Tips For Keeping A Healthy Relationship After Baby
Practically everyone told us “no matter how prepared you think you are, you aren’t ever truly prepared for a baby” and I suppose it was true. With all the advice we were given and the advice we sought out, we didn’t know what to expect and we certainly didn’t pretend to know either. We researched how to help our first (fur) baby adjust to having a tiny human in the house and we tried to make things easier for ourselves when prepping the baby’s room, our room, planning out the “go bag”, someone to take care of the fur baby, and how we would return home. We talked about time off from work and utilizing family to help and all that jazz. We didn’t talk about dating after the baby arrived though. I’m not sure why it never came up. We knew our lives were going to be completely changed and we always approached our fears and concerns together. “We’re a team” is what we always say to each other any time we feel overwhelmed or when we tackle something together and that’s exactly how we jumped in to parenting.
Communication is the first secret to staying connected to your spouse. It’s not a very well kept secret though. I tell everyone who asks me for relationship advice to talk to their significant other before I tell them anything else. That’s how we make our team work so well. Don’t be dropping stupid little hints either. No one can decipher why you’re being snotty so SPEAK UP. Even if, no, ESPECIALLY if it is just a little thing. You can’t enjoy each other’s company if you’re pouting because you were worried sick that he forgot to text you on his way home from work. Don’t be demanding and be open to compromise. LISTENING is just as important as TALKING. Even if you don’t know what to say in the moment, tell them “I hear you” or “I’m listening” or something to let them know you are actually paying attention and go from there. Sometimes it is really hard to tell them the things weighing heavy on your heart. I certainly struggled talking about my anxiety but, in the end, even though I felt raw, I felt better knowing my husband knew how I was feeling. I could probably do a whole post on communication because I will ramble on and on about this one! Just ALWAYS talk and listen.
Put your spouse first. When I first mentioned this concept to my husband he didn’t agree with me and I understood why it seemed irrational. I don’t mean choose your husband over your child when it comes to all things. You aren’t gonna let your child starve and feed your husband if that’s all you have to eat right? ( I know super extreme.) I mean when it comes to nurturing your relationship and making parenting decisions you and your husband need to be on the same page. You need to be happy and healthy together so you can stand together to care for your child. You can’t give if your cup is empty. This also means putting yourself first sometimes too. So make sure you are growing and helping each other. Ask each other if there is something you can do for one another. I know working (at home or otherwise) and taking care of your household can seem like you always have something that isn’t done or something that stresses you out. Helping each other, putting your spouses needs first can actually make you feel less stressed out especially when he returns the favor too!!
Schedule time together. No one told me I would love my husband MORE after having our daughter. Not that I’m complaining it is quite wonderful. I think my love for him started growing during my pregnancy. I know not everyone has a dream pregnancy and I’m sure I’m toning down the moments I put T through hell but, I could not have asked for a better experience. Seeing the man I fell in love with become a dad was such an amazing gift I fell in love all over again. When our daughter was a few months old I had mentioned to T how I missed being pregnant. I didn’t realize it at the time but, I was really craving our one on one time again. We finally took the offer from family to watch the baby so we could go out. Since then we try to plan any extra time together that we can. I know a lot of parents have conflicting work schedules so time together is rare! Make sure you get some one on one time!!
Start something new together. This can absolutely be part of your scheduled time together! Learning something new is so rewarding and it is even better when your spouse is there to
tease encourage you! T and I recently tried this awesome dating box called Bonding Bees! It’s a cute little themed date delivered to you in a box that you can do right at home! Ours had a little FrenchPress with some different flavored coffees, pancake mix, and some games. Neither of us had used a French press before it was fun! Some other new things you could do together: learn a new card game (we love rummy!), pick up a new video game (MARIO PARTY!), watch a new show together! We like to watch a couple of different shows together so a couple nights a week we stream them after dinner. If you aren’t in to any of those things you can grab a new board game, learn a new hobby, or even tackle a house project together!
Never stop dating. My parents actually told me this and I could not agree more! I know it can be hard to get a babysitter to go out or to budget in a night out. You can plan a date night in! The date box I mentioned above is PERFECT for date nights at home. You can still get all dressed up if you want and then once baby is asleep stay up for an extra couple of hours and get one on one time! Our last date night in we just talked! No TV, no phones, the lights were dim and we sat on the couch talking! It was one of our BEST dates. You can check out all of our date night ideas in the post 75+ Ways To Date Your Husband!!
Never go to bed angry. If one thing in life is sure it’s that we aren’t promised tomorrow. Fights happen, it’s healthy and normal but, make sure you work your differences out before you go to bed! This falls in to the communication category as well. If you are having a hard time resolving a disagreement remember to listen. Try to understand their side and try to CALMLY explain your side. If things are too heated take a break until you can actually TALK to each other to work it out! It will help you reconnect and you’ll sleep better too!
I think of my spouse as an extension of myself. If one of us is in a “funk” or has something stressing us out it effects the other. Like a lot. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put my husband in a bad mood because I was upset about something and he rubs off on me too! To prevent the “funk” we stay connected. We are a team. We lift each other up when we need it and bring each other back to reality when we need it. If we don’t put in the effort, time, and love our marriage needs we lose that connection and that just isn’t an option for us. We are always willing to hear new ideas for one on one connection builders! What works for you and your spouse? Would love to hear from you, comment below or tell me on Facebook!
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