LIFESTYLE

Relationship Reveal // Marriage Post Baby

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Sure, you’re at an all-time high after having a baby. The first 24-48 hours is all about the “ohhhhs” and “awwwwwssss,” and the excitement of bringing this beautiful baby of yours into this world, and then reality hits. At least it did for me. Today I’m going to share with you something that might be a little TMI, but I thought it was an important topic to cover because this is information I wish I knew before. Some of you may or may not be married, yet alone have a baby yet, but I believe that these are tips that are relevant to any relationship. So here’s my Relationship Reveal: Marriage After Baby.

A lot of people assume, including myself, that a relationship will get easier and automatically stronger because of a baby. Although that might be true for some people … it definitely wasn’t for me, and I think I learned it the hard way. Having a baby, as you can all imagine, is tough…there are a lot of changes physically, emotionally, and mentally. From the new demanding schedule of breastfeeding to sleep deprivation to raging hormones to “why do I still look pregnant 6 months after giving birth?” There’s a lot to take in. The last thing you really want to worry about is your relationship with your significant other because well, you are EXHAUSTED and so is he. The easiest and most obvious thing to do is dismiss your relationship with your husband/significant other because of course they understand what you are going through. It’s easy to put something on the back burner if you know that it will always be there, right? It took me 3 months to realize that I needed to change my attitude about my relationship with my husband after having a baby. I’ve always been so thankful for how hands-on and supportive Allen has been since we had Chloe, and I just assumed my words would be enough to show him how appreciative I was to him. We were both exhausted that we barely had any quality time to ourselves, and date night? Forget about it! To be completely honest because I was spending SO much time with Chloe, from nursing to snuggling with her during naps, I kind of forgot and lost sight of the rest of the world. And it was completely unintentional when I was losing sight of my relationship. I think it was the 3-month mark when we both realized we needed to make some changes. Thankfully Allen and I have an undeniable bond, and we were able to openly talk about it and work things out. So here are a few tips that worked for us.

1. Date Night
We try to have a date night once a week, and if things get busy we at least go every other week. We will ask our parents to come over and babysit Chloe, and it’s our chance to get out and do something we’ve always wanted to do! Life will ALWAYS get busy, so we now pre-plan our date nights. We jot it down in our calendars a month in advance, so we are both able to work our busy schedules around those dates. Don’t wait until you have time, but instead, make it a priority!

2. Talk About Things Other Than Your Children
This is a hard one because our lives revolve around Chloe, but this has been a healthy exercise that we have been practicing. It allows us to talk about the things that we normally never get to talk about, such as our emotions and what we are personally experiencing in our daily lives. You’ll be surprised the amount of things you didn’t know about the other person when you are able to truly open up!

3. Be Open With Your Words & Be Affectionate
A little affection goes a long way. I remember feeling SO overwhelmed the first 3 months when I was juggling work while nursing. So much so that a simple “You are a great mom & wife” or an “I am so proud of you, you are doing an amazing job” can really go a long way. The first time Allen told me this, I remember I ran to the bathroom and started crying! Besides the fact that I was incredibly hormonal at the time, it was with those very words that you realize that you ARE doing a good job. I think so many times I questioned myself as a new mom, that hearing it from Allen made me feel like I was on the right path.

4. Arguing is OK
You might remember me talking about this from my Heart To Heart video HERE, but arguing is OK! In fact, Allen and I always try to fight it out until we get to a semi-middle ground. We never go to bed angry at each other, and we try to talk it out before we go to sleep. There’s nothing worse than waking up angry at each other.

5. Have a Glass of Wine
Honestly, I never thought I would say this because I was NEVER a drinker, but now I can say once Chloe is in bed … it’s wine’o clock! It’s extremely hard for me to shut off, my mind is always going 100 miles per hour with ideas and things I could do for work. I’ve learned that it’s important to shut off at a certain hour not only for yourself but also for your relationship’s sake. Don’t get me wrong … I’m not saying that wine is the only way to bond with Allen, but it’s a tool that has helped us to both shut off and connect with each other. Wine might not be for you, but all I’m saying is that it’s important to find that tool for your own relationship!

