has having a baby changed your marriage? What advice would you give a young married couple expecting a baby?


  1. Wow Katherine, I love this, thank you so much! I have been nervous about how life is going to be between my husband and I once Bubs comes {hopefully as soon as possible, please} and this is just the reminder I need: making my marriage, my husband a priority. I loved it when you said love means putting the others' needs first. So true.

    1. I'm so glad you were blessed! Praying you get to meet your little one soon.

  2. This is all great advice. My two cents worth would be the flip side of #1...just because you're the mom doesn't mean you're the only one who can know what is good for the baby. My husband is the oldest of eight and I am an only child, so he knew a few things I just didn't know yet. I sounds silly, but I was completely shocked!

    1. That's great! My husband and I were both pretty clueless when we brought out son home. Thankfully you learn pretty quick as a parent!

  3. Having a baby really does change the dynamics of a marriage. My daughter was a few months old and we were at my parents for the night and all I wanted was to put ear plugs in and sleep by myself. I knew my mom had the baby, my husband being the awesome guy he is, offered to sleep on the blow up mattress in the other spare room. I needed that peaceful night and I felt like a million bucks. I have done the same for my husband before. I think it is important to ask for what you need and offer it as well to your husband. Great post!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  4. I love this advice that you gave! It absolutely changes the dynamic of marriage and I really appreciate you putting this out there!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  5. Babies do change a marriage. But your tips will prove helpful to new moms. Thanks for sharing this post.

    PS I host a link party on Fridays if you would like to link up. ;-)

  6. I love these, you are very wise!

    I had those nightmares and woke my husband up every night for three weeks asking "Where's the baby!" and every night he said "Sleeping in his crib," lol!

    We had our first child nearly five years after we got married (infertility problems) and after he was born we started fighting a lot. I thought that was odd because we rarely fought before that.

    Eventually I realized we were fighting pretty much over one thing: the baby. "Whose turn was it to pack the diaper bag? Are you sure? I thought *I* packed it and btw, you packed it wrong. What do you mean you changed the last poppy diaper...I changed it, not you!!" and stuff like that.

    When our second was born, we began arguing again as we made another adjustment to our family, lol! But this time, I was "ready" for it, lol!

    But after my last child, I had a very scary feeling. I was afraid I was falling out of love with my husband. Oh, I knew I loved him, but I didn't feel "in love" and it scared me.

    I took these feelings of doubt and fears to the Lord, of course, and to my husband and he reminded me that I was tired and exhausted, sleep deprived, and had a lot of wacko hormones happening (well, he didn't say it THAT way, lol!) He also took blame on himself, said he hadn't been wooing me and being romantic, etc. I wrote a whole blog post about it (if you ever want to read it let me know) but basically God reminded me that love is an action, not a feeling. When you DO the action, the feelings follow. I had been pretty much ignoring my hubby during that time (not a good thing).

    God showed His love for us by sending Jesus, love in ACTION!

    Basically, my tip to a new mom would be don't put too much stock in your emotions right now. Get as much rest as you can and enjoy getting to know your precious new baby and loving on your sweet family. Don't make big decisions or life-altering ones if you can help it. Just rest and relax and don't "think" too much or expect too much of yourself for awhile, lol! ;)

  7. lovely post. :) i am not married, yet and certainly do not have a baby just yet but i've always loved reading stuff like this. you can never be too prepared of what's to come. i have always dreamed of having my own family and i'm glad that i get to learn all those things you mentioned before i become a wife and a mother.

    P.S. dropping by from the bliss project link-up :)

  8. Hey, Katherine. I'm glad you posted this...even though it was a while ago now. Don't get your hopes up too much, I'm not pregnant as far as I know and we're not trying, but after taking my human sexuality class last semester...I wondered about my marriage after we had a baby. Thanks for the tips; I'm sure I'll use them one day. :)

    1. Thanks! Babies do change things, but it's for the better in my opinion :)



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