• Amy M.

Marriage and Parenting: How to Balance When You're New Parents

Marriage in itself is a touchy topic. So adding children on top of that is a whole new challenge! Marriage and parenting is something that actually should be discussed and planned before you even become parents. The plans have to already be set. Once you become parents, yes, the scale will be rocked, but if that plan is in place, then everything should balance on out. So, I want to talk about how to balance your marriage and parenting. There is a TON that I can talk about, but I will try to keep this from being a year-long read!!!


Marriage BEFORE Kids

If you are married before you have kids, your marriage should be time to plan for your future family. If you got married because the two of you have similar goals, headed in the same direction, and make a great team working towards those goals, then you are already on the right track. Marriage should not be based on superficial things like physical attractiveness, cutesy lovey-dovey, money, or wanting to have a flashy wedding. Marriage is serious and takes work. Children add to this work. Marriage before kids gives you the chance to plan your family, plan your parenting styles, get your finances in order, and enjoy every single second of each other! Go out to dinner, go skating, go bowling, go volunteering! Do things together to learn each other even better! Do things together to cherish that time together! Do things together to have motivation to make time for each other when the kids come!


Planning for Kids

As a married couple, you have to be on the same page when it comes to kids and when to have them, how to have them, and how to rear them up. Before you are even ready to start a family, sit down and talk about it. It even should be a discussion before marriage, but at this point start planning exactly when you want to start trying and what all you already want in place before then. For example, do you want to have a certain amount of savings built up, do you want to have a different job, do want to be in a bigger home first, and also, how do you plan to go about birth control until you’re ready? This can be done just by keeping track of your cycle. If you are not comfortable with any store-bought or prescription birth control, it is PERFECTLY FINE! I’m not either!!!


Planning Your Parenting Styles

Talk about how you will raise your future kids. Discuss different scenarios and hear each other out on how you would handle certain situations. Make sure you are in agreement and on the same page. If not, talk about it and get on the same page. I believe that it is better to discuss difficult situations before they possibly arise than to wait until you are in the middle of it. That way you already have an idea of how you would handle it as opposed to fighting with each other because you found out in the middle of a situation that you were not on the same page. Who do you think will be more of the disciplinary parent? How will you handle when your kids try to turn you against each other? How will you handle if you don’t agree on an answer for your child? How will you discipline your kids? Do you both believe in bedtimes? How do you feel about kids sleeping in your bed? All things to consider before-hand. Not that you will always follow them to the T when the kids actually arrive, but it will have been discussed and there will be an understanding between the two of you, especially if you end up doing things opposite of what you planned, because THAT WILL HAPPEN!!! But know that you are in agreement and that you understand each other and YOU ARE A TEAM!!!!!


Marriage and Pregnancy

This subject makes me smile! All because it’s a bit hilarious what us women turn into during pregnancy and our poor husbands have to deal with it! Ladies, I suggest you go ahead before you even become pregnant to start preparing your dear hubbies for the adventure called pregnancy! Go ahead and let them know that if you start crying out of nowhere to not be alarmed. Tell them how you would like to be comforted. Sometimes you may not know until it happens, so train yourself to be clear with your husband. If you are having a moment, just tell him what would make you feel better. If it’s warm tea and a foot rub you want all because you broke a nail (and started crying), then say that! Be sure to tell hubby not to question what the two have to do with each other. That’s not the point!

Keep hubby involved! Let him feel the baby move. It’s his child, too, let him experience the miracle with you! I bought a fetal heart Doppler so we could listen to AJ’s heartbeat! We had two previous miscarriages, so listening to AJ’s heartbeat meant SO MUCH to us! You can read more about the Doppler here!


Order you Fetal Heart Doppler here and listen to your baby’s heartbeat!!!

Another thing, is don’t ever shame your husband for not knowing what to do when it comes to helping you. Appreciate ALL gestures because many women don’t even have that. Hormones may be raging and all over the place, but don’t snap at that man. There are ways to say “I don’t want to be touched” without being rude. Or at least try not to sound rude. If he’s trying to help, take that as love because he’s trying. He could be somewhere hiding until your hormones get under control (like 6 months AFTER baby) so appreciate it! And tell him how much you appreciate it, even when he doesn’t get it right. Tell him what he did do right. It’s better to get some help than no help at all.


Last thing, have date nights!

There’s a lot going around about babymoons before the baby arrive. Well, pregnancy with AJ was extremely difficult on my body and I couldn’t do much. I had morning sickness from the very beginning up until about 8 months! By then, it was very hard for me to even walk! Babymoon was out the window! Or so I thought. My husband ordered out dinner, lit candles, turned on soft music, ran me the most awesome bubble bath…need I say more??? Babymoon at home! And it was PERFECT!!! We got to spend a very romantic time together before becoming official parents and still accommodated my inability to get around well. We also played games earlier that day, watched movies, and just hung out!


Baby Is Here! Now What?

As time gets closer to baby arriving, start planning out who will do what. Who will cook? (New mom won’t, she’s recovering) Do new mommy need to meal prep so new dad can easily cook if he’s not too gifted in that skill? Does dad need to just order out to make sure everyone is fed every day? Do you want family and friends over? Do you want family and friend volunteers to stay over and help around the house and with the new baby and/or other kids? Who will take the night shift? Will you even have shifts? Be sure to hear your hubbies out because they may have some ideas of how they want to make the transition easy for both of you so don’t take this time to hand out orders. Talk about it together, otherwise, bringing baby home will be stressful, full of confusion and miscommunication. This is a big transition and you want to keep your marriage happy all the way through it!!!


Making Time for the TWO of You

Okay, so now the kids are here and they are growing! And your time with your spouse seems to be growing farther and farther apart. Put a STOP to that!!! QUICK! You two have to stay in close communication in order to handle the children as a TEAM, but you are also MARRIED which means you are a COUPLE, so you should LOOK LIKE and FEEL LIKE!!!! Find someone (that you TRUST) that doesn’t mind watching the kids for a few hours and go out on a date! If you have to, SCHEDULE IT!!!!! Plan it ahead of time. Also, MAKE time to snuggle and have quick romantic moments while baby is napping. Make bedtime for kids a movie night for mommy and daddy! (popcorn, chips, fun drinks, favorite movies, Netflix and chill…get my drift?) Make purposeful and meaningful time for each other. That means not only make time to be romantic and lovey-dovey, but make time to sit and talk with one another. How’s life treating the two of you? What’s been working? What hasn’t been working? What do you feel good about? What made you feel like a failure? What ideas do you have? What would you like more of? What would you like less of? What was funny that happened in the past week? What do you want help with? What happened at work? What do you just need to get off of your chest? TALK! Be in CONSTANT communication with each other!


So, in summary, to keep a balance of marriage and parenting:

-Plan ahead

-Talk, communicate

-Make purposeful and meaningful time for each other (spur of the moment or schedule it!)

-Listen

-Appreciate each other

-Work together as a TEAM, not against each other


Thanks for reading!!!

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Have a SUPER day!!!

Amy McCutcheon

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