babies make marriage betterThe popular notion about babies is that they are somehow marriage destroyers. Once a baby comes along, it's fights, fights, fights, and then even divorce or the sad realization that your "honeymoon" is over and now you will never go on dates and never have good sex again.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

For a few people, a child is actually a marriage BOOST. I know in my own marriage, the three-year period between our wedding and our pregnancy was wonderful. It was great fun. But it lacked the strong sense of unity and purpose that having our first child gave us. There is no doubt that our baby improved our marriage. Here are 8 ways a baby can make a marriage stronger:

Something for Just the Two of You: Early in a marriage, things are about your families of origin and your friends, etc. But a baby is you and your spouse. That's it. You (and your luuuuv) made that. That's solidifying.

Bonding: Remember those old men who can't live without each other because they were in the trenches in a war fought 40 years ago? That's you and your man now. Late nights. Mysterious cries. Yellow poops. It's all the stuff of lasting bonding love.

The Love: There is nothing like those first few days home with a new baby and just your spouse. The love. OMG. The love. You are falling in love with the baby, yes. But you are also falling in love with each other. Again and again. And again. It's amazing.

The Sex: Maybe it was just me, but the first year of sex after my daughter was born brought it to a WHOLE other level. I don't know what got knocked loose during labor, but it was awesome.

Loss of Inhibition: Your spouse has now seen you at your lowest, most base moment. My husband had watched me pop out a human being and he still thought I was sexy. That's love. So why would I ever worry about imagined love handles again?

New Skills: Did you ever know your husband was a diaper ninja? Did he ever know you could exist on three hours of sleep and still take out the garbage? Now you both do! One of the best ways to keep a marriage fresh is to constantly surprise one another and there is no better way than adding a baby to the mix.

Because Good Dads Are HOT: Ask any mom and she will tell you that there is nothing in the world that is sexier than a man who can be a dad. Nothing. I never saw my husband in that way before and it was like new eyes.

Laughter: For me, laughter is the best part of any marriage and a baby brings SO much more opportunity to laugh. They are, after all, totally hilarious. And all that laughter? It's like a marriage Band-Aid.

What ways did your marriage improve after baby?