Relationship Changes After Birth

So, right now, I’m swaying back and forth in a rocking chair, listening to a YouTube video of water running (Finley’s favorite noise, it calms him down and puts him to sleep) while there’s a baby sleeping cheek to cheek on my face (his new favorite place to knock out for nap time). And I’ll fill you in on a little secret… that’s what a majority of my day consists of. If it isn’t comforting my baby, it’s playing with my baby, reading books to my baby, feeding my baby, giving my baby a bath… it’s all about baby, baby, baby.

And believe me, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But that isn’t to say it isn’t hard sometimes. Especially when it comes to your relationship with your SO and the new changes that come with being a parent.

As you know, I’m a young mother. I’m only 21. I have lots and lots of growing to do as a person and I know that I’m going to change a lot in the upcoming years. The same goes for Sam. We still have yet to completely figure out who we are. And granted, having a baby tests any relationship to the max, no matter how old you may be and how long you’ve been together. But, for us, I feel as if there’s this added pressure. This pressure to stay together just to prove everyone wrong, that even though we are young, we can handle it just like any other couple.

And let me tell you, the struggle has been real. We’ve fought about diaper changes, we’ve bickered about feedings, we’ve each felt neglected due to attention being on Finn, we’ve struggled with balancing our social lives and still feeling young, we’ve gone head to head about responsibilities around the home. The list is endless.

There have been times where I’ve thought to myself, “This is SO much harder than I had thought. Why does it have to be so difficult?”

And then I look at Finley and all those bad, nasty, negative thoughts go away, but our real life issues? They don’t just go “POOF!” and vanish. You have to put in effort.

You may find yourself in my shoes someday, or you may already be walking in them. So here are a couple tips to apply to your relationship if you find you and your hubby going through some hard times.

1. As hard as it may be, put your pride aside and admit when you’re wrong.

  • Sam and I butt heads like no other. I’m not kidding, there are rarely times where we agree. We are completely different people. He’s a hard ass (and he doesn’t mind me saying that about him) and I like to take a more gentle approach. But sometimes, when you know that silly fight you’re having about the dishes is pointless or you’re in the wrong for starting an argument about the trash, say you’re sorry. Once one person puts down their wall of pride and waves the white flag, the other will too. I struggle with admitting when I’m wrong, I’ll admit it! But the times when I do apologize, Sam is usually right behind me too, trying to empathize with my situation and see where I was coming from.

      2. Speaking of empathy…

  • That’s something my lovable, hard ass has had to work on. If you’re anything like Sam, you’re black and white. And you’re usually always right. But sometimes you have to take a walk in the other person’s shoes. Look at it from their perspective, did they have a long day at work? Are they stressed about something and what they’re upset about really isn’t what they’re fighting about? You don’t have to always be right, it may be bittersweet being the bigger person but if it’s beneficial to your relationship, it’s worth it.

     3. Everyone’s different, everyone shows love differently and likes to be love differently. Some people like to give and receive gifts, other’s are more physical and like hugs and kisses, then there are those who need words of affirmation or acts of service.

  • Me? I’m definitely someone who loves to hear “I love you” and get a huge hug and kiss everyday. (physical and words of affirmation) Sam? He likes to fill up my car with gas and provide for our family. (acts of service) This is another example of how we’re so different and actually, the most recent topic of an argument we’ve had. The conclusion to our fight? Learn to understand the other person’s way of love. I know that Sam loves acts of service done for him, it’s what makes him feel most loved. So what do I do? I make him lunches for work everyday, I make sure his water bottle is always full, I’ll make him a cup of coffee on the mornings I see him, I try and take more responsibilities around the house since I know he’s exhausted after work, I do things for him that I know he’ll respond to and like. What does he do for me? He tells me he loves me everyday, sometimes even more, lucky me! He gives me kisses and hugs, and never fails to make me smile if I’m having a bad day. But, I just want to make something clear, there are going to be times when your SO isn’t going to be showing their love in the ways you like. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appreciate those efforts too. Saying thank you for the tank filled with gas. Encouraging them for putting in so much effort into work so they’re able to provide for you. You get the point. Always make sure the other person feels appreciated, a kiss a day can go a long way.

