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How our Marriage Survived the First Year as Parents

 HOW OUR MARRIAGE SURVIVED THE FIRST YEAR AS PARENTS  

How our Marriage Survived the First Year as Parents

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. 😉

How our Marriage Survived the First Year as Parents
How our Marriage Survived the First Year as Parents  How our Marriage Survived the First Year as Parents
 How our Marriage Survived the First Year as Parents  How our Marriage Survived the First Year as Parents

  Our love’s greatest creation. Our little man. ?

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!

<3 Dawn

How our Marriage Survived the First Year as Parents

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20 Comments

  • Reply Bethany

    I’m not married but having a child is hard on any relationship! My boyfriend and I have really grown since becoming parents, it’s rough but so rewarding. My tip would be communicate throughout the day so daddy knows what’s up with baby. Even if it’s just to say “hi!” Or “I love you” a text can really brighten your day!

    February 11, 2016 at 8:10 pm
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      Love that tip! I one hundred percent agree little things go a long way. Thanks for reading!

      February 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm
  • Reply Katherine Lifestyle Blogger

    Beautiful post! Life certainly isn’t easy, but it seems to be more worthwhile with loved ones around. I also love your skirt in those photos! Where is it from?

    February 12, 2016 at 2:57 am
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      Thanks Katherine! Here is the direct link to my outfit! It’s on sale for less than $20! ? http://www.liketk.it/2a7z

      February 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm
  • Reply Amanda Rinehart

    People definitely underestimate the balancing act that is parenthood and marriage! Most of mine and my husband’s fights are rooted in parenthood. Probably the two hardest of life’s adventures occurring simultaneously. Congrats on making it through the first year, and may be the force be with you moving forward. 😉

    February 12, 2016 at 3:52 am
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      Thanks so much Amanda!

      February 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm
  • Reply Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie

    You have such an beautiful family! I agree with all of your tips…my children are in their early teens now, but many of those still apply, even later on. Mostly though, I think having a relationship outside of your children is key because they won’t be in the house forever. Having a close relationship is important once the kids go off to college and all you have are each other.

    February 12, 2016 at 7:46 am
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      Love your comment coming from someone who has been there! Thanks momma!?

      February 12, 2016 at 1:54 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    Great post! I can’t totally relate. Our first baby is eight months today, and I can attest to the fact that the first year is so full of growing pains + arguments between parents. But it is also full of so much joy + bonds us so tightly together! Happy one year as parents + enjoy your Valentine’s Day together!

    February 12, 2016 at 2:01 pm
    • Reply Morgan

      *CAN I totally can relate! I accidentally wrote can’t in my post ah

      February 12, 2016 at 2:02 pm
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      I agree! Thank you for reading!?

      February 12, 2016 at 3:32 pm
  • Reply Ros Emely @stressfreemommies

    You are so right about everything you wrote. Marriage with children is a whole different ball park and communication, support from family, listening to your spouse and being patience are key to a more smooth parenting life. I have three kids and me and my hubby sometimes argue because we have different parenting style, but it’s all about communication! Beautiful pictures by the way!

    February 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      It’s nice to have mothers you can relate to. Thank you Ros!?

      February 12, 2016 at 3:32 pm
  • Reply Kate

    It’s definitely easy to kind of “lose” your spouse in parenting. My husband and I parent very differently as well- and now that we have 2 the strain on our marriage is undeniable. Thanks for sharing your story! I would love for you to Share your link with us at 100 Happy Days! http://www.akreativewhim.com/sleepless-solo

    February 12, 2016 at 2:23 pm
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      Thank you! I just joined.?

      February 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm
  • Reply Yvonne

    Being a parent is hard and everyone’s struggles are different. I’m so glad that we haven’t left our little guy home without us much during this first year, because it was important to me. For us, it was the balance of me being able to work. My husband has to work full 8 hour days, but I was unable to get anything done. This kept me from being able to propel myself forward. We all find our way somehow though, and I’m glad to see that you all have found yours.

    February 12, 2016 at 3:21 pm
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      It’s nice to have mothers you can relate to. Thank you for your thoughts!?

      February 12, 2016 at 3:32 pm
  • Reply Lisa Jones

    Marriage and Parenting – both such big topics! We are seriously close to 2 decades of marriage and 15 years of parenting and it is tough. But, knowing that you have to remain close to each other – put your marriage before parenting. It’s truly important even though that doesn’t sound pc. If you are together and feel supported by each other, parenting will come much easier – more naturally. We tell our kids that we love each other more than we love them (Horrible, I know) but we say that because we will be a couple forever. We will be together long after they have grown and left the house. They will find their forever person and start a family while my husband and I will still be a couple. That’s our end goal.
    The best of wishes to you two. Marriage and parenting are such wonderful blessings.

    February 13, 2016 at 3:05 am
    • Reply dawnpdarnell

      Thank you for the great advice! You have such a beautiful family Lisa! 20 years is amazing! Here to a lifetime of happiness with the one you love!?

      February 15, 2016 at 6:47 am
  • Reply Sweet Paris + Monogrammed Tote Giveaway - Dawn P. Darnell

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    May 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm
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