A friend who just had her first baby messaged me. She asked if I had ever written a blog about how to care for your husband after the baby. I told her “no, but what a great idea!” I had been toiling over what to write next.
Then my brain caught up with what my friend had just asked me. My thought process shifted from a “what splendid idea” to WAIT! WHAT!? She just pushed a bowling ball out of her body that had been renting a room in her womb for nine months, her hormones are still in a mental facility, she is sleep deprived, AND she works a professional job from home. Then there is that little thing she does that arrived with no helpful instructions. Now, what was it again? Oh! That’s right…caring for the baby!
And she wants to know how to care for her HUSBAND!
Holy cow I am pooped for her. BUT, I smell what she’s stepping in. She’s a strong, smart Christian woman. She KNOWS that she must find a balance sooner rather than later. She realizes that at some point the scale has to tip back in the direction it was before that precious prayed for angel arrived.
Who Comes First, Baby or Husband?
Babies are beautiful things, but God didn’t say in His word that we are to leave our mothers and fathers and cleave to our children. Nope, didn’t happen. The Bible says “and two shall become one flesh.” God intends a husband and wife to put their marriage first (under Him), and children second.
For many of my friends, I may have well just spoken Latin! Aren’t we supposed to put the kids first? Sorry, but no, the order goes as follows: you, your husband, then children. Let me explain using a cliche, but a perfect example of why.
While flying on a plane, an emergency happens, and the oxygen masks deploy. The flight attendant instructs you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. Right? Well, marriage with children must function the same. The marriage requires oxygen to work, and if the husband and wife do not take care of each other, that thing is going down!
Staying in Flight
My smart friend doesn’t want depressurization to happen to her marriage. When that turbulence hits, and it will, how will she help her child if she and her husband are out cold? Giving her kiddo the oxygen first may save them for the moment, but what happens when no one is left in one piece to take care of her?
Now we have reached the part where I tell you all the magical things you can do to look after your husband. Sorry, ladies, but I seem to have lost my fairy wand at the moment. The truth is, there is no “one way” to accomplish caring for your husband after the baby arrives. BUT! I will try to narrow down a few things I have learned as a mom who has been there.
Everything I say is easier said than done. Proceed with Caution
Remember to have grace for yourself AND your husband. The two of you are like the people on Naked and Afraid. You are dropped in a remote and harsh environment with pretty much nothing, and now have to figure it out as you go. Neither of you has any clue how to do this thing.
BE THE WIFE INSTEAD OF MOM!
You were his wife and lover before you gained the title “mom” too. Don’t immerse your identity into being a mother and abandon being a woman. In these early days, it will be difficult not to dive head first into the mom role and leave that part of you that was a wife in the dust. It won’t be on purpose either, but you MUST RESIST! Keep doing some of the things for him that you did before the baby came. He was your focus before, so remind him that he is still first in your book.
DON’T HAND OFF!
Picture this, dad walks in the door after working all day, and you have been with the baby, you are tired and JUST want to shower for the first time. It is natural to want to hand the kiddo over the second he walks in the door and then disappear. I get it! I do, but don’t unless, of course, he offers. Spend a few moments speaking about each other’s day, then ask him to take over while you take some time to yourself. Which leads into the next tip, talking.
What I mean when I say “keep talking” does not mean about the baby. It is tempting, and almost natural to focus conversations on the little bundle of cuteness. However, You are still you, and he is still him. In short, you don’t cease being who you are because you have added the identity of “parent.” Talk about your hopes, dreams, and struggles. Play games, or do the things you did together before the baby. You may have less time, or have to squeeze it in somewhere, but don’t let those things slip to the wayside. Communication is the heart of a marriage.
And That’s All Folks!
To say that a new baby in the house is a significant change is a bit of an understatement. It will be easy to let the relationship slip into the background and shift the balance of focus to parenthood. If you are reading this and realize that the balance is off in your home, don’t fret! It is not too late to regroup and shift the balance back into the right order: you, your husband, then children. If cannot do it on your own, don’t be afraid to reach out. Plenty of resources are available to help couples make room for romance after children arrive.
STAY TUNED! Part two is coming!
KEEP ON FLYING!