Monday, February 8, 2016

First Baby Marriage Advice

Are you about to have a baby? Are you strangely not worn out from being given baby/marriage/parenting advice? Then this blog post is for you! Linking up with Brita again for #Loveblog week!

  • You will be worn out and tired. I know people have told you this before, but I don't think you understand. You will be worn out and tired and unable to rest because you are taking care of a new little person. This new little person is demanding. Give yourself and your partner tons of grace.
  • One of you might be able to rest. I've never been more resentful of my husband's full nights of sleep--because I have not gotten A SINGLE full night of sleep since birth. Know that resentment will simmer within you. Quell it, because someone has to sleep. The person with the most sleep gets to make dinner. And take care of the one who didn't get sleep who is taking care of the tiny demanding person. It will not help to cry and whine about your lack of sleep or to be angry with He Who Received Sleep. It's just a season.
  • It's okay to wake your husband up if you are at your wits end and need some sleep. It does not make you weak. It does not make you a bad wife. It just makes you less sleep deprived and better able to care for your tiny new person, so don't stress over it. In the middle of the night when you are sitting there holding your awake baby fighting tears and hating your spouse who you can hear snoring from the living room--just wake them up.
  • You will argue. Even if you have never argued before. And it will be stressful, because who wants to try to communicate while holding an upset baby when one or both of you had less than 6 hours of sleep? 
  • You will miss your spouse. Things just are not the same. Try not to think of it as someone horribly ripping out a part of your life and think of it as a wave. Ride the wave. Don't fight to return to your pre-baby existence. Ride the wave to find out what this new two-adult plus tiny offspring life looks like, because the wave is going to take you there rather you want to or not.
  • Give yourself tons of grace. In the first few weeks, not only do you have to take care of a little person, you also have to take care of yourself because said little person just squeezed out of your body. I know personally it hurt when my husband didn't see I was suffering. He can't know if I don't tell him. Make an effort to be verbal with your partner. It really means the world to them, and also to you.
  • Sex is not just an afterthought. You need to plan sex. I know this can take the fun out of it, but if you don't plan it the baby will poop and dinner will need to be done and you will realize you haven't showered and than suddenly it's bedtime and everyone is exhausted. 
  • Both of you need two extra sets of hands and a legion of washers and dryers. 
  • Do not compare yourself to your pre-baby self. I mean this in terms of health as well as productivity. You have a small human to care for. Don't expect to get the same amount of work done in a day that you did before. That was before, this is now. Don't expect to look the same. Not only did you squeeze said small person out of your own body, you are now surviving on 4-6 broken hours of sleep a night. Give yourself grace. 
  • You will feel alone. You will feel isolated. Some of you may even wake up and wonder who you are. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to grab up that baby and visit a friend and cry on their shoulder. It's okay to call your partner and ask them (again) to pick up take out for dinner. Do what you need to do to survive, and get rid of the guilt. You have a baby who is totally dependent on you for the first few years of life. It's hard.
  • Having a baby will test your marriage. It might not be the hardest test, but it is going to be rough. The best thing I found to do is to embrace the difficulties and structure your life for the least amount of stress possible. Stay home. Delegate tasks. Hire some help. Nothing is more important than your emotional and mental health, and the emotional and mental health of your marriage.

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