How A Baby Changes Your Marriage – Part Two

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be sure to read ‘how a baby changes your marriage – part one!’

as promised, this version will be slightly less tongue-in-cheek and more of what we have experienced with our own marriage.

so how has a baby changed our marriage?

  • money

we saved up for our baby. we knew we would have to pay for part of the birth, essentials (like car seat, stroller and place for her to sleep) clothes and diapers. we, however, did not expect to have to pay hundreds of dollars figuring out our breastfeeding situation. this eventually lead to formula (another unplanned expense).

point being, our 9 month old has already cost way more than we anticipated so save up. if you and your spouse have trouble talking about money, make time for a money date.

  • communication

yes, topics of conversation do change but here is where communication between the two of you is essential. we all know what it feels like to be exhausted, annoyed, in pain, irritated and so on. you understand this on a much deeper level if you are a parent. it’s unlike anything i’ve experienced before because sleep deprivation is real and intense.

there were times when i snapped at my husband because i was feeling pain, i was irritated and i was plain exhausted. it was hard for me to remember that he was experiencing the exhaustion too. it also took us both a few weeks to find the words to say “i’m really tired. i can’t talk about that right now.”

we also started asking each other, “do you want me to take her for a while?”

our communication changed so much during this time because it was survival mode. remember – you are a team so give lots of leeway, give hugs and extend grace to yourself and each other.

cassie rosch

  • sex

intimacy changes after a baby comes into your life. if you gave birth to a biological child, then your hormones are rapidly changing from no longer being pregnant, to having the baby and then to breastfeeding.

if you adopted or are fostering a baby, then you also know that having a baby still changes everything, even without the hormones!

usually the baby is sleeping in your room so it’s hard to get in the mood when you hear all the baby sounds. it turns out that most babies are pretty loud sleepers!

back to the sleep deprivation – when you get time for the two of you, sleep will take priority. that is okay. that is normal. that is fine.

sex isn’t synonymous with intimacy. grab each other’s hands when driving or going on a walk. kiss each other first when you walk through the door. give a 5 minute backrub. snuggle.

know that sex will change. even when the midwife or doctor sees you at your 6 week check-up and says “okay! you can have sex again!” it’s totally fine say “thanks but no thanks.” you need to do what is right for the both of you and communicate what those needs are!

  • cleaning

in those first few weeks/months, it is such an intense adjustment that you are both going to have to be okay with some clutter. dishes may stay in the sink longer, dust will probably accumulate on all the surfaces and crumbs will be on your floor. it’s okay.

the baby, eating and sleeping are the main events (and they take it all out of you). save up for a cleaning service, have family and friends help and know that order will be (somewhat) restored at some point.

  • drinking

i didn’t really have my first drink until after 6 weeks. the thought of consuming alcohol (though i longed for it while pregnant) sounded like a horrible idea since i was already a sleep-deprived zombie. now we enjoy a glass of wine, more frequently i might add than before a baby, most nights after she goes to bed. this is our time to reconnect and we like it.

  • eating

those first few months, it’s very hard to eat a meal together. i hadn’t really considered that before we had a baby. once she was a little older and had a more routine bedtime, we would wait until she went to bed and then eat together. now she will sometimes eat with us before bed. before a baby, dinner was often our time to reconnect so be prepared that this will change for you!

  • sleeping

forget sleeping in, forget the leisurely rolling out of bed – they are gone. welcome to the world of rock/paper/scissoring for who gets up to get the kid. oh and welcome to the slightest sound waking you up now too. it does get better after those first few months but never underestimate the power of 4-5 consecutive hours of sleep!

while this list isn’t exhaustive (because adding another human to the family ain’t no small thing), these are the biggest areas we have noticed changes within our marriage!

what else would you add to this list?


  1. Penny

    June 14, 2017 at 8:32 am

    chelsea i posted and commented already on fb… but again you always give such great advice for everyone who is in this situation with their new baby. thank you!!!!

    • chelsea

      June 28, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      thank you penny for your support! i truly appreciate! can’t wait to see you in august!