6. Involve Your Partner
It’s easy for us women to do everything after giving birth- nursing, burping, cradling, napping, etc. But it’s important to give responsibilities to your partner as well. Sometimes men could feel insignificant and not needed in a relationship since there is not much for them to do since the baby is with you all day long. Even to this day Allen’s responsibility is to do the morning shifts- feed her breakfast, change her diapers, and get her dressed (of course I pick out the clothes the night before … haha) before he goes to work. I handle everything in between and also the night shifts. It’s important to have (semi) equal roles if possible and to share responsibilities.

7. Be Intimate
I talked about this topic on my Heart to Heart video HERE, but it’s so important to be intimate and keep it sexy in the bedroom! Now let me make it clear … it takes some time to heal down there, and to actually feel comfortable having sex after giving birth. But once you feel ready … it’s important to keep it a priority because when you are being intimate with one another you are bonding and connecting … never undervalue that!

Just remember that if your relationship feels like it’s taken the backseat for a bit … that’s ok. There might be times when things don’t seem as exciting or the connection doesn’t seem as strong, but that’s part of a growing relationship. All relationships go through phases, and it’s an emotional roller coaster … especially after having a baby! But I promise you it will get back to normal, you just need to give it some time and energy (and some sleep could help too).

Now that Allen and I are 15 months in since having Chloe, our bond has never been stronger, and our life has never been more exciting. We both make more of an effort to spend time, talk, and connect with each other. A relationship after having a baby is challenging, but it’s equally as rewarding!

sigxo_chriselle

25 Comments
  • Hello Sitter says:

    We love your honesty Chriselle, one of our fave posts to date. You’re an amazing mama and partner keep it up! For all those families in NYC that don’t have grandparents on hand to look after your little ones on those all important date nights, check out our app to book trustworthy and reliable babysitters in New York.

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    We would love to read more like this!

  • Min says:

    I keep coming back to your blog especially the posts on motherhood. After surviving the first 3 years of my daughter and then having a second daughter reaching 8 months, it’s insane how rough it gets on the relationship. My husband and I finally got a bit of normalcy back and it was if we forgot how the first year was so stressful and all the arguing over sleep deprivation and did it to ourselves again… Though with the second baby we have much more patience and work even harder to take a step back and apologize swiftly and tell each other it is because we’re tired and we forgot how much the other person is working to balance the two kiddies.

    Regardless, I’m really glad you posted about this because when I was first pregnant no one told me the challenges, they only said how wonderful babies are and motherhood. It is as if they didn’t want to share what really happens to marriage after kids because honestly, we don’t always want friends knowing the daily arguments and terrible sleep patterns of parenthood. This is such a strong and wonderful piece especially for first time mothers. I wish I had read a post like this 3 years ago, and honestly the arguments would become such a rough patch there were points we wondered if we made the right decisions. Ultimately, I hope all mothers read this because it is so easy to forget how to be “together” as a married couple and so easy to forget what it was that brought us together when children arrive, but it comes back. Like the tips you gave, they’re so, so so helpful whether it’s the first child or the fourth child. Ugh, have to grab tissues right now just thinking about how hard it was the first time.

    As always, beautiful work, Ms. Lim.

  • having a baby is like bitter sweet for life!

  • Vivian says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your personal story. I’m also a first time mom and went through very similar situations as you have described. It’s a good feeling to know that we are not alone.
    I wanted to ask you if you and Allen have sleep trained Chloe? How does she sleep at night and nap time? That’s a current issue in our household right now. I’ll appreciate any tips and suggestions! Thank you in advance!

  • Shloka says:

    It’s amazing that you can be so open about your relationship post Chloe. It takes great courage to share that with the world and all your readers and I can say that even though I’m not married and I don’t have any children right now, this is some invaluable advice that I know I will need one day!

    x
    Shloka
    thesilksneaker.com

  • Ev says:

    Grear post and beautiful photos! 🙂

    ______________________
    PERSONAL STYLE BLOG
    http://evdaily.blogspot.com

  • Polly says:

    I need to learn to talk about other things with my husband. As a SAHM, my whole day revolves around my son and I don’t have a separate home and work life like he does. Thanks for the great tips!