4. D-A-T-E  N-I-G-H-T

  • Sam and I are very fortunate to have such a helpful village of people who are willing to watch and spend time with our little Finley. Since he’s been born we’ve had the chance to go out to Adult Night at the MN Zoo (highly recommend, cheaper tickets PLUS it’s kid-free and there’s beer!), out to dinner a few times (try Giordano’s Pizza in Mpls. or Edina, it’s to DIE for) and made a trip to the movie theater. It’s very important to have that one on one time together. I feel as if it’s more special than it was before the baby too, it’s a rarity and you’re able to appreciate it more.

5. My last tid bit of advice that doesn’t need an explanation is: never go to sleep mad at one another. Whether it’s putting your pride aside and apologizing or talking through a fight until your eyes can no longer stay open, do it.

Remember: no matter how long you’ve been together, whether you’re the perfect match for one another, if you’re young or old, having a baby with someone is HARD work. It’s hard on every couple. Be easy on yourself and each other, appreciate the little things, and most importantly, laugh. Find humor in the difficult times and do your best to keep one another smiling.

22 thoughts on “Relationship Changes After Birth

  1. Man, you are right. Date night is KEY! And if it helps, I had kids early as well. Now to kids in and almost seven years of marriage and we are closer than ever! I think having it tough early really teaches you to make sacrifices for each other early. Congrats on baby!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I was actually reading an article about couples that get married earlier on in life and it said the exact same thing – you learn to make sacrifices for one another because you never go through the stage of life where you’re concentrating more on oneself. Definitely difficult at times but I know there’s going to be a huge pay out down the road. ❤️


  2. I struggle with empathy for my partner post-baby. It’s the biggest roadblock and trying to overcome it is no easy feat.

    Date night is also important, but so are your children. This breastfeeding mama does’ leave her babies until they start solids and can be left for longer than 2 hours. So we bring our children along with us for date night. Good thing about newborns is they sleep the entire time and we can still enjoy each others company while someone else refills the wine glass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! You’re so right. I never thought about situations for breastfeeding mama’s. I’m sure it’s even harder for you and your hubby. But the important thing is that you’re making it work! Congratulations on your little baby ❤️ boy or girl?!


  3. I didn’t have kids as early as you but I got married young, and only after 13 months of dating. So I get it about trying to prove to others it was the real deal. I got pregnant at 25 and it was tough for us at well. I think it’s tough for any couple, learning that you don’t get the same attention anymore. Everything is about the baby, as it should be, and it also magnifies any stress you had before, 100 times more! It’s worth it though. 13 years and 3 kids later, we’re going strong, and I know you will too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad someone else understands the stress of having to prove to others that you’re able to make it work when you’re younger. I sometimes think that point alone adds stress to our relationship. But it’s inspiring to see couples who were just as young make such a big commitment and stick it out! I feel as if my generation is the generation of seeking something new when one thing is broken instead of fixing it. But that’s what I love about Sam, he never tries to seek an alternative, he mends any issue before it can even break. But thank you very much! Congratulations on 13 years… and your 3, wonderful children!


  4. Very honest writing ! And I’m sure SO many couples can relate to this . I know I sure can ! I was only 23 when I had my son and we were questioned about our relationship not by family or friends but by complete strangers. I looked much younger than I was , some people thought I was still in high school ! I remember my very first prenatal visit waiting anxiously in the waiting room with Nate and I had one lady hand me a pamphlet about sex education and protection for teenagers and several other inappropriate or mean comments from employees of the hospital! My parents got pregnant and married when they were 17 and are still together 40 years later. So it was odd to me that I was 23 and people thought that was so young to be having a child !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, that sounds like a horrible experience! And I don’t think 23 is too young of an age to start having a family. I’m surprised you got so much negativity. Look at me, I’m 21 and making it work! And huge props to your parents – times have definitely changed and I’m sure they received some negative backlash considering it wasn’t as acceptable back then.


    1. Yes, it is! It’s the same struggle for us and we only have one. I’m sure it’s even harder with two, three, or even four!


