You have probably heard that having a baby changes everything. It not only changes you physically but adding to your family affects all of your relationships including the one with your spouse. The demands of breastfeeding and sleepless nights do not exactly help you maintain intimacy easily. It is completely normal to feel different after giving birth. Your body can seem as though it has betrayed you and the fatigue lasts longer than anyone tells you. Your baby is worth every demanding second he or she requires but all of this change can take a toll on your marriage or partnership. It can be incredibly challenging to keep romance in your marriage after having a baby.
Let's face it. Romance is probably the last thing on your mind on most those first days after growing your family. Now that your time is divided all the more, it is important to prioritize that special relationship with your husband or wife. Romance and intimacy with your partner will remind you of the reasons you ended up together in the first place.
So, how do couples adjust to these new changes and demands while still finding time to grow their own relationship? Here are a few ideas to try to keep romance in your marriage after having a baby.
Plan a Date
It might be incredibly hard to imagine getting ready and going out on a date when all you want is a nap. But, it will serve you well to get some quality time with your loved one where you can laugh, flirt, and remember a bit of who you are as a person and not just as a new parent. Your date does not have to be elaborate, especially at first. A quick lunch, while grandma or a trusted friend can pitch in, is one way to grab a few minutes to connect.
As you get a bit more sleep and develop more of a rhythm with your little one, a nice dinner out where you are dressed up and hand in hand with your partner can be a great way to bring a bit of romance back. It is most helpful to schedule a date regularly be it a few times a month or once a week depending on what is possible for your family.
Make the Most of Naptime
You have probably heard the advice to sleep when your baby is sleeping. This is wonderful advice particularly in the first weeks after bringing your baby home. As a routine develops and your baby sleeps more at night, you can use naptime for other advantages! If your baby will sleep in a stroller and the weather permits, grab your spouse and go for a walk and catch up on each others' lives. Instead of cleaning the house during each naptime, steal a few intimate moments with your partner and then nap together until the baby needs you again. This is a great way to keep romance in your marriage after having a baby.
Greet One Another at the Door
It is so easy to let little things slip when you live with someone and do life together. One tip to steal a moment of intimacy and connection is to greet your husband or wife at the door when he or she arrives at home. If you are the one home with the baby or you arrive at home earlier than your spouse, stop what you are doing for just a moment and greet your partner with a hug and a kiss. Baby might be in your arms or if your little one is a toddler he or she might be right at your feet but this is a moment to start your evening off connected.
It is something to plan ahead because it is so easy to just keep doing the next needed task in front of you. But, how nice is it to be greeted and shown love first thing as you arrive after a long day? You could probably use that kiss and moment of connection too!
You need a shower. Your partner needs a shower. Why not jump in together? This could be a time to connect intimately but it also could be a few minutes to share about what your day is going to look like once you have to leave one another. It could also provide a few laughs.
Overtime in a relationship, it seems that kissing can become something left for a quick goodbye or just for the precursor to sex. Make it a priority to kiss your mate. Really, really kiss him or her. Not just a peck before bed. Grab him in the kitchen and lay a good, long, passionate kiss on him just for no reason. Sneak up behind her and kiss her neck. Kiss regularly, often, for no reason, and every single day!
When you are away from your partner at work or elsewhere, take just a minute and send a flirty text. Comment on how hot you think she is or send him a quote from his favorite movie. You could use emojis to convey your mood or ideas. Tease or flirt as you are comfortable. Remind your partner why you are attracted to him or her. A quick text takes little time but communicates that your spouse is on your mind.
Talk about Anything (but the baby!)
One day this little human comes into your life and all of a sudden you experience a love that you have not experienced before. It is almost impossible not to talk about your baby all the time. Every milestone that your little one reaches could consume each and every conversation you have with everyone from your partner to the grocery clerk. Before having a baby, you and your mate likely enjoyed conversations about everything from your careers, to your home, to travel, to grandiose ideas, to your future, your dreams, and your goals.
But, somehow everything that comes up is about this baby you love with all your heart. The baby's practical needs, silly antics, and milestones met are the first things out of your mouth. According to Fortune, “Parents often become more distant and businesslike with each other as they attend to the details of parenting. Mundane basics like keeping kids fed, bathed and clothed take energy, time and resolve. In the effort to keep the family running smoothly, parents discuss carpool pickups and grocery runs, instead of sharing the latest gossip or their thoughts on presidential elections. Questions about one’s day are replaced with questions about whether this diaper looks full.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with talking about your baby but from time to time, hit pause and pick another topic to cover with your partner. Remember the things you love and share them with your husband or wife.
