Marriage After Baby Is Hard

Marriage is hard. Marriage after having a baby is harder. Marriage when that baby is cranky, won’t sleep, learns to scream on purpose to get your attention, and you’re living off little sleep and lots of caffeine…feels impossible.

People like to keep things hush-hush about their relationships, which is within their right, but not good for anyone if you’re just posting about all the magic happening and none of the real, raw moments. For many months, things were going great with us! We had our weekly date night, we ate dinner together every night (still do!), and had our usual amount of sex (after the stitches healed).

Fast forward six months and we still do all those things, but the in-between moments certainly felt much more like a roommate situation full of resentment, feeling ignored, and a magnifying glass on each other’s flaws. As normal as that is, I absolutely hated it. So I said something… Yup, good ol’ communication. That is often the answer to all of your problems (even if there are no problems!). So after a few long discussions, we both got to air our grievances, and truly know what we needed to do to move forward.

Enjoying a date-night out while a family member watched our baby girl.

Part of that was to put little miss in daycare once a week so that I have an actual work-work day and we could actually enjoy one of my husband’s days off as a family. This means we get to do fun things like enjoy a HOT caffeinated beverage while baby plays at a play-date coffee shop like Wild Child, to go and get our family portraits done, or to stay home and clean together (necessity but together can be fun—like today we finished putting away the nursery laundry that has been sitting in a clean basket for weeks into the empty drawers). It also meant that my stress levels had the opportunity to come down because I get a break from her needy, cranky self and avoid passing that on to my husband in the form of snap-backs.

Celebrating Halloween together as a family with our couple costume and little monster (ha ha!).

We found that our biggest root problem was not spending enough QUALITY time together, to get back to our pre-baby selves and truly enjoy each other’s company. Yes, some days it felt like a chore to be around my husband and I am sure some days he felt the same about me… So it was time to change the narrative and put a little more effort into US rather than just baby. This does NOT mean we have to neglect her, but rather learn to spend more on our relationship in between date-nights, and to continue to work on us, all while caring for baby. We need to step out of our role as parents every once in a while to be a couple because we deserve it too. Let’s face it, marriage is hard work! But we knew that going into things, and were ready to do it. Heck, we even wrote our vows to say so!

And of course there were other things, simple silly things really, that were compounding to cause unnecessary bickering like refilling the toilet paper roll or putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink, or whatever other thing we decided bothered us that day.

My point is, find out what the real problem is, and the little things will go back to being little and easily overlooked. Do what works for YOU and get past the problem. And I promise that saying something is the first step towards resolution. So with that, I leave you with some photos to remind you that better days are possible if you work at it. These portraits were taken at the same tree farm, almost exactly one year apart: pregnant with little miss in the first, and with her watching her parents fall back in love from her stroller just out of frame in the second. 🌲

Cheers!

stephanie de montigny SdeM handrawn initials ottawa blogger

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