Marriage After a Baby: How to Keep It SPICY
Sexless marriage after a baby
Marriage after a baby is a whirlwind.
I will never forget those first three months with our newborn baby at home. We were officially parents!
Watching my husband become a father and seeing how incredibly good at it he was made me fall in love with him all over again.
I didn’t even know that was possible, to fall in love again when I was already in love with him in the first place.
Having a baby together bonded us in a new way that is indescribable, and our partnership became even stronger.
I felt like my heart was going to burst from all this newfound love I had for our new family unit.
But the “honeymoon phase” of being new parents quickly transitioned into exhaustion and little time spent together as husband and wife.
There was no “spice” in our marriage anymore, especially after our second born came.
We were functioning like zombies.
The Struggles of Marriage After a Baby
The arrival of a new family member fills your home with joy, love, and a sense of wonder like no other. At the same token, it rocks your marriage (and life), even if your marriage is a solid one for the below reasons.
1. Limited alone time
Downtime doesn’t really exist anymore. Your little one has created a whole new list of chores and responsibilities for you to complete.
You are never alone because your baby is now here. There is very little time for yourself, let alone with your hubby.
Not only is alone time a struggle, but accomplishing your personal everyday tasks takes some restructuring, too. From work to exercise to grocery shopping to friendships and more…finding time to squeeze all of these things in can feel impossible.
Something has to give.
Solution: Remember that everything ebbs and flows. If you dedicate time to being with your children, know that your chores will probably suffer a little. If you focus on one-on-one time with your hubby, your “me-time” will probably suffer a little. But that’s OKAY!
When you fill one cup, it lasts for awhile so that you can focus on another cup/area in your life.
Be okay with imbalance and strive for structure and routine versus perfection and balance.
Create time for yourself and your man 😉 by following these 7 Organization Tips for Moms That Saved My LIFE.
2. Lack of sleep
I remember thinking that the whole “no feeling rested as a parent” thing was just a myth. That no sleep couldn’t really be that bad. OMG. It is that bad.
Little to no sleep equates to irritability, compounding issues, turning mole hills into mountains. This, in turn, can strain any relationship.
Solution: Alternate who has middle-of-the-night-duty and morning duty. That’s what my husband and I do to help carry the load for each other.
If today was his day to be with our early-rising little guy, I know tomorrow is my turn. If I was the parent who was with our sick daughter all night long, my husband knows he’ll be on morning duty while I sleep in.
3. Changing roles
Having a baby naturally creates new roles (and shifts in previous roles) as husband and wife. Adjusting to the new rhythm and responsibilities can naturally cause misunderstandings or miscommunications between the two of you.
I so vividly remember feeling like we were in survival mode, just doggedly going through the motions completely fatigued.
We had become more like roommates who were just existing together, especially after our second born came. We would see each other in passing but there was no time to connect and visit, let alone have any romance.
I started feeling angry at how easily my husband could just come and go because he didn’t have boobs.
He wasn’t stuck to a feeding clock to keep our baby alive. He wasn’t stuck with carrying around pumping equipment anytime he left the house. Breastfeeding is a labor of LOVE.
I started feeling like a cow, that I was just a source of food in a body that wasn’t mine anymore.
Being intimate was the LAST thing on my mind.
Solution: Communication and understanding are so important. Always be true to yourself and speak what you need to in order to feel better. Do it from a loving place and remember you are in it together.
I read once that a happy house is okay with unhappy emotions. I LOVE that saying and think of it whenever my mood or my hubby’s mood is unpleasant towards each other.
We are allowed to be grumpy and we need to let our emotions out (in a healthy way of course).
5 Easy Ways to Bring Back the SPICE in Your Marriage After a Baby
Not only is having some spice in your marriage lots of fun, but it is so healthy for a marriage too! Romance strengthens bonds, reduces stress, boosts self-esteem, increases happiness, enhances communication, and more!
1. Touch often
One day I realized my husband and I always seemed to be in a rush. We hardly ever stopped what we were doing to properly say goodbye when one of us was leaving.
It was a shout, “Bye! Have a good day!” as I’m preparing breakfast for everyone. The same thing was happening when one of us would come home. “Hi! How was your day?” was shouted as I continued to change a diaper.
Did you know that physical touch relieves stress and anxiety, boosting your overall mood? Physical touch matters for our well-being.
No matter what I’m doing, I now stop to give my hubby a hug and a kiss at the door whenever he is coming or going.
If we are passing each other in the kitchen, I give his arm a quick squeeze. I’m always thinking of ways I can touch him more.
Touching increases our emotional connection with others and helps us relax.
It is such a simple gesture to bring back some spice 😉
2. Dress to impress
Ok, this does not apply when you have a newborn at home…
But once you get out of the season in your life where you are feeding your baby round the clock, do not stay in your sweat pants or pajamas all day.
I am the worst at this because I work remote. I am lucky that I technically don’t have to wear business clothes all day long, but the flip side of that is that my effort in my appearance is lacking.
I often am lazy in that regard, and lazy is not cute! Looking sloppy or lazy doesn’t quite send the message to our spouse that we want some spice…nor does it turn him on…
I am making more of a conscious effort to get fully ready for the day, even if it is a day I am not leaving my house.
And I must say, I have noticed my mood improves drastically when I do this.
When we look good, we feel good! This falls in line with 8 Best Self-Care Tips for Moms.
3. Give flirty compliments
As a parent, it is so easy to have our thoughts be in a million different places.
Don’t forget to prioritize your man and let him know how awesome he is. Leave sweet notes for him to find or send him a flirty text.
Think back to the reasons why you initially fell in love with him and remember those early days of how often you two complimented each other.
Hearing nice things obviously makes us feel good, and if we are feeling good…spice often follows 😉
4. Schedule a monthly date
When I got married, so many people told me we should do a weekly date.
That felt unrealistic to me with our schedules before we had a baby, not to mention it can become expensive. Now throw a babysitter into the mix and oh my. Weekly is a lot.
Doing a date monthly is more feasible. My husband and I share a calendar on our phone, so I just randomly select a date for the next 3 months and line up a sitter.
We don’t know what we’re doing often until the day before, but just get it on the books to make it happen.
They are so much fun to look forward to. Plus, they are more special, quality time together since the date is just once a month.
Along the lines of a monthly date, have a home “date”, too.
For us, our home “date” is playing Connect Four on the couch after everyone is asleep. We play best of 10 rounds. Or, our latest game is a card game called Spit.
Sharing a hobby or game like this that takes little effort in the midst of the parental grind is a great way to spark connectivity.
5. Hold the negativity
Nothing turns someone off more than a Negative Nancy. Being a whiner or a nag is not attractive.
I am guilty of not following this advice because I naturally want to gripe or “let it out” to my husband because I know that what I say is safe with him. That it is only going to stay between us.
Often times, though, I think to myself afterward, “I could’ve just kept that to myself.” Or, “I should’ve vented to my sister instead of my hubby.”
Remember, he is a man. Men typically don’t vent to guys the same way women do to other gals. We’re just scientifically different, and I need to be better at remembering what and how I deliver negativity to my hubby.
We of course always need to be honest and upfront with each other, but it doesn’t hurt to be mindful of how much “girl talk” we give to our men if we want to keep the spice alive!
Final Thoughts on Marriage After a Baby
Having romance in your marriage after a baby takes effort and creativity, but it is achievable!
By prioritizing intimacy, communication, and quality time together, you can ensure your relationship stays vibrant and exciting, even in the midst of parenting.
Now go cultivate some spice in your life 😉