Maternity leave and Marriage

Let’s be real for a minute ok? Life after having a baby is SO tough. As women, we are dealing with the pressures of crying babies, bodies that aren’t cooperating, family expectations, stress of returning to work, childcare options or lack thereof and more. For our marriages, the struggle is REAL y’all. I can only speak for myself more assuredly, but I’ve had countless conversations with other moms who say these things when we discuss marriage postpartum: 

1. I am so GRATEFUL for my partner, I can’t imagine doing this alone, BUT, there are times I get so overwhelmed with how unfair it feels. I am doing SO much more, particularly since I’m literally keeping this new human alive on the outside of my body! 

2. I wish my husband knew how much I’m thinking about at any given moment. He gets up once at night to help with baby and he feels justified to complain the next day, REPEATEDLY about how tired he is. I don’t get the luxury of thinking about how tired I am – the day just keeps going! 

3. The “second shift” work is so real for women. Having to handle taking care of the children and keep the house functioning is a full time job and during maternity leave it’s so much harder. Add onto this “kin keeping” which usually falls to women and between dressing your child in the outfit your mom bought on the day of her birthday to sending a wedding gift to a cousin across the country – these tasks seem endless. 

4. We are fighting more often and I know it’s because we are sleep deprived and still adjusting but it’s such an emotional roller coaster and I just want to step off! I wish my partner would have more empathy for me. He was only home the first 4 weeks of maternity leave, which I’m thankful for, but now he’s back to work. We are either away from each other or exhaustively eating dinner at the counter counting the minutes until the little one needs fed. We choose mindless TV shows and drag ourselves out of bed to survive. I wonder will it get better? 

Sister, I know it gets better. The hard things of that first 12 weeks are so unique, dramatic, and intense. We can’t (and shouldn’t) look past the day at hand. But that does change as baby gets older. Seasons change and give us perspective.

If you’re in it now or about to be – I stand in solidarity with you and don’t have any magic formula to make it a seamless transition. 

If you’re looking back like me, reflect and share encouragement to your community. Nothing can prepare us for our own children, but a listening ear and empathetic smile go a long way! 

I was inspired to share this after coming across this article Fighting Constantly After Baby? Read This. I recommend you check it out as it shares great suggestions for partners to make it through this difficult season and remain partners as it passes by. 

Also, if you’re new to this parent life, I recommend And Baby Makes Three which really focuses on your marriage and the changes that come when adding a kid. 

If you know someone who would be encouraged by this post, please share it with them. I invite you and your girlfriends to join our conversation at Career Savvy Mamas on Facebook.  Let’s talk soon! 


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