    Polly
    http://gemsandjoy.com

  • Criz says:

    When I saw on your IG that you’ll be talking about Relationship and Post baby, I quickly jumped on my desktop and read your blog. I, too can relate to your story. My BF and I have a 2 yr old son and up to this point, I don’t think I’ve bounced back to my “normal” self. I know, I must be crazy after 2 years, I still can’t call myself “normal” lol! But kidding aside, I felt so connected with your blog and it made me feel less alone. I truly feel like sometimes no one understands how I feel, not even my friends with babies, because they didn’t have trouble reconnecting with their partners after having a baby.
    My BF, has been super patient which is truly amazing, just like your husband. I’m guilty of putting our relationship in the back burner for nearly a year but things are brightening up and there’s even a possible baby #2 talk in the near future.
    I believe, making time for each other is such an important part of our daily lives. I try to put our son to bed at a certain time, so before I, myself knock out too, I can still snuggle and spend that extra hour or two with each other. Date nights, are hard to come by.

    Also, I don’t think your blog was TMI. It was perfect!
    BTW, I totally missed you over the weekend. Please come back to the Bay and do another appearance 🙂

    Thank you,
    Criz

  • Xuany says:

    Thanks for the honesty post.since me and my fiancé having a 12 weeks old baby it seems like we are arguing a lot..it is for both the first child and even we know that we have a strong bonding, I sometimes feel alone with all.

  • T says:

    Thanks for the honesty. I never “connected” with you because you seemed very vain and artificial. Your article changed my mind.

  • Elizabeth T. says:

    Really loved this super honest post, Chriselle <3 🙂 It's very important to always show appreciation for each other, and I think that makes such a difference. Loving the family photos! So heartwarming!

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

  • Ashley says:

    Such a lovely post and useful to literally everyone! Defo using this for future reference, when I get married and have a baby. x

    http://www.ashrealasitgets.blogspot.com

  • Thuy says:

    I think you handled the TMI topic in a very classy way. You addressed it but weren’t oversharing 🙂

    http://www.dressupchowdown.com

  • mainou says:

    Love this post Chriselle! Thanks for sharing =)
    -mainou
    http://www.looksbymc.com

  • Ashley says:

    Great post!! You guys have such an awesome relationship 🙂

    XOXO, Ashley
    http://reasyume.com

  • Jeannie says:

    i harbour no illusions regarding children so this was rather informative.

    http://Www.whimsicalzoo.blogspot.com

  • Leta says:

    Really great post!

    Your daily inspiration and motivation on http://www.letucc.com

  • La Bijoux Bella | by mia says:

    So true … Nicely stated. As much as we are flying high … Every once in a while we gotta have a date with reality! A great post! 🙂

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

  • coco says:

    lovely post! I just had my second baby 10 days ago and I’ve been feeling so down even wondering if I’m having postpartum depression. I think feeling not so connected with my husband is one of the reasons. Thanks for reminding me that it will pass, hopefully soon.

  • pia says:

    thank you for sharing such an honest and intimate things about your life with us! I enjoyed reading this article a lot!
    Fash ‘n’ fudge
    Fash ‘n’ fudge

  • Jessica says:

    Although I’m not married or indeed a mother. I really found your piece interesting and will be showing my friends this. I know so many people who have split up since becoming parents because their focus is just on their baby. Really refreshing and honest piece. 😉 x

  • Needed this today. My husband and I have a four week old and are first time parents. We found ourselves having to have a discussion on Sunday because we seemed to be taking out our frustrations of learning to be a parent on each other, which I think is only natural to do. But it’s important to notice that it’s happening, talk about it, and fix it!

  • Sofia says:

    Such a nice post! I think it’s so great to offer advice to couples in your same situation!

    LIVING IN PLAID – Personal Style Blog from Brussels

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