Congratulations, baby is here! As new parents, there will be times of unspeakable joy and laughter. There will also be times of stress and anxiety. Knowing what to expect and how to cope will help you and your spouse enjoy your new family member and each other.
Be prepared for dramatic changes
While a new baby brings you many delightful moments, you should also be prepared for some not-so-delightful moments like sleepless nights, new worries and more responsibilities. Discuss and plan with your spouse how to divide tasks such as baby duties, house chores and paying the bills. Being prepared helps you support each other better.
Share your expectations of the ideal family
Your vision of the ideal family probably differs from your spouse’s. Do not assume your combined vision of the ideal family will develop on its own. Share with each other the kind of family you want and set goals that are meaningful to both of you.
Talk to each other
Failure to communicate openly and honestly with each other will lead to resentment and unresolved issues. Make the effort to talk to each other – while taking a stroll with your baby, after baby is tucked in bed, or simply set aside a regular time each week just to talk.
It is important for fathers to be actively involved in the upbringing of the baby. Touch, hold and talk to baby frequently. You can also help bathe, change and comfort her, especially when she wakes during the night.
Keep a civil tongue
Do not blame each other whenever you have a fight. For instance, if you feel your spouse is not doing his fair share of the house work, bring it up calmly and constructively. Ask your spouse to do the same.
Plan dates with your spouse
Every now and then, take a night off to go out with your spouse. Leave baby with a trusted family member or friend. Do not feel guilty as a strong marriage is the foundation for a happy family and a pair of loving parents, one of the best gifts you can give to your child.
STRIVE FOR INTIMACY
While lovemaking may take a backseat now that baby is here, you should still make time for it. If intercourse seems unlikely to happen, try touching, hugging, cuddling or massaging. Sometimes, it is the feeling of being close to each other that counts.