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Hi, I'm Andrea! Our little family of four lives in South Florida and leads worship. We are here to share the love of Christ and live life together. We're learning a lot here and enjoy looking for opportunities to grow. Thanks for listening and coming alongside us!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Marriage After Baby


In light of our 3rd Wedding Anniversary today, I would love to share with you some of the things that have brought Josh and I closer and kept our relationship alive! Our marriage is young, only 3 years old, but we have gone through a lot together! In the past 3 years, we have had a baby, changed jobs, changed churches, gone through the losses of both of my grandmothers, Josh also returned to college to finish his bachelor's degree this year, and graduated, we moved several times (the last move from NW Arkansas to S Florida!), and now are pregnant with baby #2! Plenty of stresses, but many more joys! 
Today, I'd like to focus on "Marriage After Baby" --since our son became a part of our life after only 3 months of marriage and was born the month before our first anniversary! Our culture can tend to emphasize the strain that kids can have on your marriage -- you know what I mean, and you could spout off an entire list, I'm sure! 

Instead, let's focus turning challenges into a way to draw you together and deepen your marriage while raising children. After all, as Psalm 127:3 clearly shares, "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him". 

Here are some things that top my list this morning -- 
Ways to Grow in Your Marriage when Baby Enters Your Family

1. Get on the same page with your spouse

You don't have to be carbon copies of each other, in fact - you shouldn't be! The important thing is to be consistent with your child and unified with your partner in what matters most in your family. This is especially valuable as your child grows older, and needs to be guided and corrected. Don't sweat the small stuff -- you will have your differences. Instead, talk about the small stuff in a gentle way, don't let little issues add up to something. It is a neat dynamic to process things with your spouse that you may have never even thought about before, or talked about with anyone else! You get to see that person you love in a new light and figuring out a new role!



2. Make sacrifices and serve!

Step outside of what you are required to do just to get by, and consider how you can make a little extra sacrifice to bless your spouse. This can mean the most. Maybe the house isn't perfect, but you made your spouse a special dessert treat, or wrote a note to let them know you love them, you notice them, and you are thankful for them. These gestures mean so much -- give them, and also receive them!

3. Don't be entitled

This can be one of the hardest things to do. As a pregnant woman, you may be used to being pampered! People open the door for you, help carry your bags, offer you beverages or extra servings of food. Everyone is interested in how you are feeling. There is an abrupt change when you enter Mommy-hood with baby on the outside! You've just gotta do it. You must get out of bed, you must care for that baby's many needs. Don't forget to care for yourself, but the selfish entitlement must end. The demands on you increase substantially - with loving support and help, you can handle it -- but it can be hard to swallow that pill of self-entitlement. Your spouse can help you process this change and be the relief and reality that you need -- remember you're not alone! Connect by helping each other through this newness of...well...adulthood, really. 
4. Date Each Other and have FUN!

Just the two of you time -- what a treat and a treasure! Our first date after baby was our first anniversary, our son was just over a month old -- and oh we had so much fun! What would it take to make arrangements to get out together? Rekindle and connect by getting away, even if you don't spend any money other than for a babysitter or spoil each other because you want to see them smile, the possibilities are vast! Hold hands and be uninterrupted :) or be goofy with a round of mini-golf!  Can't get away? Try putting baby down earlier in the evening. Our toddler goes to bed before 8 pm -- that way we can have time together, just the two of us -- a mini-date without even leaving home! Don't let your kids be the center of your universe. Remember, one day your kids will grow up and no longer live in your home. Will you be equipped and prepared to interact daily, just the two of you -- and LOVE it?

5. Show Affection

Be complimentary of your spouse, give a heartfelt kiss to each other around your kids and in public. Let your love for each other spill over so that your kids can grow up with the assurance that their parents, no matter what, love each other. I love holding hands with my husband as we drive in the car. We feel connected, even if we're stuck in traffic. Sure, there's a kid in the car-seat behind us, but it sure feels like just-the-two-of-us for that moment!

6. See Life as an Adventure

Parenthood is new for you both of you! See it as an adventure! You may get lost, because the map didn't quite have all of the details. Adapt, make necessary changes, forgive and move along. You may wake up in the middle of the night to unfamiliar sounds. You may have to eat differently than you did before, or smell strange earthy odors... but you're on an adventure, and you'll have stories to tell about this one! 

Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. - 1 Peter 4:8

What would you add to my list? How do you view kiddos entering into your marriage dynamic?

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25 comments :

  1. I loved your thoughts of being entitled. I felt so sorry for my husband when I was pregnant, every time we went anywhere people would ask about ME. Then when the baby came it was even worse, so I started making sure every time somebody made a compliment about me/the baby I would reply with a compliment to my husband. It never failed to make him grin ear to ear. I think the kindest thing is to compliment a person right in front of them haha :) Loved our post, new to your blog! Following from the linkup!

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    1. That's a great idea -- you BOTH are going through such changes! Those compliments can be so bonding! <3 Thank you so much for your comments :D I'm so glad to connect with you!

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  2. Great tips! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. It was so meaningful to sit down and really think through what's been important! thanks :)

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  3. Hope you guys had a fantastic time celebrating the birth of your love and lives together! Happy THREE! Thanks so much for posting this- what an encouragement- I love how you wrote this from such an honest, humble place to give insights to others! I, for one, really appreciate it and know it impacts others! Each tidbit is so good to remember, but specifically #2 Make sacrifices and serve! "Maybe the house isn't perfect, but you made your spouse a special dessert treat, or wrote a note.." Sometimes my own mental images of how our home should be can cloud my true and most important intentions on making sure we are all filled up with love and nurture, it doesn't matter if you have a perfect home when PEOPLE are neglected in the process (something i have learned from having our little lady who constantly is making "creativity" all over the home, so thank you-loved these ideas of simple love touches! Thanks for sharing- I love waking up with an email that you've blogged- brightens my day! Keep on your adventure- so proud of you guys!

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    1. Thank you so much, Natalie! It was wonderful catching up with you today for a bit :) You are an inspirational wife, momma, housekeeper and crafter! I've learned a lot from you <3 I'll be getting that dessert treat up for you next week! Can Chad do pumpkin?

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  4. You bring up so many great points and tips. One that I haven't seen that you mention is the change from pregnancy to parenting. The shift in attitude from others and the internal shift that has to happen in order to care for your child and your family. Great insight and a great post. Thanks for joining us for the linkup this week!

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    1. Thank you, Brittany! It was wonderful just to think through all of these things -- such a fun linkup :D

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  5. Sacrifices can be so important. I love your post! Thanks for linking up to Mamas Tell All.

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    1. Yes! I can't wait to learn more from other mamas out there! Thanks Christine!

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  6. Thank you so much, Natalie! It was wonderful catching up with you today for a bit :) You are an inspirational wife, momma, housekeeper and crafter! I've learned a lot from you <3 I'll be getting that dessert treat up for you next week! Can Chad do pumpkin?

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  7. That's a great idea -- you BOTH are going through such changes! Those compliments can be so bonding! <3 Thank you so much for your comments :D I'm so glad to connect with you!

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  8. Thank you, Brittany! It was wonderful just to think through all of these things -- such a fun linkup :D

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  9. Yes! I can't wait to learn more from other mamas out there! Thanks Christine!

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  10. It was so meaningful to sit down and really think through what's been important! thanks :)

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  11. Great tips! Same page/team is a for sure! & I need to start "dating" my hubs more!

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  12. Thanks :D I'm so glad you like them! I love being reminded of what's important -- and I did with this link-up, for sure!

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  13. This WED the link up topic is about feeding baby/toddler. If you decide to join in!

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  14. I hope to!! -- if I can get my act together and get the post ready! :)

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  15. This is great! Thanks for the uber valuable advice! So encouraging!

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  16. I'm so glad you had some take-aways ;)

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  17. Happy belated anniversary! I think these are 5 great ideas to follow even if you don't have a baby! I've never really thought of the "don't be entitled point" but it's soooo true. Honestly, I find myself sometimes getting/feeling entitled because I work full time while my husband is still in school so why wouldn't I be entitled to such and such... your point just cuts straight through all of that. thanks for the real talk, loved the post :-)

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  18. Thank you so much for the encouragement! I'm so glad that these thoughts were able to speak into your life! We're all in the learning process, aren't we?!

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  19. This is so, so good! Looking forward to sharing it!
    Elizabeth
    www.allkindsofthingsblog.com

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