Having a baby is hard work. Of course I can only speak from my wife’s experience, my part was actually pretty easy. There isn’t a need to go in details, you don’t need a physics class to understand why it would hurt for something large to go through something small. There’s also little reason to talk about the transformation’s that a woman’s body goes through while carrying a baby- everyone has seen a baby bump. Since us guys desire to be left out on the ins and outs of our wives physical recovery, I think it’s only fair we accept a more significant role in helping our wives recover from any damage to their self-image.
What do I mean?
Well, things change. Their tummies get bigger and breast start to sag. Some women deal with hair loss and other problems from severe acne to noxious gas- not too sexy. Most women look forward to labor, not just so they can meet their baby, but so they can have their bodies back. The problem is it takes longer than what most anticipate. They want to be like Kate Middleton and get back to their original weight in 6 weeks while keeping their larger breast size. They want to feel sexy again, but they don’t have a team of personal trainers and stylists following them around like Princess Kate, so they feel (key word) disgusting and unattractive. They are dealing with unreasonable expectations that the world sets for them.
So what can guys do?
It’s tough. It requires action and time for a woman to start feeling like their old self again, but we can’t just suggest this to them. Guys understand this. If I have buddy with a problem, I call him out and tell him how to fix it. In return I expect him to be honest and do the same for me. Women operate differently. For example, I know my wife always feels great both physically and emotionally after a workout, but I can’t go to her and say,
“Hey babe, I noticed you aren’t feeling good about yourself. How about you start working out?”
That just wouldn’t fly. Even though I know she would enjoy working out, and that it’s the first step she needs to take to improving her self-image, I would only ruin the day if I suggested it to her like that. Guys, we must be more passive. It’s a Jedi mind trick that I can’t explain; I just know it works.
Rather than telling her she should go work out, I should say something else.
“Hey babe, I thought about starting up a membership at the YMCA. Is that something you would be interested in doing?”
“Hey babe, I thought about swimming a few laps this evening. Would you be interested in coming? I can drop the baby off at your sisters.”
It could be something as simple as, ‘It’s nice out, want to take the baby out for a walk?”
By offering to workout with her, she doesn’t feel like you are specifically targeting her. When women feel like they are being singled out, they shut down. They assume you think they are ugly and disgusting and that you want them to start improving themselves for your own perverted and/or sadistic reasons (I’m assuming this isn’t really the case).
Offer to get involved, chances are you could use the workout too.
Don’t lie to her, speak her love language
This advice is from my wife. She says that women know they are bigger. There is no need for guys to act like their wives are as skinny as the day they first met. Whenever we hear our wives despair about their increasing pant size, Andrea recommends we don’t say something stupid like,
‘What are you talking about?’ or ‘Na, you’re not getting big.’
I want to add that we can’t agree with them either.
So what do we do?
Do you still love your wife? Sure you do- So speak her love language at that moment. If you aren’t familiar with love languages, LEARN THEM! Figure out what you and your wife’s love languages are. There are five of them; Touch, Words, Time, Service and Gifts. How do you know which one is yours? You can tell because it is the one that makes you feel loved, and it is how you express love.
So lets go back to the scenario where our wife is despairing about her increasing pant size. What should you do? If her love language is
Gifts- Offer to go out and buy an outfit that she can feel pretty in.
Time- Tell her you are going to take her out on a date, or rent a movie and get one of those sappy chick flicks.
Service- Help organize her clothes for her, or take care of that household chore that you keep putting off.
Words- Tell her, ‘Things are changing, but you still got it babe,’ then smack her butt or whatever it is you do to keeps things kinky.
Touch- Give her a hug and a kiss, maybe don’t say anything.
No one is exclusively one language. Keep in mind that you can use any of these to speak love to your wife. Mix it up with a combination, while keeping in mind your wife’s primary love language. Andrea’s is touch. I can tell her I love her all day, but if I were to go weeks without hugging her or kissing her, she will start to feel insecure in our love.
By speaking your wife’s love language when she starts to feel insecure about herself, you reinforce your love for her. When that happens, things like doubt, depression and poor self-image fly out the window. Here are some other tips you can do to help bolster your wife’s self image.
1. Encourage her to buy new clothes. Having a new outfit can help a girl bring her sexy back.
2. Andrea recommends getting out of maternity clothes as soon as possible, even if it means going a size up. (Guys, perhaps you shouldn’t suggest this, you could just have her read this post)
3. Never put down your wife’s appearance… ever. If it’s something you two joke about and your relationship jives that way, then make sure from time to time she isn’t just playing it off.
4. Help her find time in her day to make a trip to the gym, or go for a walk. Offer to watch the baby.
5. Pray for her. A husband’s prayer blesses not only his wife, but God as well. God really gets fired up when he hears a sincere husband’s prayers.
6. Shield her from the negative remarks of others. They may not mean it, but often times our loved ones say some pretty careless things. Stick up for your wife. You don’t have to be rude or combative, just disarm. For example,
After the baby came, Andrea lost a lot of her pregnancy weight fast. A couple of months later her progress slowed down. Someone we love dearly had observed this and decided to comment about it. I scored big points when I stepped and said, “I can’t watch a baby every day, all day and look or smell as good as Andrea.” Since her love language is touch I stepped beside her and gave her quick side hug. It was simple, honest, and it encouraged my wife. Plus I didn’t have to get ugly with our loved one.
7. Help your wife with the baby in the morning. Help free up enough time for your wife to get a shower in at the beginning of the day. Being clean from the start helps a lot. Chances are if they don’t get a shower in the morning it can be difficult finding time later on.
Hopefully this helps. The key is to not only to love her, but to make sure she feels your love.