When I was pregnant with my first I read all the books I could to prepare myself for my pregnancy, delivery, and how to care for my baby afterwards. I talked to so many other moms about their experiences and what to expect, but not one book or person ever told me about how having a baby will change my relationship with my spouse FOREVER.
My husband and I were married for a little over a year when we decided we wanted to start our family. It took us four months to get pregnant and we were thrilled when that test came out positive!
I had a rough pregnancy and it was a long nine months, but then our sweet baby boy entered the world and our lives changed forever!
No one can prepare you for the changes in your marriage once you become pregnant and no one can prepare you for the changes that take place once the baby is born. I thought that having a baby would bring us so much closer and it does in certain ways, but it also can push you apart.
Pregnancy alone changed our marriage a lot. I was sick most of the time and we were both working, and my husband was in school. We already didn’t have a lot of time for each other with our busy schedules. Then to throw a sick, emotional, and hormonal wife into the mix, it sure made things challenging.
Intimacy went out the door real fast I’ll tell you that right now! Which is really hard, especially for the man in the relationship. When your relationship and intimacy is so strong before you get pregnant, and then quickly go to hardly being intimate at all it’s really tough on a relationship.
It’s hard to talk to each other about it too, because if your husband brings it up it makes him look insensitive to all that you’re going through. Then if you bring it up it makes it look like you’re just making excuses.
Communication is key though! As hard as it may-be you both need to discuss these changes that have taken place and you both need to work harder at understanding where each other are coming from.
No man will EVER understand what us women go through during pregnancy, but sometimes we have to suck it up and make our hubbies happy to get through this rough patch, and the same goes for him.
Once your baby is born you may think that you guys will magically go back to the way things were, but that is certainly not the case. It takes months after your baby is born to get back to where you were before and even then, you’re not going to be the same. Parenthood changes you.
I am not saying this in a negative way. Parenthood changes you in so many positive ways, but some may be negative as well.
HERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT MAY CHANGE BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE AFTER HAVING A BABY
- This is the first time you and your spouse have experienced having a baby together. Giving birth is not a pretty sight, it’s graphic and something that neither of you have probably witnessed before, so this may make you both feel a little uncomfortable and be quite shocking. When it’s all over, talk about it, joke about it, and laugh about it!
- Your relationship and each other may be put on the back burner for a while. Once your baby is born EVERYTHING is about your baby. Don’t worry though this is fun! It’s fun to experience this new stage of your lives together and to figure things out with your spouse by your side.
- You’ll both be so exhausted that you won’t really care about anything for a little while.
- You both may experience feelings of jealously. You may be jealous that your husband has more free time than you do. You may be jealous that he wants to spend more time with the baby than you when he’s home. You may be jealous that he gets more sleep than you. He may be jealous you spend more time with the baby than with him. He may be jealous that you seem to care for and pay more attention to the baby than to him. He may be jealous that you get to stay home and take care of the baby and he has to go to work. The list can go on, the point is that jealous feelings are completely normal and will pass.
- You may feel distant from each other because all your time is being put into taking care of this newborn. I remember one night my husband and I were sitting on the couch about to start a movie and I was holding our baby and we looked at each other and I asked, “Are we good?” My husband smiled his big, gorgeous smile and said, “I was going to ask the same thing.” We talked a bit about how we’ve noticed the changes that have taken place, but we’re both good for now and we both still are madly in love with each other.
- You both may be feeling stressed, tired, exhausted, emotional, upset, easily aggravated, and possibly even angry at times. There is a lot going on. You are recovering, you’re hormonal, you’re trying to figure out so many things like breastfeeding, caring for a newborn, schedules and routines. It’s not easy and of course you’re not going to take it out on the baby, so you’ll be taking it out on each other at times.
- It takes 6-8 weeks after having your baby to be able to go back to being intimate again with each other. Once you get the go ahead from your doctor you honestly may not even feel up to it. You’re tired all the time, you’re taking care of a newborn for heaven sakes. You may feel insecure with your body, you may still be experiencing some postpartum pain, but your husband has been counting down the days, so the pressure is on.
- When you have intercourse for the first time after having your baby it is not going to feel the way it did before. It may feel tighter or looser down there. You may experience a burning or stinging sensation. It honestly won’t be a lot of fun. My advice is to make sure you use a lot of lubricant (water based) and to take it slow and easy. This will get better over time.
WAYS TO HELP RESOLVE THESE ISSUES
- COMMUNICATE! This is HUGE and will make a world of difference. Talk about EVERYTHING you’re feeling, both the positive and negative.
- FORGIVE QUICKLY! Forgive each other quickly when you have tiffs or are on edge. Nothing can prepare for the rollercoaster of emotions you’ll be experiencing and it’s only natural to have blow ups here and there.
- TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS! Discuss with each other what you expect from one another with your new roles as parents now. This is new territory for the both of you and it’s obvious that the mother takes the lead in all this since she is the main care taker of the baby. Show your husband how to do things, but don’t belittle him for doing things differently. Include your husband in certain decisions, this will help you guys feel closer to each other and will help lessen the stress of parenting if you both decide on important things.
- BE PATIENT! Be patient with each other and with your baby. Be patient with your body and take it easy. Give yourself time to heal and to recover.
- PUT ASIDE TIME! Put aside time for each other without your baby. Even if it’s just 20 minutes. Take that time to talk to each other about anything other than your baby.
- PAMPER YOURSELF! Take time for yourself everyday to get a break and take care of yourself.
- GET SOME SLEEP! Take turns getting sleep. You both need it and it will help so much.
- GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Get out of the house, go for walks, go visit family or friends, sit outside in a chair for a bit, just get out and get some sunlight and fresh air.
- BE INTIMATE IN OTHER WAYS! Be intimate in other ways until you get the go ahead from your doctor. Kiss and snuggle each other, express your love through actions and physical touch.
It’s really hard going from being husband and wife to parents. It’s always just been the two of you. It’s hard to adjust getting used to you both not being each other’s center of attention.
Your freedom is limited now as well. You can’t always go anywhere you want. It’s harder to stay out late with friends and family. Things become a little more difficult and it can be a little straining on your marriage.
Please know, that this is normal. It’s an adjustment that everyone experiences. It takes time and some work, but luckily you have this beautiful baby that you both love so much to pull you guys closer together and bond over. It doesn’t take long to get accustomed to your new roles and new relationship, so that’s good.
The only way to keep your relationship strong is to separate your roles. You are not only a husband or a wife, but also a father, and a mother now. You need to make sure that you are nurturing both of those roles.
Once you become a parent, you will always be a parent. There is a chance you won’t always be a wife or husband though, so, you need to work extra hard at keeping a strong relationship with your spouse.
It can be really easy to lose yourself to parenthood. It can easily consume you, but you have to remember that YOU are still an INDIVIDUAL with wants and needs. It’s ok to take care of those wants and needs. You need still be YOU in order to take care of your family. So, take care of yourself, your relationship to your spouse and your children, and remember to find joy in the journey!
Do you ever feel like the world is putting more and more pressure on us to keep our kids safe, healthy, and alive; or is it just me?
I really hope I am not alone in this, because if I am I’m going to get a ton of wrath for this post! Oops!
I feel like more than half of the articles/posts online are about health-related topics, whether it’s about fitness, dieting, supplements, natural ingredients, toxic ingredients…the list goes on. This is not a bad thing, in fact it is a very good thing to help people become more knowledgeable about these things and to encourage them to take better care of themselves. It can also cause a lot of people, stress, depression, anxiety, guilt, and fear.
For me, it’s one thing to worry about myself and take care of myself, but to put my children into it, now that’s a whole other story.
Of course, I love myself and want to keep myself healthy, but when you are a mother, you tend to put yourself on the back burner, far on the back burner and your kids come first.
If you put a post out there that has the words SAFE and KIDS in it, I am going to read to it! That’s all I ever want for my children is to be safe! I want my kids to live, long happy, healthy lives; and me as their mother that’s my responsibility to help them do so.
We all want what’s best for our children and that’s how so many companies reel us into buying their products.
I am the type of person if you tell me I am doing something that is harming my child then I will be sick to my stomach about it and do everything I can to make sure I am no longer doing that.
Realistically though, this isn’t possible for me to do and it gives me anxiety and literally has kept me up at night on multiple occasions.
I come across multiple posts out there about toxic ingredients we put on our children and ourselves daily. Shampoo, conditioner, body soap, hand soap, hairspray, sunscreen, lotion, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, and even our clothes.
The posts go on to talk about the dangers of these things and how they can cause serious health effects to us and our children. The worst part of it all they say they can cause cancer.
AHHHHH!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!???? What do I even do with all this information. Am I seriously slowly killing myself and my children. I’m sick to my stomach just thinking about it.
After reading these posts my anxiety skyrockets and my mind tries to process everything I read.
Then, I start stressing over everything in my house and looking at their ingredients. EVERYTHING in my house has some toxic ingredient in them, if not more than one.
I started doing research on these toxic ingredients, because as they say you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Well…turns out they are right (if the stuff I was reading was even true.) There are a lot of seriously toxic chemicals out there that we are using daily!
Now, my anger starts kicking in that the FDA will approve such horrible things to even be sold in stores. This one really bothers me! If these things are so toxic and harmful to us, then why on earth are they being sold? I trust that the things being sold in stores are safe and now I know they aren’t and haven’t been for years! GRRR!!!!
It really makes me wonder if the people who work for the FDA, all the ones who test products and actually understand the ingredients inside them and they know the true harm they can cause, if they even use these things on themselves?
