I get it.
When you have a new baby in the household, life can be seriously ROUGH. Here you have a beautiful new baby enter your household, so you are overjoyed and elated. However, you are running on a few hours of sleep at a time [if that] and can barely get your sentences to come out in a cohesive manner.
There are the pros and the cons, right?
There’s always a way to find the blessing in our mess, even if you are a hot mess of a new parent.
Along with all that seems overcomplicated in regards to said new baby, you also have to stop and think about spending time JUST THE TWO OF YOU. That’s right, there’s still that ever important task of not losing your identity as a couple. We struggled balancing K and her helpless baby needs while bonding together whilst trying NOT to kill one another. Time we spent together as a couple was the glue that bound us back together despite the life shifts happening around us.
Here’s 5 ways we spent quality time together as new parents (notice how I didn’t say ALONE time, that doesn’t always matter:)
1. Laugh through the fights. HUMOR BRINGS YOU TOGETHER.
You’re tired. You’re frustrated. You’re overwhelmed. You’re not really mad at EACH OTHER. So, laugh off the fights when you settle into bed together. Laughter is good for the soul and amazing for unity.
2. MOVE. Get out of the dang house. Go on a WALK or do a WORKOUT even if it’s with baby.
We learned to get K used to the stroller and also the baby carrier quickly. We couldn’t stay holed up in the house every moment of the day or someone was bound to get strangled. So, we took lots of walks. Most of the time K fell asleep. Even if she didn’t, it was the perfect time for us to catch up about the day and talk about things UN-baby related. We also had moments or days where we sacrificed even MORE sleep to get our workouts in, together as a team, before the baby woke up. We even did it after she went down some days. A 30 minute sweat session together, working off the ick of the day, is a welcome way to celebrate yourselves as a TEAM.
3. When people offer to babysit, TAKE THE OFFER and stop worrying about leaving baby.
It literally DOES take a village to have a baby. You have a loving community around you, whether it includes family or friends or ALL of the above. Even if it’s just to take a nap in the day or to do a coffee date together down the street, allow others to help you catch a break. The jitters of leaving baby with someone else can be overwhelming at first, but you know who you can trust.
4. Do an online devotional together to set the day right.
Sometimes, Gary and I only had 10 minutes together before the day kicked off with chaos overload. Even if we heard cries or rustling in her crib through the baby monitor, we’d take out our bibles or our phones or a book we were doing together. It’s important to be on the same page as a COUPLE through studies on communication, His word, marriage tips, and the like. Why not use whatever time you have BEFORE jumping into thunder-dome to focus on each other to stay centered.
5. Set a CONCRETE Date Day/Night.
In the beginning, it’s NOT easy. You may have to wait like we did to get an actual ‘date night.’ That’s okay! When you DO have that chance, try to make a regular habit of it. It may not always be outside of the house; it may mean that you’re in the house while baby is asleep. Setting aside time together proactively helps us to have that time to look forward to and even helps us to be more accountable to not let us as a couple go to the wayside just because we became parents.
As hard as it is for me to remind myself of this, I must repeat this as my MARRIAGE MANTRA:
WE CAN FIRST, SO WE MUST PUT EACH OTHER FIRST.