How to keep your marriage strong after having a baby
Love, marriage and a baby carriage seems like an idyllic concept but truth be told, having a baby can greatly impact your relationship with your partner. You find yourself putting romance and ardor on the back burner as you begin to nurture and care for another little life. Gone are the days of quiet, romantic dinners, regular quality time together and falling asleep in starry-eyed bliss. Instead, we trade those in for suppers that are a messy affair, post-dinner apocalypses and eventually falling into bed with a hopeful peck on the lips that more often lead to a deep slumber than intimate cuddles. Is there a way to keep a marriage strong after having a baby? The answer is a very definite ‘yes!’ Here’s how:
I found that one of the biggest challenges, post-baby, was trying to stay connected to my husband. We were consumed by all that went into caring for our baby and unintentionally forgot about each other. If left unaddressed, it have potentially lead to a serious disconnect in our marriage. Fortunately we picked it up and worked on ways to stay connected to each other. Staying connected can be as easy as touching base, after a crazy day of adulting. For some this could mean a debrief, in the bathroom, while brushing teeth or cuddling up to watch your favorite series, after the kids are asleep.
Be on the same team
When you have life pulling at you from every direction, it’s important to remember that you are working towards the same goal! Take the time to discuss and write down those goals as a family and as a couple. This will help you to, not only work together, but will also fortify the bond that you have as husband and wife and mentally assure you that you are the co-captains of this ship. Nothing beats feeling like you are “in this together”. Your marriage is your safe place.
Give each other a break
Being a parent – and a first-time one at that – is hard work! There is a lot of emotional and physical investment that goes into it, which can be mentally draining. Making it a habit to intentionally practice patience, endurance and compassion, on each other, can be a marriage saver. In fact, allowing each other some “time off” from parenting duties can help to draw you closer to each other and give you that much needed boost of energy, after a particularly draining week with the baby.
Touch each other
One of the best parts of falling in love and getting married is the physical affirmation that comes with it. But the excitement of getting intimate with each other slowly diminishes when you’re covered with food and day old sweat. Intimacy is an important aspect of any marriage, but, if your level of exhaustion is undeniable, stay connected with cuddling, holding hands and meaningful touching. Make it a point to touch each other, even when you are doing everyday activities like watching TV or reading in bed.
Plan date nights
With a new baby en tow, spending regular quality time together becomes a thing of the past. If planning a date night feels like a foreign concept, remember that you planned your “date nights” when you were single too! Scheduling a weekly quality time session can help you to keep your marriage strong, post baby, and also help you to keep that fire burning. (Need more ideas – try a date night box or a bicycle built for two.)
About the author
Luchae Williams, writer and dreamer, resides in the small seaside city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa. She is an avid blogger over at ‘My Spreadsheet Brain’, a regular music reviewer for online publication Gateway News and is a contributor for JStar Magazine. Luchae co-host’s the official #ECMeetUp – a well-attended Eastern Cape based blogger convention, in South Africa.