Ok, so am I the only one that has been down this path more times than they can count? I sure hope not!
But the big question now is, what do we do about it? How do we handle all this new information? How do we help our anxiety and worry about hurting our children and ourselves?
I went the crazy route for awhile and started buying expensive hand soaps, lotions, hand sanitizers, laundry detergent, making my own household cleaners, and even then, I wasn’t sure if these were really “safe” for my family. Plus, they were outrageously expensive and putting financial burden on my family.
My husband had to have a little talk with me and I had an emotional break down over it all, because I’m truly terrified that I am harming my children by using these other products. I was freaking out because it wasn’t just the cosmetic products that were bad. It’s even our food we eat, even the vitamins we were taking (which I thought was supposed to keep us all healthy.) It seems like EVERYTHING we are surrounded by is toxic for us and is slowly killing us.
I know! I’m a little crazy, but like I said I would never want to ever do anything that would harm my family and now that I have read multiple articles, researched multiple ingredients and have become aware of this problem, it’s so hard for me to not do anything about it and continue forward using all these horrible things we are using.
He calmed me down and tried to bring logic back into the situation.
I would love more than anything to use TRUE, natural, organic foods and products in my home, but realistically and logically we can’t! WE CANNOT AFFORD IT!
We are doing the best we can with what we have been given, and that’s all we really can do.
There is so much pressure on us as parents as it is. We have to deal with all the “REAL LIFE” situations when it comes to marriage and family, then to add on that extra pressure of making sure every product and editable thing in our home is safe, it’s impossible to have to deal with.
I know all these posts are written to help us be aware and I do think it’s very important to be aware of these things, but it would just be so nice to not know; because now that I know it’s always in the back of my mind whenever I use sunscreen that isn’t made from minerals and natural ingredients, or anytime I don’t buy organic food, or every night I wash my daughters hair, I think about how I am possibly slowly killing my child. It’s terrible!
I wish I just lived in a naïve bubble where I know nothing that’s bad in this world and just went about my merry way.
I’m just getting tired of constantly being reminded of all these harmful toxins and what I’m doing wrong as a parent.
The second we step outside and breathe we are filling your body full of pollution and toxins. So, what now…don’t go outside?
All we can do is the best we can with the information that’s we’re given, because there is just no way to keep our houses a completely toxic free home, unless you have a lot of money.
God made our bodies strong and resilient to so many things for a reason. I am going to do what I can to help keep my family and me as healthy as possible, but I choose to continue to believe that God will do the rest.
Take baby steps. Start with easy things to replace in your home. My husband and I read an article on the dangers of plastic Tupperware and how heating it in the microwave can be dangerous. It talked about how even placing hot food in it to store can cause plastic to leak into your food.
So, my husband and I started slowly buying glass Tupperware to replace our plastic ones. We also stopped drinking from plastic water bottles on-a-daily-basis (we will every now and then if necessary.) We bought glass water bottles instead and stainless-steel ones for our children.
See, baby steps!
Parenting is hard enough without all these other obstacles thrown our way. Keep doing your best and make sure you feel good about what you’re doing. If you feel ok with using certain products or eating certain foods than by golly do it! Don’t let other people’s opinions and fears cloud your judgement on what you feel is best for you and your family.
Ok, my rant is over! Thanks for listening! I’m sorry for my passionate spill on more mom-guilt I have because of social media (for that post go HERE!)
If you are curious about learning more about toxic ingredients I am really not the person to ask. Haha! To be honest I don’t even know who to trust because I know a lot of people hide things in their products or don’t even list all their ingredients used. I do know that just because someone puts on their label “natural,” it doesn’t mean that it’s natural. I am not a scientist either, when I look at ingredients on a product all I see is gibberish.
This is a good WEBSITE to see a list of ingredients you should never use in products. I will be honest though it is very hard to find affordable products that don’t have some of these in their products. Beauty Counter from what i understand has TRUE non-toxic ingredients in their products, but they are way too expensive for my taste.
To see the top 10 most harmful ingredients to avoid go HERE
If you are wondering what products are safer than others go HERE. This is a great website that has tons of products on it and it tells you how toxic they are.
I was reading a post one of my friend’s shared on Facebook yesterday. It’s a very liked post that has over 20,000 shares. WOW! That’s pretty-amazing! I read it, I liked it, and I shared it myself.
It was about how stay-at-home moms are not stay-at-home housekeepers. She talked about how grateful she is for a husband who understands that; and doesn’t get upset with her when he walks in the door from work and sees the house a total mess and in pure chaos.
She talked about how being parents is a 50/50 job and that she is so lucky her husband and her work together to raise and take care of their children. When her husband comes home from work he continues to work by her side to take care of the household duties and tending to their children.