Date at Home
There are going to days and weeks where it is simply impossible to get time away from your baby. Budget, schedules, and all that life requires can keep you from the chance to go out for a romantic dinner. Don't let these obstacles keep you from dating your mate. Once your baby is sleeping, plan a romantic meal.
It can be a simple take-out meal, a several course homemade meal, or pizza delivery. The goal is quality conversation and romantic connection. When the weather cooperates, take the baby monitor outside and grill some burgers or steaks on a lovely date under the stars. At-home dates will help ensure your date time together doesn't get forgotten or missed because of finances or schedules.
Try a Day Date
A date does not have to be only in the evening to feel special. In fact, when you are sleep deprived, a day date might actually be more fulfilling. You will likely have more energy to focus on your beloved. Go out for a picnic lunch or stay home and enjoy the day together. Day dates mean not having to go out when you have already used up all your energy. Get creative!
A love note goes a long way. Write just a sentence or two and slip in your wife's purse. Write music lyrics or a poem on a card and hide in your mate's lunch or gym bag. A love night can be just as effective over email too. Drop a line every once in a while to the one you love.
Make Your Mate Number One
It is so easy to make your entire life revolve around this baby you love with all your heart. But, a huge gift you and your spouse can give to your children is a strong, unbreakable bond. The security they will feel will be a foundation they can stand on for the rest of their lives. A happy home with parents who like each other, kiss each other, laugh together, serve one another is one of the best gifts a child could ever ask for!
Your romantic deep connection to each other will make you happy individuals and that will overflow into how your parent. Remember these little ones you would die for will grow up and move out one day. Your partner relationship is until death do you part. Invest in one another as a priority.
Before you became mom or dad, you were just you. You had likes and dislikes. You even had hobbies. Remember those? Try to bring those things alive again as your routine gets into place. Grow as a person and not just as a parent. You were likely a spouse or partner before parenthood. Remember what elements of that person you still are today and show it once again to your mate. They liked that old you. Remind them that you are still that person too. You are not simply a new mom or dad. You are still you and you are still a partner to your spouse.
When you think of the word tradition, you might think of something you do as a family at Christmas. Creating a few traditions that are uniquely for you and your partner is pretty special. Life is busy and overwhelming at moments. Adding children only makes life more hectic. Anticipating a tradition that you visit each year creates a special bond that is only for you and your mate.
One suggestion is to watch your wedding video or go through your wedding album on your anniversary. Go to your favorite restaurant and sit at “your” table on your birthday. Go to the same concert each year. Run a 5k on Thanksgiving morning just the two of you. Take a picture each year at the same spot on the same day. Pray at bedtime with your husband or wife. Traditions can be done annually, weekly, or even daily (think morning cup of coffee together!). Get creative and make it special and something you anticipate together to help keep romance in your marriage after having a baby.
Competing and Comparing Steals Intimacy
When a baby comes into your world, the to-do list is literally never, ever done. When you have given all you've got, there is still more need. In these moments, it is easy to start comparing how much you are doing for your new family unit. Comparing how much you are doing to what your partner is doing is dangerous and will not help keep the romance in your marriage after having a baby.
Competing with your mate on who does what better in the house or with the baby can be damaging. If you compete and compare with your spouse or partner, intimacy will be pushed away. You will be stuck in a place of seeing his or her flaws and shortcomings. Anything not finished in the house or for the baby becomes his or her fault. Instead of seeing all your partner is doing, you see what isn't happening. The competition tears down a romantic connection quickly. Instead of competing and comparing, join forces and cheer each other on in the long list of things to do for your baby and home.
Relationships and marriage require regular investment and even more so when a baby joins the family. You can do really simple things to keep romance in your marriage after having a baby. Do things that help you fall in love with each other over and over again. Love and romance only diminish when we stop making it a priority in our day to day. Don't let too much time pass without a special romantic connection with your partner.
Babies need constant care. Nights are long and the days are even longer. But, romantic connection with your partner does not have to elaborate or take loads of time. A quick back rub, a simple love note, a fifteen-minute walk, or coffee on the porch can all be little things to keep the romance alive with a baby. Getting up in the middle of the night with the baby is also really romantic!
Authors at The Atlantic state that, “By embracing some new values — like date nights, shared housework, and an ethic of marital generosity — and some old values — like commitment, thrift, and a shared faith — it appears that today's parents can dramatically increase their odds of forging a stable and happy marriage. This means that couples need not despair after the arrival of a baby. If one-third of today's married parents can successfully combine marriage and parenthood, surely many more can flourish when baby makes three.”
Romance does not have to require hours of preparation. With a growing family, it is possible to keep romance in your marriage after having a baby. Steal little moments here and there and make them count. Now, go kiss your spouse!
If you are prepping to welcome your new baby, you may want to check this article before heading to the hospital!