When I found out I was pregnant, I had so many mixed emotions. We had been wanting to get pregnant for the past 7 months, but I also had come to the point that I was okay waiting a bit longer. One of the reasons for this was because I LOVED my time with Jimmy. We had so much fun together the first year and a half of marriage, and I wasn’t sure about another person coming into our family and taking my time away from him.
Even the last month of pregnancy when I was so ready for Lily to make her appearance and SO excited about having our baby, I had a little apprehension knowing that things would be different in our marriage.
On April 4th, when Lily made her grand appearance, Jimmy and I both fell instantly in love with her. It is an entirely different kind of love that we have for Lily.
It seems like our hearts didn’t have to split our love between Lily and each other, but a new part of our hearts grew for Lily love.
And my heart also seemed to grow for Jimmy love as well.
But even though I didn’t have to split my love for Jimmy and Lily, things changed. We now have a brand new human in our family, and it’s not a situation we can compare to anything else. This is a new journey of life that we are taking together.
I entered a whole new (and more difficult) arena of things I knew to do in marriage, like communicate and serve the other person first.
It’s something that you aren’t prepared for because you have a new baby who totally depends on you! And then you also have your #1 person, your husband, who you are called to love more than anyone else.
In the tough moments, all I could do was pray. I didn’t have the capacity to whip out a marriage book or even have a conversation with a friend for encouragement.
I asked the Holy Spirit to give me love and selflessness in my marriage. And He did.
So here are five ways to love your husband after having a baby:
Communicate (listening is included!)
Nothing new for marriage, right? Right… except that you are now communicating about things you have never communicated about before! So it feels new even if you communicate well in your marriage pre-baby.
- Ask him how he’s feeling and doing often.
- Ask him if there’s anything you can do for him even though you may feel overwhelmed with the baby, ask him anyways! I promise that when you’re marriage is in right order, everything else will be easier.
- Let him know how you’re feeling and doing.
- Let him know things that may be helpful for you rather than getting annoyed or bitter that he isn’t helping you in some way. Men do not automatically know what to do, especially with a newborn! So don’t assume he knows what to do. Gently help him understand.
Spend time with him without the baby
Obviously you can’t ignore the baby whenever you want to spend time with your husband. But when the baby is napping, put the baby in another room while you hang out with your husband. This is healthy for your marriage and demonstrates intentionality that your husband is still your main person and it’s not all about baby. It also creates space for intimacy emotionally and physically because when Lily is around, I want to cuddle her. 🙂
When your husband does a good thing for you or the baby, encourage or affirm him! When he brings you water, thank him. When he changes diapers, thank him. When he holds and loves the baby, tell him what a great dad he is. When he comes home from work, tell him you’re proud of him. CONSTANTLY encourage and affirm any little or big thing he does. I PROMISE this will speak volumes to him and it will help him be the man you want him to be.
Respect his opinions
Now that you’re a mom, there’s a mama bear mentality that makes you think and believe you are the only one who knows best for your baby. Part of this is true because God gives us mother instincts to care for and protect our baby. But another part of it is hormonal and makes us anxious and worry about things that aren’t reality. It will be hard for you to listen to your husband’s opinions about caring for your baby because you think you are the one who knows best. But, listen to him anyways. He is the father of the baby and God has given him instincts for caring for the baby as well! Don’t shut him down! You want him to parent with you and have confidence to care for the baby.
Here’s an example (some would disagree with us on this, but this is what we decided was best for our family).
Lily slept in a bassinet in our room when we came home from the hospital. When I needed to feed her, I would pick her up, take her across the hall in the nursery, and then bring her back and go to sleep. After the first week, Lily became a VERY loud sleeper. She breathed really heavy, grunted often, and would stir in her sleep. This would wake us both up even though Lily wasn’t waking up yet, and sleep is very precious for the parents!
Jimmy asked if we could move her in the nursery and I said HECK NO! My new mom hormones would not allow that. I didn’t have a good reason why because we leave our doors open, the nursery is literally two steps from our door, and I have a video monitor.
Once Lily was two weeks old, I could tell how much it would mean to him if we moved her to the nursery. So, I told him we could move her to the nursery, but I would need a lot of comfort and encouragement from him in order to do so because it made me feel so anxious. He understood and was incredibly encouraging and sweet during the transition.
After the first night of Lily being in the nursery, it was so easy! I was so thankful he encouraged me to move her because we slept better and it was so good for our marriage to have time together in our room without her. I’m not saying at all that everyone should do this, but I am saying to listen to your husband and don’t discredit him even if you don’t feel like it’s right at first. Let him know he’s being heard and you appreciate his opinion even if you don’t go with it.
Have fun with him
When Jimmy was taking time off from work in the first few weeks, we would run errands together or go out for coffee during the day with Lily because I wasn’t able to go out by myself yet. I didn’t always feel like getting out, but this was so good for all of us and created time to have fun together. We would sit outside at a café, sing along to music in the car, go to Target, etc. 🙂 Even though we were tired, we were able to enjoy doing things outside of being at home. It was fun to venture out together with our new baby!
I hope this encourages you whether you’re already a mom or becoming one sometime in the future. Give yourself lots of grace and pray often.
I would love to hear from you!
Comment below with any questions and/or how it has been for you as a new mom! You’re also always welcome to message me through our blog or my Instagram!