When you bring your sweet baby home you will likely be met with challenges that are hard to prepare for. Things like colic and any array of surprise health issues your baby comes home with can weigh heavy on any relationship.
But many people don't consider how even the best relationship can be stretched and challenged. Let's consider 5 Ways To Prepare so you and your sweetheart can thrive during what should be a very happy time.
1. What About SEX?
Many ladies experience a decrease in desire for sex. Big shock, right? I mean when you've had an entire HUMAN BEING, no matter how small they look, coming out of your BODY and all they want to do is hang on you 24/7 it's no shock that your desire for sex is not really there.
But not every new mom feels this way. Many moms really crave the adult connection with their beloved. Sometimes sex is a way to connect...but what happens when your doctor doesn't release you to "romp in the hay" as your mom might put it?
How can you know that your spouse will be okay during this time of chastity? That's when you need to have a plan. My husband and I were in this exact situation. I wasn't able to get pregnant because I had a tumor that was growing in my uterus.
When we finally had it removed we had to wait 3 months before we could come together again. Then a year later we got pregnant. My hormones were all over the place and sex was so uncomfortable. But then I was high risk for uterine rupture and had to have a c-section. Now we are 2 months post-partum and my doctor is adamant about not getting pregnant for at least 18 months so I don't...well...so I don't die.
For faith, and a myriad of other reasons, I do not do contraception....so you can probably understand my conundrum. Can't count how long we've had to abstain from sex from the timeline above?...let's just say...it's been a long time.
So what do you do when life throws you a curve ball and you have to put away your needs for the good of another? That's when we need to have a plan. It's a very personal plan. We also need to know where we draw the line in the sand. What are we okay with and what are we not okay with as a couple?
2. What About Protection...For Your Love Life?
I read a blog post that was hilarious but so incredibly true. The blogger was making a point about how all the advice we get is contradictory. On one hand we hear don't let your baby cry because they will be emotionally scarred and on the other hand we hear some crying is okay. We hear co-sleeping will kill your child but clearly those people never tried to feed a crying baby all. night. long.
Much of the advice we read about child rearing is opinion and yet some is really valuable. I have really appreciated much of the insight other moms have given me about products and things to look out for. I especially love the lactation cookies!
But what about the advice for your love life? Many of these same moms and dads do NOT have their relationship in order. Many parents are incredibly unhappy...but why?
Well the most obvious is that it can be incredibly lonely being a parent. If moms and dads don't know how to come together and comfort one another and connect in a meaningful way, with the very little alone time they have, that void can grow until one day you wake up and realize that your babies are leaving the nest, and you don't even know your spouse anymore.
So it's important to use protection for your marriage. Some say have boundaries and others say get more alone time...and while those are very important and helpful...we would like to add learn how to connect on a deeper emotional level.
Learn to see the warning signs of a marriage heading for rough times before the rough times happen and swallow up every bit of your love life until it's non-existent.
3. What About Expectations?
It didn't occur to me that I had as many expectations for myself as a mom until the unvoiced expectations were challenged.
Things like breastfeeding or bottle feeding, staying home versus working outside the home, and homeschooling versus public schooling were all issues I assumed were going to be a certain way. I didn't even really talk with my husband about it until I started doing things my way and he started doing things his way.
Honestly, some of these things were not possible to be planned for but it would have been nice to have a way to think through the important aspects of becoming a parent and becoming a family.
Sometimes our parents and friends are afraid to give advice because they don't want to seem too nosey or judgmental or stereotypical for that matter. Sometimes people will give you advice or even force their expectations on you without even realizing it.
One thing that stuck out to me was with the baby's nursery. I am an entrepreneur and am busy about building businesses and in the midst of that I didn't really decorate or plan a baby's nursery. I sometimes feel guilty about that but my baby doesn't care.
He would much rather co-sleep with Brad and me anyways. Plus it's much more convenient to have his stuff in our bedroom instead of trudging across the house at all hours of the night. But others moms feel differently and that's okay.
It's all about what works for your family. The important thing is you make the time to plan and discuss expectations.