When we had our daughter, I wasn’t prepared for how challenging like was about to become. Those first few months I felt like I was sleepwalking half the time. My boobs would drip milk every time my husband would touch them in the slightest way, and it felt sooo awkward when we we tried to have sex cause he seemed to find me irresistible, but I felt gross. Between leaking milk, a crying baby, and not getting to shower till about noon, having sex was the last thing on my mind. I was working full-time as a teacher, breastfeeding, and coming home to care for our infant while my husband left to go to work the evening shift. Then I got pregnant with our second child when our first one was just nine months old, and it’s been go-go-go ever since.
I started to feel overwhelmed constantly. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, one area of my life was getting neglected. If I was being a great mom and spending time with my kids, my lesson plans weren’t done. If I was working on my lesson plans, my kids were begging me for attention. If I had both of those covered, the house was a mess and my husband had nothing to eat when he got home. I was constantly feeing guilty.
When my husband saw me struggling, he would step in to help me in any way he could. He would make breakfast, get the kids ready, come home early when he could, but I found myself still feeling irritable and unhappy. My husband was walking on eggshells because my mood was unpredictable (so was my sex drive).
I was shocked to find out that 60 percent of couples report a drop in relationship satisfaction once they’ve had kids. They go through sex droughts, identity crises, more fights, and depression. A lot of it has to do with the fact that when you become a parent, you’re in a state of constant sleep-deprivation. When you’re tired, everything seems a lot worse than what it really is. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I was in limbo trying to figure out what I wanted out of life now that I had two small kids depending on me, and who I was as a woman in this new role.
So here are some tips for anyone out there who’s struggling with New Parent Syndrome:
1. Make time for sex! Yes, even when you don’t feel like. Go take a quick, hot shower to soak away the stress (and breastmilk), put on some cute lingerie, and some that alone time in with hubby! You’ll be amazed at what can happen when you focus your mind on feeling sexy. It works, trust me! And if the baby wakes up in the middle of it, don’t stop! They’ll be okay for a few more minutes while you two finish your business. Sex is proven to relax you, and it’ll help you feel more connected to each other.
2. Find someone you trust to watch your baby! The best thing you can do for your child is to have a happy, healthy connection with your spouse. In order for that to happen, you need time alone to do things you enjoy together and catch up with each other for the day. When baby’s first born, you may need to do indoor date nights, but make that time for date night!
3. Make time for yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of losing your individuality once you become a parent. Yes, be there for your kids. Yes, be there for your husband. But in order to do those things effectively, you have to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Get up a few minutes earlier than everyone and take time to center your thoughts before the day starts. Make some coffee or tea, sit in your favorite chair, and spend some time connecting with your Father. Go see a movie with friends. Doing these things helps you feel grounded. When a mommy isn’t anchored, every challenge seems 10 times worse than it really is. So do yourself (and your family) a favor and take care of you!
Comment below and let us know what are some tips you found helpful for that weird adjustment period after your babies were born!
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P.S. Be sure to check out "And Baby Makes Three!" This is an amazing book that has really helped me understand the huge adjustment that happens when you bring a baby into the mix!