We are celebrating the arrival of our baby girl Elliot! This is our first child, so life is certainly an adjustment for both of us becoming mom and dad. We had a wonderful birth experience, and you can read our birth story here.
When I was pregnant, I read First-Time Mom by Dr. Kevin Leman. It was a wonderful resource, and I’m looking forward to re-reading it now that motherhood is here! The book gives a challenge to parents to accomplish in the first ten days of their baby’s life – leave them. The assignment is to go out with your spouse for some date time and work on your relationship – talk just about you.
So when our baby was eight days old, we left her with my mom just for an hour to go grab coffee. I have to admit as we pulled out of the driveway, tears streamed down my face as I told Ben how much our baby needed me. And at Starbucks, I must have checked my phone about 20 times. But I also have to admit it was really needed for us – especially after the last month of pregnancy where conversations revolve around fixing the nursery and packing hospital bags! It was definitely the right choice.
Here’s Dr. Leman’s advice behind the assignment: Time away will be necessary for your personal and your family’s wellbeing. Occasional date night or time out will be good for you, for your child, and for your marriage.
Going out on a date early on with your husband reinforces the importance of the two of you continuing to work on your relationship. One of the best things you can do for your child is to make a commitment to make your marriage work.¹
Here’s another great quote from the book:
That’s the nature of being a parent: finding your heart intertwined with that of your child’s. And that’s especially why it’s so important, from the very start, to set the precedent of spending time alone together as a couple. . . . It is dangerous to your family’s welfare to put your marriage on hiatus while you try to raise a child.²
I had no idea how hard it would be to leave my child until she was here. But I also had no idea how necessary and precious time with my husband would be until she was here. It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in life, but especially brand-new parents with a tiny, helpless (and cuddly!) baby. Continue working on your marriage and having conversations about how the two of you are doing, no matter what phase of life you are in.
I recommend checking out this book. It’s a fun read and a great perspective!
¹First-Time Mom by Dr. Kevin Leman, page 25.
² Page 27-28.
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