This Valentine’s weekend marks our first weekend trip by ourselves without our little guy. We will be celebrating Valentine’s day, and also our marriage surviving our first year as parents. It was a rough first year for sure, but we definitely learned a lot about each other as a couple, an individual, and as a parent. Let’s be honest marriage is a whole other ball game when it comes to having kids. It takes a lot of work, lots of planning, communicating, and patience to get through this parenting life together.
I still remember our first argument as parents the first day we brought home Jayden. It was my first time breast feeding, and my nipples were rubbed raw that it hurt for me to nurse Jayden. I was exhausted and tired, Josh had just come from work, and Jayden woke up crying because he was hungry. I remember asking my hubby to make him formula because I couldn’t breast feed him at the moment. Josh panicked because he wasn’t sure if it was safe to give our son formula, and kept asking me all these questions while Jayden was crying. I was so emotional with my hormones, and so tired I lost it. And that’s when the pillows started flying at my husband. In my head I was thinking what kind of dumb question is the formula safe for the baby. Just feed the baby!
That day started the first fight of many as parents, and not the last that my husband got a pillow to his head. From then on it was a learning process for the both of us. We both had such different parenting views as new parents. We argued about almost everything. There were days we wanted to choke each other out, but at the end of the day we always found away to work things through. We loved each other and we loved our son and just wanted what was best for our family.
Now that we have our first year under our belt I can honestly say we are stronger as a couple for it. No, it doesn’t get easier. We still have to work just as hard for our marriage, but we do get wiser. We’ve learned some basic principles that has helped us through this year. So for this post I asked Josh his thoughts on what he thought helped us get through our first year as parents. Here are his answers and my comments below.
1. Understanding/ Supportive of your partner’s views and concerns as a (new) parent:
Josh: I remember the first time Jayden got sick with a fever and congestion. It definitely sucks feeling helpless and I could not understand this at first. It originally turned into an argument about me overreacting and Dawn thinking he was fine just teething. In the end we supported each other and in a day he was fine. (It was teething) We still have our struggles with it but from then on we tried our hardest to understand and support each other’s views and concerns when it comes to everything involving our son.
Dawn: I remember it would always frustrate me when Josh would want to take our son to the hospital for every little fever, or think everything was an ear infection, but what I didn’t understand was Josh was a new parent, and so was I, but he didn’t spend as much time as I did with Jayden. He was only trying to be the best parent he could be by taking all precautions necessary to make sure Jayden was ok.
2. Help and Support from family:
Josh: This one has been a huge reason why we “survived” our first year. All of our family has been so helpful watching Jayden either when we had to work or babysit for date night.
Dawn: I hundred percent agree with this one. Making time for yourself as a couple without the baby is important. We are so lucky to have such a great family and support system who loved watching Jayden for us when we needed it.
3. Personal Time:
Josh: When it comes to being parents and a married couple at that, personal time is very important. Scheduling this time in your weekly/ monthly calendar is a must to ensure that you or your partner does not feel like they are carrying the load on your parenting team. Everyone needs personal time to work on themselves after all you are the only one who can do this. We each have a calendar for ourselves and a family calendar hanging in the kitchen.
Dawn: I know I would hurt Josh’s feeling when he came home from work, and all I wanted was some alone time for myself after being home with our son all day. And he would get frustrated when he would want to work out and I wanted him to watch the baby. The calendar was definitely a life saver. Before a kid those things would have never been an issue.
4. Constant Communication:
Josh: I would rate the number one most important thing when it comes to just about anything from parenting and marriage to your career. Dawn and I do not always communicate in the most effective way but in the end we always are on the same page when it comes to parenting. We may not always agree but you can be sure that we both know it if we don’t! Communication. The main thing with communicating is we do not always agree but we are on the same page because no matter what we always support each other and come to common ground somehow.
Dawn: One thing we learned from my Aunt was to create a list of our Top 10 things we want each other to work on or do. Some things on my list that were very important to me were date nights once a month, travel outside the state once a year, working out and getting fit, and monthly family pictures. Little things that really mattered to me. For Josh it was for me to be understanding of his sleep schedule (he works odd hours for his job and some weeks would work 7 days of nights.), nagging too much, and giving him enough affection. I think I’ve improved on those areas but the nagging part lol. ;P
Josh: Parenting has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever experienced behind marriage.
Dawn: At the end of the day my hubby is the only person who in the middle of an argument I can be so heated and mad at and the next minute be laughing because I just realized how goofy our argument is. We are not perfect by any means, but we are perfect together. He is my best friend. My cheese to my macaroni. ;P
Below are some cute family pictures my sister took of us. My hubby was very cooperative since family pictures are on my list lol. 😉
I hope you enjoyed this post and leave some tips and comments on what your secret is to a successful marriage as parents. Thanks for following along!
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