She also talked about how being a stay-at-home mom is just that, being a MOM! She said if her child wants to do a puzzle, play a game, play with play-dough then that’s exactly what she is going to do with them. She doesn’t want her kids to ever remember her as the mom who was always cleaning, doing laundry, and doing the dishes. She wants her kids to always remember how they come first before anything else.
After I read her post all my mom-guilt started piling on. The more I thought about what she had to say the more my stomach turned. I really do agree with her on so many things mentioned in her post. I just wish it was all really that simple.
There truly is a bitter place in my heart for social media. There are so many posts, articles, blogs, and opinions I read on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook that leave me feeling so down. I know that these things being said aren’t intended for that. They are written to inspire and help others, but for me and who I am they break me, EVERY TIME.
I have the personality type who tends to be very hard on herself. I am a perfectionist, I like things organized, and clean. I am a little bit of a germaphobe; and when you tell me that I am supposed to do something a certain way then I do it.
It’s difficult for me to read about how this lady pushes everything off to the side and focuses completely on her kids every-day. It’s something I have wanted to do and have been trying to do for eight years now. It’s just really hard for me and doesn’t come naturally.
I focus on my kids a lot. I am constantly there for them and take care of them. I play with them as often as I can, but I also do the laundry, the dishes, clean the house, make dinner, and clean it up. I hope that one day I won’t look back and regret that I did household duties over playing with my kids.
As I watch them grow older and older right before my eyes it breaks my heart. I know time is passing by quickly and I often question if I’m doing a good job, if I’m present for them enough, if we’re making enough memories, if they feel loved, if we have enough fun, if I’m too strict, if they feel important.
Here’s my thought process on all this. In no way am I bashing this woman for her post. I think the things she had to say were brilliant and right on point. I just feel it’s easier said than done for some people.
Mom-guilt is honestly ONE of the worst possible feelings on this earth, and I feel it A LOT! My kids are my EVERYTHING! I eat, sleep, drink, and breathe my children. They mean more to me than ANYTHING! I love them so much that I literally can feel my heart swell and almost burst, but I still need breaks from them! (TRUTH BOMB…BOOM!)
Being a stay-at-home mom is the BEST job in the world! I wouldn’t want it any other way, but it’s the HARDEST job too!
You have to deal with all the tantrums, the fighting, the snotty noses, the throw up, the poopy diapers, the messes, things breaking, the crying, more fighting, whining, lots of whining, more tantrums, endless entertaining, constant playing, trying to make everyone happy, teaching, feeding, loving, lack of sleep, helping, more teaching, and the list goes on and on and on. IT’S NOT EASY!
While you’re doing all this every day, all day long YOU can get lost in the shuffle. You may possibly go days with-out washing your hair, your house may still be a mess even after you’ve cleaned it, you could go days without any adult interaction, besides with your husband and even then, you may not have interacted with him much.
For my personality type and who I am, taking small breaks from my kids throughout the day to do dishes, fold laundry, vacuum my house, whatever task it may be, it helps keep me sane.
Doing those things helps compartmentalize my life into, being a mommy, and being a woman. I NEED to get out of the kid zone for a little bit, so I can jump right back into it feeling refreshed.
Plus, having a clean, organized house makes the “mommy” side of me a whole lot nicer!
I truly have no shame in this. Yes, mom-guilt sometimes, especially after reading what I read, but no shame, because this is how I do, being a stay-at-home mom.
Besides, I feel doing certain tasks around the house in-spite-of my kids, is teaching them responsibility. It’s teaching them that real-life isn’t always fun and games. You have to work hard too sometimes.
Her post talked a lot of about husbands and how they need to react better when coming home to a messy house; and how they need to be more helpful with household duties and taking care of the kids; which I totally agree on!
So, I think her main point of her post was to tell all the daddy’s and husbands out there to step it up, but since I have an amazing husband and daddy to my kids. I read all the things between the lines and got out of it, that I am not a good enough mom. (I know! This is something I’m working on.)
Being a mom is tough! It’s emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually draining! It’s totally worth it though, no doubt.
We’re all trying to do the best we can. Sometimes we might fall short, sometimes we might fall flat on our face, but we get back up and try again, because we owe that to ourselves and our children.
Even if you feel your best isn’t good enough, and truth be told it might not always be; but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be like that forever! Your best can come in waves.
I know my best is when my kids are infants. 0-24 months I know without a shadow of doubt that I do a GREAT job with infants. I’m sorry if that sounds cocky, but it’s how I feel. Two years old and up, now that’s definitely where my best comes in waves, BIG WAVES!
All we can do is keep moving forward. Keep apologizing and starting over. You’re only human; and think of it this way. If the best thing your child can learn from you in your shortcomings is that no person is perfect, you need to be patient with others, and you need to be forgiving than I think you’re doing a pretty good job!
If you would like to read that lady’s post go HERE.