  2. Audrey

    June 14, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Wheeeeew- so exhausting! Any parents are honestly super-parents. So much work goes into making and nurturing a life. You guys do a great job. I am always impressed by your commitment and patience with once another. You’re a wonderful team! All the travel- with and without Atlas- is also amazing! You guys are definitely getting the hang of this whole mommy and daddy thing!!
    Audrey recently posted…What I Read… vol. 6

    • chelsea

      June 28, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      thank you audrey and i am very grateful we work hard on our communication because i’d say we are pretty darn successful with having patience 70% of the time 🙂 you are right – i am feeling more and more confident in this whole parenting thing!

  3. Kyle

    June 14, 2017 at 9:00 am

    We all know it gets better and better, but it does. I have this little human in my house talking to me now, asking what daddy is doing and telling me about her day. My home has more toys than it did, is often messy when the girls play, we have more milk in the fridge and less beer. In fact no beer because I kinda gave up drinking, my dad was never drunk or hungover once in my childhood and I will be just like him.

    I am not married, I was married and I got divorced. I was more unhappy once than i care to remember and i had some dark days. Now I am with Cat, Dixie Dee and Shiloh Skye and my life is wonderful. I spend 95% of my time with family or my business, the days of going away with the boys or doing none family things have decreased. Its all good. Its better than good, its awesome.

    you should see our garden, I love our garden, we spend time making it a family home with flowers and trees for the girls to play by and learn from. Life changes so much when you have a family, but it is our true calling from nature. It is the greatest gift.

    Cheers from the UK Kyle

    • chelsea

      June 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      oh wow – it is hard to imagine how interesting/funny/new life will be once atlas starts talking to us!

      great point also on more milk and less beer, kyle 🙂 glad you have that same goal of never being hungover or once for their childhood as well.

      so happy to hear that life is better than good right now – that’s fantastic! we love spending time in our garden as well 🙂 cheers and looooved our time in the UK!

  4. Olya @ The Siberian American

    June 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    This was such an interesting post! We are expecting our first child this fall, so it’s nice to know what to expect.
    Olya @ The Siberian American recently posted…Let’s Have a Coffee Date: Vacation Plans, Pregnancy, and Residency (Vol. 7)

    • chelsea

      June 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      awww yay congratulations olya! please also know it’s also different for each woman and family but generally speaking – most of these categories will change in some way!

  5. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    June 15, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Love this post. Dinner is still our time so we always make sure and have her in bed so we can sit down together. I’m sure that will change once she gets older though.
    Courtney {Alkeks Abroad} recently posted…Leighton {Ten Months}

    • chelsea

      June 29, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      yup i crave that dinner time with just the two of us (and the wine). you are right it will definitely change when they get older but glad we are all appreciating it now!

  6. Jennifer Haston

    June 15, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Great post! I would add
    Time- Everything takes longer with a kiddo in tow. You have to get them in the seat, you have to make sure you have the diaper bag packed and you are packed and you have all the stuff you need.

    Planning- Go ahead and bring that extra outfit, because if you don’t bring it, you will ABSOLUTELY need it. If you do bring it, likely you won’t!

    I am really enjoying watching you and Ryan navigate parenthood, marriage and business. I love how authentic you are about how hard it can be and I want to personally thank you for helping others more than you know.
    Jennifer Haston recently posted…Comparison is the thief of joy

    • chelsea

      June 29, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      you are soooo right jennifer! time should totally be on this list because it really is so much more time consuming! haha isn’t that funny with the extra outfit too – when you don’t have one you need it and when you do it just sits there!

      i am enjoying sharing parenthood stories with you and your family too, jennifer 🙂

      thank you for also having the courage to let others know that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows!

  7. Lisa

    June 15, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    I totally agree with all of these! The only think I would add is the lack of quality time spent together! Even with the occasional date night or time spent after the kiddos go to bed, it’s still way less time talking than we’re used to.
    Lisa recently posted…Adventuring with Kids: Strawberry Picking!

    • chelsea

      June 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      that is a fantastic one lisa!!! that is something i find myself missing often. thank you for adding that. you are right, even when we prioritize date night, it is so much less time together than before we became parents.