New Parents' Time Together

Dear Vonnie,

I want to know any tips you have for doing something special with your husband when you have a young/clingy/nursing baby. I am frustrated with myself because I tend to have a select few people (one of them being my mom!) who I "feel" can take care of my baby the way I think he should be taken care of (first-time Mom syndrome I know). I feel antsy and uncomfortable leaving him with lots of the people who offer.

He doesn't do very good with new people and he cries the whole time we're gone. When I come back, his eyes are all red and puffy, and he looks miserable.

I really want to have a date night with my husband once a week , but it's hard to enjoy yourself if you're worried your baby is upset the whole time you're gone.

Did you ever get away? Did you want to or did you have a hard time leaving your babies? How do you be a good wife AND a good mom?

Thanks so much!

Having a baby changes your life.
Things will never be the same.

I can tell that you have bonded closely with your baby.
That's good!

Security is knowing that some things will always be there, like a fuzzy blanket, the warm, rising sun and a mother’s love. It’s nice to know that Daddy loves Mama, they both love me, and God loves me, too. When a child is secure, he’s free to grow and explore and learn with less fear. He can know and rest in the fact that no matter what he does or what happens, someone still loves him. He can face the world knowing someone’s on his side.

There’s a special bond between mother and baby. One pediatrician told me, that to an infant’s way of thinking, he is a part of his mother and they are one. This lasts until he is about two years old. Can you imagine the frustration and fear that must come over him when he thinks his mother is gone? To him, five minutes seems like hours.

Many studies have been done on the relationship between mothers and their babies. These tests have shown how babies need to be loved and touched to grow. This is one reason I believe breast–feeding is so important. It gives the mother and child a time of close intimacy that can easily be missed if a bottle is propped up or if a child is fed by someone else.

It’s important to have someone who loves you nearby when you need protection or comfort. Many nights, I’d wake up to find one of my children snuggled close to me. My children knew they would find comfort there, and often a bad dream would send them to my side. Sometimes they just needed to know that Daddy and Mama were still there when it was dark and stormy outside. Usually, I would cuddle them for awhile, then take them back to bed, telling them that God is always awake, watching over them. Occasionally, if they needed a little extra love, I’d let them sleep the rest of the night with us.

Everyone needs to feel loved by those he lives with. A way to show love is through touch. From the moment a baby is born, you should cuddle and hug him. You can’t make him understand in words that you love him, but you can show him.

A husband and a wife have to work at keeping the romance alive, but it's not easy when you are dead tired from getting up at all hours of the night and tending the needs of your child.

To get your child used to a care-giver, have that person visit you a few times while you are still home, or go to their house a few times. This way, your child will see that you are comfortable with the new person. Let them help care for your child while you are right there with them. I think it's best to have only 2-3 regular care-givers, those both you and your baby are comfortable with.

Sometimes we took our baby with us out to dinner. Once we even got away overnight, and took our youngest with us. There are many ways to be romantic without going on a date. After the baby is asleep, watch a movie together or play a game. Write each other love notes and leave them in surprise places. Hold hands when you walk. Eat supper by candlelight.
Get creative!

You're a family now, and you'll see that most of your "dates" will include your kids. That's not a bad thing. Your children will know that Daddy loves Mama, and they both love me!

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