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Nothing can really prepare you for what to expect postpartum. There are so many unknowns, and so many unexpected changes once that little human enters the world. Even if you’ve already had one child, baby #2 can create a completely new experience!
Whether this is your very first time becoming a mom, or you’re a seasoned veteran, chances are, your struggles postpartum are going to be similar. Sleep deprivation, healing, body insecurity, lack of sex, expectations, caring for yourself, keeping a tiny human alive, juggling hormones . . . and somehow our marriages are supposed to be on that list!
So, how can we bring a blessed baby into the world without tearing down the union that created this child in the first place? How can our spouses help? How can we help them?
The bad news: our spouse still won’t be able to read our minds.
The good news: Postpartum doesn’t have to tear our marriages apart! It CAN be a beautiful time that draws us together.
It doesn’t just happen without thought and effort, though.
It’s better you prepare your husband for your dreams of cloth diapering (and his willingness to help change them) before you’re both sleep deprived and poop is pouring out of a leg hole. It’s also better your husband lets you know he totally thought “no sex” just meant, “no intercourse,” but of course you’re going to, you know, find other options.
Do you plan on your mom moving in after the baby? Is there no way on earth he’s going to let that happen?
Before the baby. Before emotions get out of whack. Before the beautiful, terrifying, eye-opening chaos of postpartum . . . that’s the time to ask those questions.
Sure, you’re still going to have to “wing it.” You’re still going to need to adjust to the ever changing landscape of each individual postpartum, but NOW is the time to communicate your expectations surrounding whatever you deem is a “big deal.” It’s also time to ask a few questions to determine whether or not you’re even on the same page on things you might be taking for granted.
I wish I had specifically discussed how we were going to spend Quality Time after our first son was born. As in love as I was with Leon, I treasured the moments I had alone with my husband, and suddenly every waking and sleeping moment had our precious son stealing the attention. I already felt unattractive, unwanted, and insecure. It seemed Elisha’s affection had transferred to our child and I was reduced from lover, to saggy-emotional-nurse- maid. Of course, Elisha still loved me, but we both didn’t grasp the importance of me still feeling “romanced,” after the baby.
Another question I wish we had asked, was, “how do you expect to transition back into normal life?” We had no game plan and this created a lot of tension in our marriage.
I thrive on structure, deadlines, and clear goals, but days faded into weeks after Leon was born. To make it worse, Elisha and I were both self-employed at the births of our first two children. There was no way I could fully embrace resting, knowing there was no timeline for me to be on my own when Elisha returned to work. Instead, I stressed and became anxious each day I saw Elisha caring for me or our kiddos, instead of returning to work. Where was the money going to come from if we were both busy with babies? When was the end of this muddled season of days and nights swirling together in one giant mix of nursing, sweat, snuggles and tears?
Looking back, I should have trusted my husband who has always provided abundantly for our family. But another thing that would have made this easier was talking through my expectations of postpartum ending.
Like I mentioned earlier, depending on healing, medical struggles, or baby’s unique personality, my “game plan” might totally be dismantled. But at least Elisha and I would be on the same page with what our ideal expectations were.
In this podcast we go over some strategies and tactics we have prepared for entering our third postpartum season. I hope this is helpful!!
Katie, for Elisha and Me
Listen down below, or listen here on ITUNES and leave us a review! 🙂