Having a new baby is amazing. And amazingly exhausting. You can always tell which parents have a newborn. They’re excited, but you can see the stress in their eyes. We’ve been there. When our son was born, he rocked our world. At times, we were so stressed and tired that the slightest frustration triggered an argument. And arguments, when you’re both exhausted, are dangerous. Here’s a secret, though: After having a baby, many couples can’t stop fighting. It’s not just you. All new parents experience high levels of stress and frustration.

Those first few months are filled with sleepless nights, hectic schedules, and disrupted routines. Not to mention you’re both figuring out how to balance work, family, chores, and grandparents. It’s no surprise that new parents experience high levels of stress. And high levels of stress often lead to arguments. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Parenting isn’t stress-free (sorry to burst that bubble), but you can reduce stress and manage it. 

How can you lessen the stress (and fight less) after having a baby? 

Communicate often.

It’s common for new parents to feel like they aren’t communicating with each other. Communication doesn’t have to be complex at this stage. Make sure to take a few minutes each day and talk to each other. Talk about your needs, emotions, struggles, and listen to each other. 

Don’t assume.

Assuming is dangerous, and it leads to frustration. But it’s so easy when you are both tired. Talk to each other, ask questions, and voice any concerns.

Apologize when you see you made a mistake.

If you’re in the wrong, own it. We all make mistakes, especially when we’re tired.

Don’t play the blame game.

When you both are stressed and arguing over something, don’t fall into the blame game. Own your mistakes, voice your concerns, but don’t turn it into a contest of who has made the most mistakes. 

When things get heated, take a break.

Sometimes the healthiest thing to do is walk away from an argument. You don’t want to say something that will cause far more damage in the long term. 

  • Address the issue at hand. Solve one problem at a time.

Tackle whatever the problem is that led to the fighting and come to an agreed-upon solution.

How do you reconnect?

Be intentional about talking for at least 5 minutes a day.

Schedules are hectic when a newborn is in the picture. It’s easy for time with your spouse to take a backseat. Set aside time to talk and reconnect.

Give at least two compliments or expressions of gratitude every day. You look great today. Thanks for taking care of ______. I appreciate all your help with ________. 

Expressing gratitude improves your physical health, reduces aggression, and increases your mental strength.

Be intentional about connecting with your spouse.

In the first few months of parenting, newborns own your schedule. But you can still connect with your spouse. When your baby is napping, it may be more important to sit and talk to each other than clean the kitchen.

Keep your marriage at the forefront of your relationship.

John Medina, a molecular biologist and author, was once asked, “How do I get my child into Harvard?” His answer, “Go home, love your spouse well and create a stable environment for your child.” One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a healthy, stable (not perfect) home.

If you just had a baby and you can’t stop fighting, remember that parenting is tough, but it’s fantastic. These last eight years as a parent have been some of the best moments of my life. You and your spouse can have a strong, healthy marriage, even if you fight from time to time. Put your marriage first and provide the best possible home for your child you can. 

Other helpful blogs:

Is It Good To Fight In Marriage?

10 Rules To “Fight Nice” With Your Spouse

Help! We fight about money all the time…

Should We Fight In Front Of The Kids?

How to Fight in Front of the Kids

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