5 Ways to Love Your Husband Postpartum
Now that we’re seven weeks in, Nate and I feel like we’ve finally gotten our bearings a little bit on this whole parenting thing. Of course, as soon as this goes live Caleb will change up some habit that we’ve gotten used to and we’ll have to relearn everything. Going from being two lovebirds who could do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted to parents of a newborn – dictated by his schedule – was tough. The biggest change for us was in our way of relating to one another. We used to be able to spend hours just sitting and talking. We used to be able to go out for happy hour (we didn’t realize we couldn’t bring a newborn into the bar portion of a restaurant or pub! Oops…). We used to be able to go on spur of the moment adventures. We’ve had to figure out our new normal in how we relate with one another.
During this crazy season of life communication easily falls through the cracks. We women are dealing with our hormones trying to regulate, we’re healing from an event that caused HUGE changes in our bodies, we’re sleep deprived, and so much more! It’s so easy to let communication fall by the wayside during this season of life. It’s always dangerous to marriages when we’re not communicating. We may think our husbands know what we’re feeling and wanting from them but, more often than not, they have no clue. If we’re not communicating our needs to them they won’t fulfill them. If our husbands aren’t fulfilling our needs then we get hurt and angry. It’s loving to tell your husband what you need from him – that’s the only way he knows how to help you. It’s loving to tell him that you’re frustrated because the baby cried all day – that’s the only way he knows why you’re so weepy and tired. It’s loving to tell your husband how much you appreciate something he did for you – that’s the only way he knows to keep doing it. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand times – Communication is Key!
Offer Your Husband Grace
Your husband is tired. Your husband is (usually) dealing with having a newborn AND working a full time job. Your husband is getting used to not being your primary and singular focus. Sure, he’s not going through the physical changes you are but he’s still going through a lot! He’s going to mess up. He’s going to forget that you asked him to pick up diapers. He’s going to come home and want to sit on the couch instead of taking over baby duty. Don’t take it personally. If he’s there for you and the baby most of the time then let him the freedom to not be “on” all the time. Forgive him when he’s not preforming the way you want him to. Allow him to focus more on the baby then on you every so often. Let him go out with his friends once in a while even if you’re not able to go out with your friends yet. (Of course, all of this goes back to communication as well. Offering grace doesn’t mean you can’t address an issue. If your husband is operating in a way that you really do not believe to be right you need to discuss your issues and work through them.)
Sleep as Much as Possible (And Allow Him to Sleep Too)
Sleep… I’m sure you’ve already forgotten what it’s like to sleep through the night. The lack of sleep can turn even the most even keeled woman into a psycho. Make sure you’re getting sleep when you can. If you’re able to, try to nap when the baby naps – the dishes can wait. Ask your husband to take care of the baby at night sometimes and go to bed early. Sleep in as late as you’re able. If all you’re doing is sleeping, feeding the baby, and changing diapers you’re doing it right. 😉 When you’re getting the sleep you need you are able to love your husband so much better. On the flip side, though, make sure your husband is getting the sleep he needs too. Stay up with the baby and let him go to sleep early sometimes. Encourage him to nap during the weekend. Buy him coffee so he can stay awake at work.
Encourage Your Husband’s Relationship with the Baby
There’s nothing more attractive than a man loving on his baby. Our mommy tendencies often are to take care of our baby all by ourselves. We want to hold, love on, and enjoy the little one that WE grew and WE delivered. That attitude is so wrong. Our husbands are just as in love with the little person as we are. We need to encourage him to take time to get to know his child. Our husbands will feel so loved when they come home from work and have a little one smile from ear to ear, happy that his or her daddy is home.
Even for couples who aren’t touchy-feely, a healthy marriage definitely involves physical touch. I mean, come on, how was the baby made in the first place? Now, I’m certainly not advocating having sex yet, ladies! Getting our bodies healed up and back to normal is certainly more of a priority. Make sure you’re fully healed before starting that up again. Remember, though, that being physical with our husbands doesn’t have to include sex. Make sure you’re holding hands, giving kisses, lingering during hugs… There are so many things we can be doing that give our lady bits time to heal but fulfill both our husbands and our need for physical touch. The postpartum period can be a special time for you to rekindle some of the passion that you felt prior to consummating you relationship.