Quick disclaimer: Simple Living Mommy is positive vibes only. I’ve received a lot of negative comments on this post from people who either REALLY hate their husbands or are just totally offended that a new mom would care about her husband’s feelings at all. Your husband BETTER be taking great care of you after you have a baby, if he isn’t, send him my way 😉 Finally, all comments are approved before they’re posted, so any not-so-nice comments are deleted before anyone can see them…in other words, positive vibes only or don’t bother 😉
You’re exhausted, confused, sore, and inundated with expected and unexpected visitors. This is the unhappy reality after bringing baby home from the hospital.
Sure, you’re excited to be a first (or second, or third) time mom, but there are a lot of not so nice experiences that come right after having a baby. Your husband is probably feeling a lot of these effects too…and he is hyper-focused on taking great care of his rockstar wife and brand new baby.
I read this book and it completely changed our marriage. Learning how to love each other the right way made postpartum SO much easier for both of us when emotions were high and sleep was nonexistent.
While any new dad had better be awesome at rocking it postpartum, that comes with a ton of stress for any parent going through the crazy stressful postpartum period.
That husband that you made that beautiful little bundle of joy with is going through some pretty hefty emotions too. Even though it’s 100% your job to completely focus on your own recovery and bonding with your new baby, just a few really easy changes in the coming days and weeks can make all the difference to the new daddy in your house while making your own life easier!
Step one is getting that hubby a new daddy manual. I absolutely love this book for new dads.
When we first brought our new little one home from the hospital, we had no shortage of stress.
It was during a crazy snow storm in Pittsburgh, our pipes were frozen, our baby came 5 weeks early so we weren’t prepared, and I had a bad case of the baby blues.
My husband, who is always so content and loving, had to deal with all of our craziness all by himself while I healed and took care of our new tiny person…and then still have the energy to help me recover, support me emotionally, and learn to be a new dad.
He’s a rock star and never once complained – even when he switched jobs and we moved 7 hours away when that tiny person was just 5 weeks old (if you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know we’re completely insane and make stupid decisions like this often 🙂 ).
It finally occurred to me that the love and patience I needed from him needed to flow both ways.
Here are some quick tips to make the transition a little easier on him too –
- Include your husband in decisions with the baby. Even small things like letting him pick out the baby’s outfit can go a long way.
- Don’t criticize his attempts at parenting. It doesn’t matter if a diaper is on crooked or even backwards. Laugh it off. You might not realize it right now, but you’re making amazing memories together that you’ll be able to appreciate one day.
- Give daddy some trust with the new baby. Fight the urge to hover or be present every second. This is just as much for you as it is for him. Take that time to yourself and do the things you loved to do before you had a baby. Even if it’s just a few minutes to sit down with a book or take a quick bath. Now that our son is a little older, my husband showers with him on a regular basis. They’ve done this since he was probably 9 months old. My husband puts on old country music that I can’t stand, and they stay in there singing and squealing at each other. My husband wouldn’t trade the one on one time for anything, and I’m betting our little one wouldn’t either.
- Help prioritize your marriage by telling your husband what you need. Let him focus on your marriage and making you happy while you focus on bonding with your little one. It can be as simple as telling him it would mean a lot to you if he got up through the night just so you don’t feel alone when baby needs to nurse at 2 am. Those late night feedings are lonely! Wake his butt up too!
- Even before the 6 week post-partum “go ahead” there are lots of ways to enjoy some quality “alone time.” Sex is SO important to a marriage, but it doesn’t have to be just intercourse! Find your energy, and then find 10 minutes to enjoy each other. You can read my tips for having an awesome sex life when co-sleeping here. Having that quality time with my husband made me feel normal again – something I totally needed. After I had our first baby I felt like a totally different person and as though my body wasn’t mine anymore. Getting back to flirting and romance made me feel like not just me – but US – again.
- Take advantage of nap time and have little dates. We like to throw picnics in the middle of our living room floor. Even if you’re too sleep deprived in the very beginning to do anything enjoyable, make some time to snuggle together for your own nap while baby is napping. The oxytocin rush from a short cuddle session might be all the date night you need!
- Never underestimate the power of compliments! Give your husband plenty of kudos for all that he is doing to help you in your recovery and in taking care of the new little one.
- Ask for help! You’re doing all of the work after having a baby – breastfeeding, getting up at all hours of the night… While some husbands might be perfectly content to sit back and let you do it all, most men who love their wives WANT to be a part of it all and want to help with the transition. It might sound counter-intuitive, but feeling needed is exactly what your husband needs right now when your time is mostly taken up by a new baby. Ask him to intervene with unexpected guests, to help figure out something for dinner, to get involved with your nursing relationship with your little one…there are so many ways to include hubby in this new adventure!
Most importantly, try to soak up all of these beautiful moments because they pass too fast! It’s the effort that you’re putting in that will really stand out to your husband.
Even if you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open during your picnic dinner date in the middle of the nursery floor, your husband will notice the time that you took to put some emphasis back on your marriage.
Compliments, asking for his help, and appreciating out loud to him the help that he does give you can go a long way in reassuring your husband that he still has the biggest place in your heart after the new baby arrives. Take the time to make your husband feel special during this beautiful time. I promise, you’ll be so happy that you did!
What tips can you offer to first time parents to help each other feel special and included? What are some things you wish you had done when you first brought baby home from the hospital? Let me know in the comments!