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Baby proofing your marriage, after baby.

Having a baby is an extremely magical moment in your life. Everything is rosey, you've got all the answers, you've researched everything and have read everything there is regarding pregnancy and child rearing. Enjoy that euphoria, when the baby is here it's a whole new ball game, this is when you start to question your sanity. There are issues you had never thought of that will arise and when they do, take a deep breath, you're not alone and we've all been there.

The struggle is real, breast feeding is hard!

Everyone you talk to makes it sound so easy, as if the baby will come out and automatically latch on, start suckling. Wrong! For some yes but for the majority it's a struggle. My self included, it was pain stakingly difficult. When I finally got my son to latch on without any issues it was almost a month in. I had to compensate by pumping for bottle feeding and then supplement with formula. Don't be hard on yourself, breastfeeding isn't easy. If you choose to formula feed that isn't the end of the world, it's what's best for your baby and what your body can produce. Don't let others judge you or bully you thinking what you're doing is wrong. What you do for your child, is just right, you know why? Because it's your child, stand your ground, you're doing the best you can.

Haven't lost the baby weight in a month like all the stars do? You forget that the rich and famous have a personal trainer, nanny, chef, plastic surgeons, diet and meal plans made out for them. They have access to what everyday moms don't. First off that extra padding helps store energy to help with breast feeding. Also it took you almost 10 months to gain the pregnancy weight, it will take just as long to loose it.

If you're at a complete loss and are itching to loose the weight immediately, check out mommy and me work out classes. The malls have stroller walking mommies and health centers have yoga classes specifically for mommy and baby. Be proud of your body, you just had a beautiful child that grew inside of you.

Have you ever thought that all the other moms look like they have this down, so why am I not perfect? No mom has it down, I promise you. We look like we might have it together but we are all falling apart in our own way. When someone starts to critique you, look them dead in the eye and say, "ok". Now take that criticism let it go through one ear and out the other. My favorite was, "don't pick up the baby, you'll spoil him". I'm going to put it right out there, not only pick up your baby but if you can baby wear, do it! First off your baby is new to this world, you carried your baby in a safe, dark environment and now he/she is here. They are scared tiny little souls, so if they are crying, comfort your baby do whatever it takes. Just remember everyone has an opinion that doesn't mean it's right or right for you and your family.

Your house will never be perfect, your dishes will be in the sink, laundry on the bed, showering will become optional (yes it will), phone calls will go unanswered, this is all ok. You're caring for your child, your exhausted, giving birth is a major medical procedure, your body is tired. As long as you and baby are happy, healthy and safe that's all that matters. There's no such thing as perfection, only what works for you and your baby.

Did you have a career before your pregnancy? Are you contemplating to quit or return to the workforce. The choice is for you and your partner to make. In some cases it is essential for you to return to work due to financial obligations. Some have an option to be a stay at home mom or go back to work. If you choose to go to work don't let that guilt settle in, it's a decision you've made, don't waiver. Just know whatever you decide it's not permanent. Being a stay at home mom is a full time job in itself. Talk to other moms and get feedback on how they've made their decisions. Then take the feedback, including your thoughts and make a pros and cons list for yourself, which side out weighs itself more? Think about it, whatever you decide don't feel pressured into something, six months from now if it's not working for you, change, nothing is set in stone.

Everything your partner does, you'll find annoying. As a first time mom, you're taking care of your child all day and night. From bonding, feeding, diaper changes, baths, putting baby down for their naps and on top of it you're running your household. It gets overwhelming real quick and the resentment kicks in. Partner is at work having grown up conversations, they are showering, getting dressed up, leaving the house, getting alone time and they might even complain about getting up in the middle of night because they have to work.

Breath, breath, breath.

Before you file for divorce or have a breakdown talk to your partner. Explain your what your feeling. They can not read your mind, don't assume they know their role and don't accuse them of anything. Let them know you need their help, let them know what's needed, key words here are, "let them know". Open the lines of communication without anger, accusations and be calm when you have the conversation.

On the other side of the coin your partner is just as terrified as you and probably isn't showing it or expressing it. The main thoughts that are going through their minds is justifiably.

They now will be providing for a family. It's a different thought process when it's the two of you, now that there's a child the responsibility becomes real. Help come up with a budget, write it down, come to an agreement on what will be cut back and where the money will be spent.

Don't assume your partner is thrilled to get up in the morning and go to work. The daddy blues kick in for them also, the guilt of leaving behind his wife and new baby. There's major conflict between work and family. Allow dad to get as much time in with baby as much as possible.

Allow dad to ask you questions about the baby without making him feel inadequate.

Fathers want to be involved as much as they can, don't be a gate keeper. If you're constantly criticizing them, they will feel incompetent and pull back. Remember, they are not home all day, they don't know that's why they're asking.

Sex, men love sex as much as woman do. However after having a baby your exhausted and the last thing on your mind is sex. Not so much for your partner. He's still thinking about it and that's his was to connect with you. Even if you don't feel like having sex, he still needs to feel loved by you. Talk to him, let him know your tired, overwhelmed, etc, don't just say no, that's shutting him out.

Open the lines of communication, it will save your relationship.

Relationships are hard as it is, throw in a baby and now you've got a whirlwind. You will survive, your partner will survive, make sure your relationship does also. Talk to one another, don't assume that they know something and most importantly don't get upset if something isn't known. No one has the knack to read minds and guessing is just horrible. So be patient with yourself and your partner. Show kindness and empathy because you will both need one another to help raise your child.

Remember you've baby proofed your home, baby proof your relationship. It means you two have to constantly evolve, be open, learn from one another and be loving towards one another. A child wants to see their parents happy and healthy.

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