  5. First of allnew I ♡ you! Yes I don’t know you, yes i am a stranger to you. But if there’s anything to great to gain from a community of bloggers is that you have friends out there who is more than willing to support you, listen to you, help you in some small way whether it’s just for a talk to whatnot, but there are always people out here available for you to include in your ‘village’.

    Second, I want to share this with you. Eight years ago I was your age, with a newborn. I was 21 when I first had my first child, Apollo. Two years before was when J and I first started dating.. in that same 2 years we ended up moving in together. Getting an apartment. He worked as at the Gap during the day and worked as a busboy at a club downtown, toronto, Canada. He would be home in the afternoon with me until 9 pm and off he goes to work at the club till 3am, sometimes 4. He’d be up for 830am to work at the gap again. At the time being ‘single’ this lifestyle worked for us. We enjoyed eating out, shipping, and enjoying each other’s company. But two years later that would all change. Becoming parents for anyone is a challenge all on its own. It doesn’t ever go away. It’s constantly reinventing yourself to fit the stages of parenthood. The thing is, it’s inevitable. Why? Well you’re two different people. It doesn’t change after becoming parents.

    It was hard after having the baby! All of a sudden I felt how it was to be a mother even though I didn’t know all the tools to being one. But J on the other hand wasn’t done with being single. He’d still spend time during the week several times a week hanging out with friends, going out and still depending on his parents for little things. It left me with the baby, clueless, exhausted, and resentful. But you see, these were experiences you’re bound to undergo in order to learn how to work together, communicate, make every effort to still be that couple before kids, and parent TOGETHER!

    It won’t be easy sweetto, you know that. It’ll get tiring, all the time! You’ll feel sad, lonely, upset, confused..but if there is one thing you have to continue to fight for is what your SO means to you and vice versa in order to keep each other on check.

    Through this, you have a community of mothers out here ready to listen 🙋 ( — email me). It will be an experience you’ll have to let play out and give your best to always seek the meaning of always.

    It gets better 💕. I promise! Three kids later for J and I and we’re at a point where we know where we stand. 10 yrs later. Don’t let others relationship, parenting, or visual distract you from keeping yours your way. 💚


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kinds words – and for sharing your story! I love getting to know and learning about other young mothers like myself.

      You’re right when you say that you’re constantly growing and changing – when you have a baby with someone young, you’re going to undergo a few stages of maturity. I’ve seen it firsthand. But I’ve also seen my SO step up in many ways to provide for our family and create a life so special and dear to me.

      I’m so happy to hear that you and your hubby are at a place where you feel totally secure. Again, thank you so much for being honest, kind and truthful with me. Being real is definitely what I need and look for.

      ❤️ you, your blog, and your writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s funny how men don’t seem to understand that they still need to court us even after marriage! Totally agree with the date night! We try to have one every week and on a particularly frugal budget, once a month! It does wonders on my marriage! After kids, we definitely need to connect more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right! Once they have you they feel as if they don’t have to try as hard… sometimes frustrating! But you just have to appreciate the little actions and gestures they do. That’s where you’ll see the real love.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s where most of our arguments come from – lack of sleep! Date nights are very important… as well as naps!


  7. Good on you for recognising what needs to be done to maintain your good relationship!
    All good relationships require work. Date nights definitely help (though we rarely get out to have one!)
    It’s a tough season when you’ve got a young baby but there will be more time for you and your SO soon…ish. Lol.
    All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! We don’t have a date night as much as we’d like either. But we always spend time together after our LO has gone to bed for the night and that definitely helps! All the best to you as well! 😊


  8. I agree. Having a baby totally changes things for sure. It’s a really big transition and learning the new role of motherhood/fatherhood is no easy task! The lack of sleep was the biggest thing for me that just made me want to pull my hair out. Good for you for finding solutions and understanding each other!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Lack of sleep definitely gets the best of me at times too as well as my SO. That’s why I always try and understand where he’s coming from if he’s upset. A lot of times it isn’t really what he says is wrong – he’s only acting out because of exhaustion. Same goes for me!


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