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4 Ways Your Marriage Changes Right After Having a Baby

Photograph by Twenty20

There are so many things I didn't know about life with a newborn until I had one. After I had my baby, my friends with kids would come over and the conversation would go like this:

"So is she sleeping ok?"

"Yeah, you know, it's not too bad."

"Good! I'm glad to hear that! So has your husband starting bugging the crap out of you yet?"

Apparently this is a thing, and something every new mom experiences. I guess you have no idea how your relationship with your spouse will change after a baby until you live it. Between sleep deprivation, worries if the baby is still breathing, the various bodily fluids that will inevitably splash on you, the constant newborn hunger, and seriously, is the baby still breathing?, it would make sense if your marriage becomes as foreign to you as swaddling a seven-pound Houdini with eight arms.

Here are just four ways your marriage might be different after bringing home that sweet little baby:

1. You might look at your partner and mutter obscenities under your breath.

I mean, does he really need to talk that loud to the baby at two in the morning? And who the hell taught him how to buckle her into the car seat? The thing is, you love him. But having a baby is stressful and you're coming down off some serious hormones and that can undo even the strongest of relationships. Try to take some time in those early days for just the two of you. Even if it's just 10 minutes after the baby is asleep.

Bringing a baby home makes you rethink everything you knew about your marriage. As it should.

2. Sex will be different.

Not bad, just different. Obviously you have to wait six weeks to recover, but the thing is, you may not want to after that for awhile. Hormones mess with you, both physically and emotionally. (Blame everything on the hormones.) You may not care to, or you may be so tired caring for your baby that you have nothing left to give. And that's OK. It won't always be like that. Eventually you will want to. Maybe you can even have sex again without any distracting thoughts. Seriously, is the baby still breathing?

3. You might love your baby more than your partner.

Did you ever think that could happen? This one was most shocking to me. The bond you have as a mother is powerful, more powerful than I ever imagined. And that bond can overshadow everything you used to think was important: exercise, your cat, food, and yes, your spouse. In fact, you may get so caught up in caring for your helpless infant that you forget you have a partner in all this. Here's the thing: it's going to happen. Just try to be kind about it. Remember, he loves the baby just as much as you do.

4. You will find yourself head over heels in love with him for weird reasons.

Maybe not all the time. (See #1) But amidst the feelings of wanting to smack him with an unwashed cloth diaper, you will find yourself a little weepy over how carefully he changes her diaper. Maybe it will be when you see his face light up when she smiles at him for the first time, or how he washes your pump parts so you can cuddle with the baby.

Bringing a baby home makes you rethink everything you knew about your marriage. As it should. I mean, you're adding a member to your family and that throws everything into turmoil. You may think your marriage isn't going to survive this. But it gets better.


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