Congratulations on your new little addition! You’ve made it through pregnancy, a safe delivery and are starting to create that Mommy Village of support for yourself. So where does that leave you & your spouse? If you are like a lot of couples with a new baby in the house, things like sleep, well balanced meals and quiet time are a thing of the past. No need to worry though – these moments will pass and you will be able to rebuild your family structure with these three simple tools.
First, acknowledge the new situation that you find yourselves in – the world of a new baby. There is a brand new human being who needs you for all things in life, and that has become your new priority. However, it does not have to be your only priority, since you were able to build this family foundation with the love and support of your spouse. Whether you use humor in those trying times, or find ways to share the burdens, communication with your spouse about the challenges of parenting will allow you both to share in your own views of life as it now exists for each of you.
Once the lines of communication are open, see if you and your spouse can identify what is working and what needs to be changed. You may surprise yourself in your abilities to be an effective and loving parent for your new baby. However, all parents can use fresh ideas and feedback constructively and your spouse can be a great soundboard for your building skill base. Some parents take the time to give small supportive comments in the moment, i.e. “great job changing that poopy diaper, honey!” while others look to find quiet times of connection to discuss shared goals. Whatever works for your house, be sure to support that foundation with positivity.
As spouses learn just how to come together, now is the time to learn how to be apart. Yes, that’s right – go away from your spouse! Not for the long term, but for small doses of time that allow you to remember just who you were before baby. Some moms like to have a Moms Night Out with other women, or maybe you join a professional group in your area – just remember that time away also applies to your spouse as well. Having 1-2 hours a week just for yourselves as individuals gives you something to share when you return.
So keep these three simple tips in mind as you adjust to all that is new with a little baby. These tools will allow you to grow both as parents as well as a couple, and will be helpful in those trying times that we all experience. Take pride in the fact that you will be modeling healthy lifestyles for your children.
Guest Post by Kristen Herlihy, LICSW
Kristen is a mom to two very active little ones. Following the birth of her son in 2011, Kristen wanted to regain her fitness and connect with other moms, so she found Baby Boot Camp stroller fitness classes and has not looked back. This mom & baby fitness solution has been the key for Kristen to both connect with other moms and regain fitness. Kristen is A
FAA certified as a Personal Fitness Trainer, as well as in Group Exercise, Barre Above by Leslee Bender, a Dr. Sears Certified Health Coach and has extensive ongoing training in Perinatal Fitness.