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Jayne Heinrich
The Naptown Organizer

Can Having a Baby Strengthen Your Relationship?

They say a newborn can strain your relationship—but sometimes baby can actually be a boon. Find out how having kids improved one mom's marriage.

I've heard before that having children can either make or break your relationship. Recently, we've added a second child to our family. Our little family of three became a larger family of four this past month and, so far, it's been wonderful. But it's been a whole new ball game for our marriage.

With two children in our lives now, there just isn't time for any marital discord. Between nursing, changing, burping, bathing, rocking and holding our newborn and then playing with, feeding, changing, bathing, reading to and teaching our toddler, we have to be a well-oiled machine. I've mentioned previously that my husband and I recognized in advance that with baby No. 2 in the picture, we'd be a little more forgiving of cross words or middle of the night frustrations—but it's been more than that this time around.

To be fair, we do have a strong foundation in our marriage to build off of. While we have our differences and our moments of disagreement, we do have the basic underlying goal of functioning as a team. But, even after having our first child, some of our ineffective or bad habits or interactions with each other lingered. Mainly because we still had time for arguments at that point.

These days, we just don't have time to communicate ineffectively. After my husband gets home from work, we immediately have dinner, have a very short window of play and then it's bath and bedtime. With two children either playing happily or melting down at this point in the night, there isn't much time or quiet for us to talk about anything. (Unless you consider yelling for a new sleeper over two crying babes who both need to be changed and don't want to cooperate as talking!) As a result, I've noticed that we've both been making much more of an effort to be respectful of each other and to show a positive example for our children by communicating well.

Are you struggling to communicate with your partner after baby? It's okay to ask for help! Set up an appointment with a marriage counselor or try a relationship counseling app like Lasting, which offers a personalized marriage health program based on your specific concerns.

Updated November 2018

PHOTO: Ron & Julia Campbell