“3 Tips for Keeping Your Relationship a Priority After Having a Baby".
One of the aspects I’m really passionate about is helping couples to transition from a party of two into the wonderful journey of parenthood. Bringing a bundle of joy home for the first time is very exciting and quite challenging too.
Let’s face it, there is a huge learning curve with becoming new parents right? Believe me, I’ve been there! My son just turned three a few months ago and when my husband and I went through it, it definitely was a big adjustment, especially since we’re both entrepreneurs. It’s an exciting time and very overwhelming with a lot of new things to figure out during long days and sleepless nights.
A lot of the new parents I work with struggle with “how to keep their relationship a priority”. Here are a few tips and strategies that I recommend for couples transitioning into the wonderful world of parenthood.
1: Dialogue daily: Make sure you keep the communication lines open. Don’t just talk about what’s happening with the baby or the logistics like you’re busy schedules and day to day responsibilities. Take time to connect with your partner through communication, ask them questions, share your experiences, and continue to nurture your relationship. Even though you might be exhausted or want to catch up with household chores, nap time is a great time to connect with your partner. The laundry and dishes can wait, trust me…
Here are a few suggestions for open ended questions you can ask your partner open to better understand their world. Ask what they’re struggling with and how you can help. Ask how things are going at work or with their family. Ask how they are coping with becoming a new mom or dad and how they are doing with the added responsibilities. Ask what they’re longing for, what they are grateful for, and what they are excited to see happen.
2: Keep the romance alive in your relationship. After having a baby, there’s a period of time where you’re in survival mode and the LAST thing you’re thinking about is “how do we keep the romance alive”. However, once you get past that initial survival mode phase, it’s vital that you safeguard your time together as a couple.
Life gets really busy and overwhelming, especially while navigating the new roles and responsibilities of parenthood. Many couples make the mistake of solely focusing on the kids and time together as a family, putting their couple relationship on the back burner. This is a slippery slope and can be dangerous. If you stop working on your relationship, your relationship will eventually stop working.
It’s healthy for your kids to see that you and your partner have a strong, healthy connection. For my husband and I, we go on date night once a week. At first it was hard leaving my son when he was younger, but over time it got easier and now when we are going out he’s excited and says, “Bye bye! Mommy and daddy are going on a date”. We want to instill a value in him that it’s important to keep a strong connection with your partner and that dating never stops in relationships.
Sometimes in the beginning, when the baby is really young or if you have multiple kids, it can be really tricky and you have to be creative. Consider taking the baby with you to a restaurant or doing something special while the baby is napping. Take advantage during the time your baby is sleeping at home and do something thoughtful for your partner. Bring the monitor outside and have a picnic, have a candlelit meal, sit by the fire with a glass of wine, or watch your wedding video together. You get the point…
3: Keep the friendship alive. Not only do you want to keep the romance and the spark alive, you want to keep the friendship alive. Go out and have fun together. Create new memories by going on adventures. It’s important to have something to look forward to as a couple.
When the baby gets old enough, schedule a daytime adventure where you go out and do something fun, just for the two of you. Go to the movies, eat at a nice restaurant, take a walk on the beach, go paddle boarding, or go to a museum for a few hours. You’ll be surprised how much that quality time spent together having fun makes a difference in your connection together. When you feel comfortable leaving the baby overnight with someone you trust, plan a “staycation” or travel to new place you’ve always wanted to go. Most importantly, keep having fun together!
So those are the three tips. Keep the communication open by dialoguing daily, continue to date your partner, and keep the friendship alive. I encourage you guys to have fun with this. Keep it in the forefront of your mind and set your intention to keep your relationship a priority.
Of course, therapy is super helpful for the transition from becoming a couple to new parents. That journey is a wild one and a beautiful one. There are a lot of great therapists out there to support you along that journey. If there’s anything I can do to help, visit Bayviewtherapy.com or contact me directly at 954.391.5305 ext 1.