As a new parent, this blog post should help provide a lot of insights into parenting for first-time parents like you.
Even though our kids are still young, we’ve learned a lot of wonderful parenting lessons through trial and error in our first few years of parenting.
And we want to share them with you today.
Our advice to new parents for their marriage.
The first year of parenting can be very challenging. If you do not handle it well, it could easily result in lots of arguments with your spouse. The lack of sleep, interference from well meaning in-laws and family members, hormones, and the overall adjustment is a huge stress on your life and your marriage.
Many of these arguments are most likely going to come from a breakdown in communication with your spouse.
Below is a list of our best advice for new parents on how to survive the first year of parenthood, without letting parenthood have a negative impact on your marriage.
1) Sex. Let’s not forget, it is common sexual intimacy drops during this period.
This drop is one of the reasons why it is so important to make the effort to stay connected with your spouse.
Snuggle together, sit and talk on the couch. Don’t forget to kiss, hug, hold hands! Sometimes it can take awhile to get back into a satisfying sexual relationship after baby. But that doesn’t mean it gives you a pass on not connecting in other ways.
2) Be patient with each other! This one is huge! The earlier you learn to be patient, the better things will be for you, your spouse, and your marriage. Remember, your partner is probably just as sleep deprived as you, if not more (mamas!). Take a deep breath, and give them the benefit of the doubt.
3) Lower your expectations of a daily routine and the house being clean for the first couple months while you work out your new routine. The first few months will be about survival. The laundry might not every get folded, so settle for clean. Invest in disposable dish ware to save yourself the headache of doing the dishes on top of everything else. And remember, it won’t always be like this. This is just a phase.
4) Help each other, pick up the slack for your spouse. If you know your wife has been up nursing the baby at night, make sure her water is refilled and close enough for her to reach. Take the baby while she gets a long hot shower by herself. Go for a walk with your new bundle, so mom can have some time to herself. Do each other’s chores when you have the time.
In our case, Marcus took over the daily chores because of physical restrictions after Ash’s emergency surgery.
5) Communicate! Don’t stop now just because you may be a walking zombie!
6) Sleep well when you have the chance, your body needs rest. Sleep when baby naps. ( I know you’ll probably want to stare down at that sweet little cherub for hours, and enjoy the silence, but nap with them sometimes too)
7) Have a marriage check up every couple months. Make sure you both feel you are satisfied with where you are in your marriage. And if not, come up with realistic and practical solutions to make it better.
8) Be open to change and disagreements on how you should do things.
First of all for a lot of things there is no “right” or “wrong” way, and we must accept that we each have a different way of doing things.
For things like discipline, health choices, etc, make sure you communicate, research, listen to each other’s point’s of view, and agree together on these topics.
9) Get help when you need it and don’t be afraid to ask.
10) Be ready to say no to visitations if you need time together as a family.
11) Evolve. Don’t think because you do something now and it works, it will always work. Either for your parent-child relationship or your marriage.
You must evolve in your journey together.
12) There will certainly be increase in family expenses, and emergencies so be prepared.
Learn how to agree on your marriage finances if you have money fights, and create a monthly budget for your family.
13) Connect. Where is the time? Make it intentional to schedule a time to connect with each other.
Keep your marriage your priority. Meaning, you make sure you connect with each other and make time for the two of you.
Spend time together sitting while your new baby is nestled in your arms, in the swing, or laying in a blanket in front of you.
Oh, and try to talk about something other than the baby, at least sometimes.
14) Listen to parenting advice. But make your own decisions.
You have your own intuition for a reason.
15) The first year of parenthood goes by very quickly so enjoy every moment with your baby and your spouse.
When it gets tough remember, “This too shall pass”.
16) Always do what is best for your baby, marriage, and your family.
17) Learn your baby’s cues, when they are fussy, tired etc. Teach your spouse about it so you both know what to do.
18) Self care. Spend alone time without your kids or spouse. This will help you in many ways.
Get grounded. Take a break. And have some “me” time.
19) Don’t compare your baby to other babies!
Every child is unique and will learn things on their own time.
20) Trust in yourself, and your spouse. You can do it!
We had to find the balance and a new routine (that still gets changed frequently).
We had to make sure we were both heard, learned to compromise and agree on issues such as discipline as they get older, schooling, health choices, and so much more.
We also continued to connect and grew together to improve our marriage.
These are our tips for first time parents who are in the first year of their parenting journey.
Becoming a parent for the first time.
It is very likely that many couples have a child or children during your first few years of marriage. Therefore, we believe it’s important to touch on this subject and to share our best advice for new parents like you.
By being able to understand the fulfilling impact parenthood plays in marriage, you will be better equipped for the challenges that lay ahead.
The moment you become a new parent, everyone seems to have parental advice they want to share with you (wanted or otherwise).
As a result, there seems to be a lot of parenting advice for new parents like you. But we have observed there isn’t much advice that concentrates on parenting and the marriage relationship.
It’s either one or the other, which should not be the case.
Advice for new parents who are married.
It should not be only about parenting but also the role parenting plays in marriage. During the last 2 weeks of our first pregnancy, we read about 5 books on breast-feeding, labor, post-partum, and babies!
We also read blogs and articles to gain any knowledge we could find about:
- How children’s brains work.
- How to set children up for life.
- How to give them the best foundation for life.
- How to a create a peaceful and loving home for them.
- The impact parenting has on marriage.
- Gentle parenting techniques.
- What new parents needed to know about babies.
- The best advice for new parents etc.
The surprising observation was that so many of the “experts” whose books or articles we read, and the advice we listened to from older parents conflicted with each other.
We, therefore, decided to trust our instincts and researched anything questionable.
The first year of parenthood.
You go into parenthood and marriage with this expectation of how you will be a great parent. How you will discipline, how you will do things, how you will…
Then your baby is born! And everything changes!
Your life will change (frequently), so be ready.
Everything you “thought” goes out the window. Simply because your baby is not just the baby you read about in a book.
He or she is yours!
That cry is now for you to comfort. And for you to feed. Your baby now relies solely on you and your partner.
All babies and children require a lot of their parent’s energy.
Your maternal or paternal instincts will kick in. You would want to do everything you can for this new life you have been gifted. And if you struggle with building that connection, that’s okay too. It does take work, just like any other relationship in your life.
Then the reality of lack of sleep begins, resulting in no energy to even throw the laundry in, never mind the lack of hands!
All these new responsibilities and roles can add some stress to your marriage or relationship.
As a nursing mother, I didn’t even have time to feed myself in the beginning.
Long nights, days where you can’t nap even though you are exhausted because you don’t want to miss a single second of your baby’s life, watching them sleep. And not forgetting to check their breathing every 5 minutes! – Ash
As a husband, father, college student, part-time business owner, and an IT technician I was tired often. By the time I arrive home from college and work, I was already exhausted with little energy left.
How do I combine all these roles?
I developed a schedule with Ash that enabled me to perform all my duties for our family.
I had to spend quality time with our daughter and also allowed Ashley to rest alone without having to worry about our daughter. – Marcus
When children see their parents being connected and loving each other, they will feel more secure.
And are more likely to have a secure and loving marriage in the future. It will become one of their marriage expectations.
These are the lessons we learned that helped us in our first year of our parenthood. We hope you enjoyed reading them.
What concerns do you have about surviving the first year of parenthood?
If you are already past your first year of parenting, what’s your best advice for new parents?