This is Day 8 of our series on “Surviving & Thriving with a Newborn” — part of the 31 day writing challenge hosted by the Nester. Every day in October I’ll be sharing a tip about how to make the most of and enjoy the sleep-deprived newborn days. For a list of all the posts in this series, click here.This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for my information.
Babies are 100% dependent on their parents. They need someone to feed them, change their diapers, clothe them, help them sleep, and cuddle them. As a new Mom, it’s easy to fall into the trap of giving all of my self to my child. Sure he needs you, and you should provide what your baby needs.
However, be careful that you don’t neglect your marriage in the process. Your husband needs you too.
As a new parent, you may think you’ll never go on a date with your husband again. I mean, how?! You are the only one who can feed this child. You are the only one who knows how to put her to sleep. You are the one she wants when she cries. But the truth is that it’s possible, and not only possible, but essential.
I recently ran across this article on Facebook and was seriously convicted by the authors’ argument:
There are doubtless benefits that come from elevating parenthood to the status of a religion, but there are obvious pitfalls as well. Parents who do not feel free to express their feelings honestly are less likely to resolve problems at home. Children who are raised to believe that they are the center of the universe have a tough time when their special status erodes as they approach adulthood. Most troubling of all, couples who live entirely child-centric lives can lose touch with one another to the point where they have nothing left to say to one another when the kids leave home (emphasis mine).
One day your children will leave the nest and life will once again be primarily about you and your husband. Will you be able to talk to him again? Will you know how to relate to him after (at least) 18 years of life with other people demanding your attention? Or will you two be total strangers? Will your marriage survive without the kids holding it together?
The point is this: Even though you have a newborn, don’t neglect your husband. Spend time with him. Go on a date — without the baby, if possible. Talk to him about how you’re feeling as a new parent, and find out how he’s adjusting. Don’t forget that you loved him first, and keep that flame burning.
Here are some date night ideas for new parents:
1. Once a week plan an at-home movie night. Pop some popcorn or make ice cream sundaes and snuggle up together.
2. Order carry-out from a favorite restaurant you used to frequent before baby arrived, and enjoy a candle-lit dinner together at home. Talk about your future; make plans for yourselves that don’t involve your baby. Maybe you can plan a one-night getaway.
3. Do something together you both enjoy. My husband and I are food snobs. We enjoy trying new restaurants and critiquing them. Maybe you and your spouse like to hike or ride bikes; maybe you like to go to the movies. If you have someone you feel comfortable leaving the baby with for a couple of hours, then go for it. Pump milk or fix a bottle for the baby and go.
4. Create a love letter scavenger hunt. Remind your man why you fell in love with him in the first place with this fun, easy to make scavenger hunt.
I admit that I really struggle with my own advice. My husband is self-sufficient and very independent, so it’s easy to think he doesn’t need me. That’s simply not true, though. He may not depend on me like a newborn does, but he does need to know I still love and respect him; he still needs to feel like he’s #1 to me.
Don’t make excuses as to why a date night (or day!) is out of the cards in these newborn days. Find time in the day to sleep when baby sleeps and say “no” to outside commitments, so you can focus on your marriage and put your husband in his rightful place: first.
How do you keep your priorities in order (husband first, child second) during the newborn season?
What ideas do you have for date nights/days with a baby?
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