It’s no secret that adding kids to the mix changes a relationship.
Most new parents feel lots of pressure to devote all their attention to their new bundle of joy.
And while it’s completely normal to feel this way, it’s important to remember…there’s no award for best parent of the year.
As a new parent, taking frequent breaks is needed to maintain balance.
But amid prioritizing work, a personal life, and a new baby, many couples tend to let their relationship take a back seat when it shouldn’t.
While becoming parents typically changes us for the better, research suggests that it also adds a new level of stress that leads to emotional and psychological changes for both parents.
With all these changes, about 67% of couples experience a decline in their relationship after their baby arrives.
Luckily, researchers found that you can avoid the post-baby relationship blues by shifting some of the focus to your partner, as you both transition into parenthood.
Making Time for Your Relationship After Baby Can Feel Unrealistic
We all know maintaining any romantic relationship takes work.
But the reality is…most new parents don’t anticipate how much more effort they’ll need to put towards their relationship once the baby is born.
If you break it down…
The person you fell in love with was kid-free and under a lot less pressure.
Now, they’re a parent and this makes them a little different from who they were before.
Now, your baby is top priority and that can have a huge impact on how your partner sees the world and how they interact with others, including you.
5 Things Couples Can Do This Month to Keep the Love Alive
Since it’s so easy for your relationship to slip through the cracks of new parenthood, it’s important to be intentional about recreating a bond as new parents.
While most people think “dinner and a movie” is enough to reignite their flame, it’s not always realistic for new parents.
- You’re tired.
- All you want to wear is sweatpants.
- And you may not be ready to leave your baby with a sitter yet.
And we get it!
So, we came up with five ways to keep the spark alive so that you and your baby can thrive.
1. Date night at home - skip the wait at your local restaurant and create a candlelit dinner at home. If you're too tired to cook (like most parents usually are), order take out or find a good frozen dinner you can add your own twist to. And if you both have some energy to spare, watch a movie or your favorite TV series.
2. Love notes - while some people think leaving love notes for your partner can be a bit cliché, it’s an easy way to let them know you appreciate them. Whether it's changing a diaper, making a bottle, or bringing home the bacon (literally or figuratively)—let them know you notice the little things they do.
3. Check-in call or text - check in while you're away from each other. Rather than making the baby a topic of every conversation, ask how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to support their well-being. This can also be a time for you to express some of your needs as well. Sometimes your partner may share that they’re simply doing “okay”, and that’s okay! Sometimes just checking in makes all the difference.
4. Date with the baby - so… if you’re like many new parents… you either can’t find a sitter or you’re just not ready to leave your little one's side yet. Going on a walk with your partner and baby in tow is one of the easiest ways you can spend time together and work on your physical well-being.
If you’d rather do something a bit more romantic, your baby can always tag along on your next dinner date. It‘s ideal to plan your date around your baby’s nap time. And most restaurants will make a space tableside for a sleeping baby in a car seat or stroller. You can also bring along a few toys and a Busy Baby Mat to keep your little one occupied if they are awake during your date.
5. Take turns- many couples find that taking turns helps their relationship flourish. Whether it’s diaper duty, dinner time, or taking the night shift…take the reins for a bit so your partner can have a few moments to themselves.
You can also offer to take care of your little one solo, so your partner can get out of the house for a few hours. While some people may not see this as a way to connect with their partner…we all need some time by ourselves. We also need time to maintain the other relationships we have with family and friends. Being able to take a break will help to rejuvenate your partner. And a few hours apart might also help reignite some of the spark after you’ve been missing.
More than anything…giving your partner their space will show them that you care for their well-being and that you understand they are more than just a partner and a parent. They are the person you fell in love with, and they matter too.
Whatever you choose, don’t let your relationship slip through the cracks.
It’s easy to let the mountain of tasks on your to-do list take over.
Your little one will also require a lot of attention and love that you're not used to dishing out.
But always remember the relationship you share with your partner directly impacts the relationship you create with your baby.
Take time to nurture the connection you made with them, after all that’s what got your bundle of joy here in the first place.