How to make transition from being newly married to becoming new parents

We were married last month in the Washington Temple. My husband, Eric, and I are praying, planning and preparing for parenthood in the following ways:

Praying for guidance. We want to be partners with Heavenly Father and fulfill His divine plan to rear His children. Through prayer and studying the scriptures, we gain new insights.- Planning ahead. Speaking financially, my husband and I have already set up a fund for our children. To spiritually refresh and renew our marriage, we will have a date night each week. We are committed to family home evenings. Our plans include my staying home with our children. We plan to attend/listen to talks given by Church leaders that give us insights on the nature of the eternal family and our divine roles as husband/father, wife/mother.

My husband and I are reading about how to rear happy and healthy babies. We found helpful resources on parenting from Church News, Ensign, the Family Home Evening Resource Book, and "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." These and other resources teach us how to make the transition from being newly married to being loving, happy, successful new parents.

My husband and I also love helping out in Primary, especially the nursery, to learn more about children. In my ward, I particularly enjoy meeting with newly married couples who have babies to gather ideas on how they made the transition to parenthood.

Preparing physically. In making the transition to motherhood, I visited my doctor for a complete check-up, began pre-natal vitamins, an exercise program and nutritional plan for optimum health before, during and after pregnancy.

Transitioning to parenthood will be a joyous occasion for us as we commit to pray, plan and prepare for our eternal family. - Linda Thompson Stout, Kittery, Maine

What we did:

Advice for husbands

My advice is for husbands. Study the best books and ask questions of not only your parents, but also parents in your ward and other new parents.

Where possible, the husband should make changes in his schedules to better accommodate the increased needs of his wife and home. The stress on one's wife is reduced when the husband takes the lead in these areas during this transition.

The husband should also remember to be extra patient and kind to his wife who may occasionally feel overwhelmed by this new experience. A husband can do no better work than to be of comfort and service at this time.

Perhaps the most important counsel to husbands is to actively participate in every aspect of the child's care from the moment he or she is born. It is joyous to fall in love with the new person in your home who is a gift from your Heavenly Father. - Neil P. Reid, San Ramon, Calif.

Simplify lives

My husband and I have been married a little over a year, and we have a daughter who is 3 months old. Having a child has been a hard transition for us, but we have found a few things that really help us:

Nurturing our marriage relationship. Have a date night every week - even if it is only a half-hour to one-hour date. Read scriptures and pray together.

Simplifying our lives and realizing we won't be able to do as much as we did before. Kids are time- and energy-consuming, so we let go of the things that aren't so important and keep the commitments that are important. This means both of us - not just me as the mother.

Communicating with each other. It now takes more coordination to get simple things done, so we have to communicate very specifically with each other. For example, "Will you keep an eye on the baby while I fix myself a snack?"

Giving each other space. Many times, I feel "touched out" from nursing and holding the baby all day. My husband often feels the need to relax from the pressures of work and school without me or the baby nearby. So we've learned that we each need our alone time. - Laura Hales, Provo, Utah

Even greater love

After being married for a short time, my husband and I welcomed into our home a brand new baby boy. From the moment he was born, I felt an even greater love for my husband. Having brought this child into the world together made the bond between us even stronger.

At times, it is difficult to make time for each other between late night feedings and trying to catch up on households tasks. One thing we try to do is to make spending time alone together a priority. Many nights after our son is in bed, we spend a few minutes talking and catching up on the day. This time is precious to me. Even though we may both be tired we feel it is important that we make time for each other.

Reading scriptures and praying together is another important thing we try to do. This gives us an opportunity to grow spiritually together and to share our testimonies with each other. - Amanda McLaws, Salt Lake City, Utah

Private time

Within the space of one year, I transitioned from a very independent full-time student at an Ivy League college to a newlywed and then to a full-time mother. Although our marriage was based on holy temple covenants, these changes were quite a shock to my young psyche. The hardest of all was how I felt over my appearance. Some people sail through a pregnancy and childbirth and look fabulous. How fortunate I was and am to have a loving husband who managed to convince me that he thought I was beautiful when my mirror (and tactless friends and family) told the truth.

When I felt guilty about leaving our baby to go out on a date, he was adamant. He said, "Someday, she will grow up and find her own companion. When that day comes and she leaves us I want us to still be in love." Now, 16 years later and four more children, we find it is often hard to find the time, money and a willing baby-sitter, but we try to make private time for ourselves. - Joann Tupaz Vogtman, Torrance, Calif.

Required faith

Since my husband was attending a college that took us quite a distance from our extended families, we had the opportunity to spend our first two years of marriage on our own. This, we believe, was a great blessing which enabled us to build a strong foundation for our marriage.

Even though it did require of us a great degree of faith to begin our family right away, we were not afraid because we knew that our Heavenly Father's choicest blessings were promised to us if we heeded the counsel of His prophets. - Lisa Fotu, Poway, Calif.

How to checklist:

Prepare physically and spiritually; learn from others.

Live gospel in the home; read scriptures, pray together.

Strengthen your relationship; make time for each other.

Be aware of the other's needs; be patient.


Dec. 5 "How to maintain spiritual strength after full-time mission."

Dec. 12 "How to cope with an anxiety disorder."

Dec. 19 "How to remember Christ beyond Christmas.

Dec. 26 "How to enhance your temple worship."

Jan. 2 "How to better appreciate the Atonement through studying the New Testament."

Jan. 9 "How to, as a single adult, feel at home in a culture that emphasizes family.

Also interested in letters on these topics: "How to apply teachings of Church auxiliaries in your home," "How to avoid seasonal depression," "How to make a will that will foster love, not jealousy, between children," "How to plan ahead for the different stages of life."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2524 or use internet E-mail: Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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