Bringing home a new baby can be emotionally and physically challenging.
But the challenges don't end there.
Your relationship is one of the areas that tend to need the most TLC when you're adjusting to life as a new family.
In the awesome book Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More, Argue Less and Communicate Better as Your Family Grows by Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O'Neill, and Julia Stone is an awesome guide to the different challenges parents will face along the way.
They cover everything from in-laws to intimacy, to help couples who might be struggling to reconnect and maintain their spark.
“Telling a mother who has a child and work commitments to chill out is like telling a nuclear engineer not to worry about the leak in the reactor he has been sent in to fix.”
We plucked a few of our favorite "stages" and words of advice from the book to throw some refreshing tips your way to living happier as a married couple with kids.
The Initial Fear
Once the hospital sends you and your new baby on your merry way, the panic sets in. There's a moment when parents look at each other terrified and admit that "they're not so sure they can do this." A bunch of irrational fears and paranoia start to drive the wedge between parents.
Luckily the first few weeks are anything but lonely, with a parade of friends and relatives coming in and out of the house to lend a hand with the baby. Like all good parades, this too will come to an end. Once the relatives leave, parents are back to square one and have to figure out what to do next. Talk about stressful. But knowing what to expect in your first few weeks postpartum will help parents relax and work together as a team.
Sometimes a new baby feels less like a joy and more like a full time job. Your boss just happens to be a very cute but relentlessly needy new baby. New parents are prepared for some sleepless nights, but it's one of those things you just don't know what it's like until you're on the front lines. When parents are tired, they're stressed and consistently cranky. A cranky spouse is sure to build quite a divide in the relationship, making the first few months particularly tough.
Remember when fights were as cute as what to eat for dinner or why you didn't get a call back right away? Those days are long gone and most arguments from here on out tend to be a little more aggressive. The stress of transitioning into roles as parents can create a lot of tension that makes communication more important than ever.
It's a crazy journey, but an amazing one.