Having a baby is one of the most life-changing experiences for a couple. It comes with so much joy, but can also lead to marital issues due to the pressures that come with having a newborn. Below you will find the most common marital problems after having a baby, and what you can do to address the issues in a healthy way.
Common Marital Problems After a Baby
There is no shame in having marital issues after having a baby. In fact, it’s common and a lot of people experience the same issues.
Sex Life Fizzles:
No matter how much sex you were having pre-baby, the amount of sex you have post-baby will inevitably reduce. This is normal and completely understandable as you have a newborn to take care of. However, it’s important to address the issue as sex is an important part of your relationship. Try incorporating a weekly date night to give yourselves the space to get intimate. It gives you both something to look forward to and creates a space where you and your partner can focus on one another. This can be really difficult, but the alone time as a couple is crucial to sustaining your emotional and physical intimacy.
Zero Solo Time:
Pre-baby you and your partner likely had some alone time. Whether playing video games, shopping, or even scrolling on your phone, that time is likely gone post-baby. Just like carving out time for you and your partner is important, so it making time for yourself. It won’t be like before, but schedule an hour a week for yourself. If this is impossible, break it up into each day. Give yourself 10 minutes each day to do what you need to do to feel like yourself again in terms of alone time. The other partner can take on baby duty during your alone time. This can create trust and intimacy when it comes to your bond with your partner as you both show how much you appreciate and value one another’s alone time.
Domestic Chores Double:
Having a baby can create a lot more chaos in your home when it comes to domestic duties. The amount of cleaning nearly doubles post-baby. If you had a system before, try and integrate the new duties into your cleaning duties after the baby arrives. If that system isn’t working, try a chore chart. This may sound elementary, but it can help distribute duties between you and your partner. If you can’t find the time to make and execute a chore chart, take 15 to 30 minutes to clean with your partner right after your baby goes to sleep. Carving out this time at night can help you wake up to a home that is a little more put together. A neutral third party can help you and your partner effectively communicate and problem solve these issues.
Financial Issues Ensue:
Children are expensive. While you knew this going into it, it can hit you like a ton of bricks once the baby arrives. If you didn’t make a financial plan before the baby arrived, talk about it now. Carve out a night where you and your partner can discuss expectations, budgeting, and how to move forward. Avoid blaming one another and maintain full transparency as financial issues are an easy issue to get resentful towards each other about.
Boundaries with In-Laws:
While it’s great that your family wants to be supportive and spend time with your baby, it’s important to have clear boundaries. If your in-laws are close and come over unannounced, it can be exhausting. You likely have a laundry list of to-dos that seem infinite (at least for the first few months after birth). Set healthy boundaries with your in-laws. You should not feel guilty about setting these boundaries despite how difficult it may be.
Give them the best times to visit and let them know that you are unavailable outside those hours. Navigating in-laws is one of the most difficult issues in many marriages. You are not alone, so getting help can be a huge help to ensure your feel safe and comfortable setting boundaries with your partner’s family.