How to Survive the Newborn Phase With Your Spouse
Having a newborn is so exhausting, there isn’t even an adequate adjective to describe it.
You think you are tired during pregnancy and then realize you were not using that word properly as you begin to adjust to life with a newborn.
Let’s face it, we are much more likely to be irritated and snappy when getting next to no sleep. Oftentimes, that irritation is geared towards the closest adult in the house—your spouse. Your marriage might take a few hits when a newborn comes home.
Having a newborn feels like living in survival mode and investing in your marriage seems nearly impossible during this stage. But it is possible and there is hope!
Your marriage is important and needs attention, especially during the newborn phase. Life cannot just be about your new baby.
There are plenty of simple things you can do to continue investing in your marriage during this chaotic timeframe.
I have compiled a list of ways your marriage can still get the investment it needs during the adjustment period of life with a newborn baby. These are ways my husband and I found connection and relief with a new baby in the home:
Use your Connecting Questions book!
My baby is five weeks now, and the best conversation we have had in all that time was thanks to our book 365 Connecting Questions for Couples. Don’t forget you have it and take advantage of those questions. It’s so easy to find a few minutes to ask a question and discover more about each other. It is also a major marriage win to have a conversation that isn’t about the baby. If you don’t have the book, get it! If you cannot afford it (babies are expensive, so I understand), find one of the many Marriage365 blogs with a questions list. Either way, make sure to connect with your spouse.
Find ways to laugh.
This is a stressful season and you have got to find ways to release some stress. Laughter is the best medicine and is a great way to connect with your spouse. So look up a comedy special, find funny YouTube videos, or watch a silly movie or show together. Netflix released a Holiday season of Nailed it! that basically had us peeing our pants. Our sleep deprivation made the humor even more enjoyable. The more we laughed, the easier it was to be on the same team.
Enjoy a podcast together.
In my experience, it is rather difficult to have intelligent conversation in this season; so get someone else to have the conversation for you! Podcasts are an awesome, free resource that come in so many varieties. Find a marriage one to listen to or anything that interests you as a couple. My husband and I listen to podcasts when driving to baby appointments or family events. This helps us to have new conversations. Playing podcasts is an easy way for us to continue growing together.
Have a game night.
If you’re going to be nursing on the couch all night or stuck inside with a fussy newborn who will only sleep in your arms, you might as well make good use of it. Find a card game to play or buy a new two-player game. My husband and I got a new game and it feels a lot better to play that for a night rather than binge-watch tv shows.
Whatever ways you can brainstorm to be together in this season, go for it. The small things matter and every moment of connection counts. Even just stepping outside to take a walk and hold hands can make a big difference. Our date nights aren’t glamorous in this season, but we are still committed to making them happen. I challenge you to do the same.
And remember that the newborn stage is only a season and will not last forever. (That’s what I keep telling myself anyways.)
Written by Heather Christy
Heather Christy lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband Daniel and newborn baby girl, Olive. She is passionate about books, self-development, and coffee. She aspires to consistently encourage others with her words and dreams of making a widespread impact on other couples.