Don’t do it, you guys! Fill your heart and your mind with scripture about grace and mercy and in those moments that you’re tempted to lash out on your spouse because you’re just so exhausted, remember verses about kindness, patience and focusing on the pure and excellent.
4. Choose Selflessness
Choosing to serve and take care of a little human. It’s going to interrupt your free time, date time, work time, etc. You both have to come together to choose selflessness beforehand and know that you will both need to work hard to serve your family through it, even when sometimes it feels like it’s the last thing you want to do.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4.
5. Love the Heck Out of Your Kids – Together
There is always something you can do in [at] every stage of your kids’ lives. Come together as a couple to plan a fun day each week to love on them and do something fun while showing them the importance of doing things together as a family.
Whether that means going on long walks together in your neighborhood when they’re an infant, to days at the museum, zoo or park as they get a bit older. Bike rides, cooking & baking together and running-through-the-sprinklers days are great for toddlers. Play board games, read books as a family, go on hikes or day road trips — the options are endless!
6. Create a Schedule
With our first son, I used to wake Jesse up every time I had to feed Sutton. I have no idea why, it makes me laugh now, but I just wanted him awake with me even though there wasn’t much that he could help with. However, that just caused both of us to be exhausted.
This time around, we’re taking turns in the way that is best for us. Jesse changed nearly all of the diapers in the first two months as I nursed every 30 minutes to every two hours. It made it feel more like teamwork which took a lot of the stress off of me.
Now that I am up about twice a night with Saxon, Jesse wakes up early in the morning with Sutton and takes Saxon for a little while so that I can sleep in. Now we definitely get more rest than we did with our first baby.
Come together with your husband to figure out what works best for you guys. Most importantly, you both need your rest. You’re both tired, you’re both in a new season of life — so work together to make this as easy of a transition as possible. Also, don’t place the burden on one another solely because you’re too afraid to ask for help.
If you have family, church family or friends in town, ask for help! I can’t express this enough.
7. Where you are Weak…
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses…”
One of the most important things I will say is that you and your spouse are both incapable of doing this parenting thing perfectly. There will be days where you melt down, argue and disagree. But before you get outraged at their sin against you, it’s important to first come to terms with the outrage you have over your own sin. We tend to judge others on a scale that most benefits us.
There’s a scale that we use to make us feel most righteous and most justified. We avoid looking at the things inside of us that create guilt and shame. But God’s grace changes that narrative. As sin increases, grace abounds all the more.
Sometimes all that we need to do is sit before God, confess our sins and ask for His forgiveness. Ask for Him to guide us in loving Him and our spouse better. Pray for more patience, more kindness and more love.
Ultimately, you can’t do this on your own — but God is your helper and He is here to walk through this new, beautiful, exciting, challenging, wonderful experience with you and your spouse. Receive Him and receive His love!