11 Common Marriage Mistakes New Parents Make & How to Resolve Them
There are many common marriage mistakes new parents make because they forget to keep the marriage itself a priority!
Your newborn arrives and you’re looking forward to being the best parents ever to your little bundle of joy! While people tell you parenting will be hard and to get ready for a life without sleep, you hope you can cope through the sheer love for your little one. But you never thought that it would have such a serious strain on your marriage.
No couple wants their marriage to end. But after becoming parents, the relationship can be neglected if it’s not kept as a priority.
Your resources will be stretched thin. It’s normal to snap at each other or disagree over how you’re managing your finances. However, there are underlying issues that can drive you apart if you’re not aware of them and be intentional at stopping them from causing your marriage any harm.
Let’s check out some of the most common marriage mistakes that new parents make.
11 marriage mistakes new parents make – and how to avoid them
1. Demanding gold stars
Becoming a parent is the most rewarding experience. However, it’s also fraught with difficulties. Maybe your seniors or friends who’ve have kids earlier than you already warned you.
But a common issue is when you expect your partner to acknowledge and praise your ability to parent.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t give words of appreciation. But there is no trophy for having a child or raising one well.
Instead of expecting praise from your partner, do things because you want to do it. Enjoy the sense of achievement you get after accomplishing something, like repainting the nursery or installing new furniture. You’ll become less dependent on affirmation as your motivation and learn how to be a go-getter.
2. Make parenting a competition
Making sure you’re doing a good job as a parent is important for your self-esteem. But when you turn those tasks into a way to one-up your spouse, this sets off warning bells.
No matter who does more for your child, competing to be the “better” parent ultimately only has losers all around.
You will bend rules and undermine your partner’s decisions in order to win over the majority share of your child’s affection.
But your kids will feel confused at the mixed signals and discordant parenting.
Establish that you and your partner are on the same team. Agree on ground rules. There’ll be compromises involved on both sides, but it’ll be for the benefit of your little one.
3. Not giving your full attention
You feel like your attention is split in a million different directions after having kids.
Feeling like there’s not enough time in the day, you might try to cheat and send an email while talking to your spouse.
As time-saving and efficient this may seem, research shows this negatively affects your home life!
Give your partner your full attention when you’re talking to him or her. Put down the phone or other distractions and be fully in the moment, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Your spouse will feel that you care a lot more compared to talking with eyes glued to a phone.
4. You never fight!
Conflict isn’t always a good thing and we’re not encouraging you to pick a fight at any given moment!
However, it doesn’t mean you should shy away from having difficult conversations. When your child witnesses how you resolve an argument in a peaceful and respectful manner, your children see you made up and everything will be alright.
Avoiding conflict at all costs is unrealistic. Not to mention you don’t talk about vital issues if you know it’ll become heated.
If you need to talk about something that’s sensitive, generally do it in private. However, remember not to attack your partner. Be specific about the thing you’re talking about and don’t bring up the past. Follow these steps to have healthy conversations with your loved one – your marriage will thank you for it.
5. Being unappreciative of each other
Being grateful towards each other isn’t just common courtesy. It’s a core component of maintaining a healthy marriage.
When you are truly grateful, you respect that person for who they are and acknowledge them for what they did.
It can be hard to maintain this because you take the other person for granted. This is normal since you spend so much time together. It’s also much harder when you have a demanding newborn who needs your attention 24/7!
But it’s important to learn how to be grateful in all situations. Couples who are more grateful tend to be more satisfied with their marriages.
Take time out to reflect on what’s happened over the course of the day. Then when you recall any incidents, remember to thank her for helping to prepare dinner despite the tough meeting she had that morning. Or tell your husband how much you appreciate him for picking up the kids even though he had to hit deadlines.
6. Accepting advice from everyone
As a new parent, you’ll be inundated with congratulations and (often unsolicited!) advice from well-meaning friends and family.
It’s normal to feel unsure of what to believe. Not being confident in your own ability can drive a wedge in your marriage.
Trust in your own instinct. Believe in your preparation. No one is the best parent, but you are the best parent to your own child.
7. Putting yourself as the lowest priority
When your newborn comes into the world, you probably make the commitment to put your child as the first priority.
But it’s a common mistake new parents make. While life has changed, it doesn’t mean you should forsake everything you enjoyed.
Making time for your hobbies or your friends is important to keep you sane.
Carve out me-time. It might mean going to your usual yoga class, or just having half an hour uninterrupted to yourself to read, listen to music, or just be alone.
8. Not napping or getting enough sleep
You may have heard that it’s good practice to nap when your baby naps.
It’s because time is suddenly at an all-time premium! You’ll be pulled in many directions. All the house chores, work responsibilities, not to mention looking after your new bundle of joy!
Prioritising sleep can be tough with so many things on your mind. But because your newborn sleeps sporadically and wakes up during the night, your sleep schedule pre-baby is out the window.
You can train your baby to sleep through the night when he/she is older, but until then, you’re at the mercy of your little one!
Take the chance to sleep when your newborn sleeps. You’ll feel re-energised and be more efficient as a result.
9. Neglecting your marriage
The joyous celebrations of the day you said “I do” in front of all your friends and family can seem like a lifetime ago.
When a child comes into the mix, the marriage can be put on the backburner – indefinitely! Of course, your kids are important, but your relationship is just as important.
Remember to set date nights. This might be a weekly or fortnightly commitment. For just a few hours, you get to enjoy each other’s company without interruption.
Continue to stoke the flames of romance. Just because you’re parents doesn’t mean you still can’t be madly in love with each other!
10. Compare baby to others
It’s natural to use developmental milestones as a guideline for your little one’s progress.
However, bear in mind they’re just guidelines based on averages. Every baby is unique and develops at their own rate.
Avoid mentioning any comparisons to your partner. Just appreciate your little one as he/she is!
If you’re concerned about your little one’s development, speak to your doctor.
11. Worrying too much
It’s normal to worry about your newborn since he/she is so frail and completely dependent on you.
You’ll probably spend hours and hours researching what the best practices are for everything.
But worrying so much can take your focus away from your baby. In fact, you can be so preoccupied that you don’t truly savour the major milestones and precious moments with your little one!
Start journaling or write a blog to keep track of your little one’s progress. If you don’t use social media, start an Instagram account to post pictures, even of seemingly mundane things.
No one is ever fully ready to become a parent. But one thing that often gets put as lower priority is the marriage itself! Avoid marriage mistakes new parents make so the whole family is happy throughout the journey!
Did we miss any other things that affect marriages after having children? Leave a comment below!