A lot of the young parents I know keep their relationships fresh, strong, fun and spontaneous here in New York. They plan 1 night out a week where they have the babysitter come so that they can get out to see their friends or have some time together. They ask their family or friends to watch the baby for a few hours while they go to dinner or see a movie and more.
Here are 6 tips to keep your marriage with your first baby at its best!
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff: Sit down with your partner and divide up household chores. Leave out baby duties for now, but include everything else — from cooking and cleaning to paying the bills and walking the dog (yeah, he’ll still be there).
2. Arrange baby duties: Divide baby duties using the same principle as the chores: Get a pencil and have at it. For newborns, the biggies are feedings, diapers and sleep (sorry, not yours). Then there’s stuff like arranging child-care and doctor appointments. Just be as realistic as possible and don’t overpromise in an effort to be agreeable.
3. Talk about work: Fantasizing about chucking your 9-to-5 for freelance once baby arrives? Is your partner assuming that one of you is going to make a career out of staying home? Somebody is going to have to take care of the baby during business hours, and the sooner you decide who it will be, the happier everybody is going to be.
4. Be ready to agree-to-disagree: Of course you’re not going to hammer out every area of potential parental discord, but try to cover a few of the headliners — breastfeeding, co-sleeping, sleep training, grandparents — and you’ll be well on your way to “happily ever after.”
5. Ask for emotional support: So make an educated guess about the emotional support you’ll need after the baby arrives and then ask for it, outright. Thinking you can’t possibly know what you’ll need? If what makes you feel loved now is for your partner to listen to the minutiae of your day, you’ll probably still need that after the baby arrives. Your minutiae will just involve a lot more talk about changing diapers.
6. Babymoon: A babymoon’s not a bad idea either. It’s a trip you take with your partner before the baby is born. The afterglow from a fabulous trip can help you overlook small missteps. (And in the months — okay, years — to come, overlooking will be helpful.) Those great memories will also give you something to look back on until you can start building new ones.