Breast pumps, spit up and poop usually don’t stimulate romantic thoughts in even the most open-minded of people. Nonetheless, if you are a new parent, these things are a part of your daily life. How does a couple maintain the spark when their days are filled with changing diapers and cleaning up spit up?
Bringing home baby is a huge adjustment for most couples. It’s no longer about the two of you, but about your new baby who demands a lot of attention. Understandably, it is easy to let your relationship fall to the wayside as you take care of your new bundle of joy and adapt to life as parents.
Nonetheless, it is important that you make an effort to maintain and even strengthen your relationship. Romance will likely be the last thing on your mind while you struggle to function on a couple hours of sleep each day. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ways to can keep the spark alive after baby arrives.
14 Little Things Matter
When you’re a new mom, it can be hard to figure out how to manage everything you were doing before your baby arrived. Managing a household and a miniature human with constantly expanding needs can seem impossible.
During this stage of adaptation and exhaustion, helping out with the little things is huge. Something as simple as turning off your partner’s alarm clock and letting them get an extra half hour of sleep in the morning can be the difference between a good or bad day. These little courtesies can be more meaningful than you realize, especially during the early stages of parenthood.
13 Get Your Flirt On
Flirting is generally something we do at the beginning of a relationship. Witty banter and stolen glances can create a flurry of butterflies in our stomachs. So why, once we have found the person we want to spend our lives with does the flirting stop?
The demands of everyday life can get in the way of flirtation, especially with a new baby in the house. Rather than exchanging in witty banter at dinner, you will likely discuss the baby or how rapidly you are running out of diapers. Try to steer clear of these topics when you and your partner are alone and attempt to navigate back to your early days of flirting. A couple of minutes of flirting can boost confidence, reduce stress levels and strengthen your relationship.
12 Save Water, Shower Together
As new parents you will be low on alone time so it is crucial to take advantage of every available minute. An activity that you likely do everyday without your baby is showering so why not make that an activity for you and your partner?
You may be thinking that the last thing you have time for in the morning is a steamy shower session with your partner and fair enough. However, showering together is such an intimate activity that even a few minutes of overlapping shower time can make a positive impact on your relationship. Even if all you do is watch each other shower, the simple act of seeing your partner naked daily, can increase your desire for intimacy and reignite your passion.
11 Schedule A Date Night
There is a reason that we date at the beginning of a relationship; dates are the perfect way to spend some time getting to know someone. Setting and maintaining weekly dates ensures that you and your partner actually see and spend time with each other, rather than simply coexisting. Regular date nights can increase romance as the two of you have fun in a stress-free environment. You could do anything from dinner and a movie to going to the local arcade. Have fun and mix it up!
10 Give Your Partner The Day Off
Not only is it important to spend time together as a couple, it’s also key to spend time apart. Giving your partner the day off to spend with their friends, away from you and the baby has the ability to refresh even the most stale of relationships.
Spending time outside of the home and maintaining a social life as new parents is crucial. Relationships are more likely to stagnate if you constantly spend time with only each other, since you will likely run out of significant things to talk about. Having a day out of the house can re-energize your relationship as you bring new energy to the table.
9 Increase Physical Contact
Along with flirting, physical contact is important to maintain the spark in any relationship. You may find that since your baby arrived you and your partner are unintentionally touching less. Many couples find their hands are always busy holding the baby or one of their many accessories.
Try your best to overcome these obstacles and touch your partner whenever you can. Touch is essential in romantic relationships. Couples that touch a lot report higher levels of relationship satisfaction than those who do not. Next time you find yourself holding the diaper bag rather than your partner’s hand choose her hand; it will improve feelings of closeness for both you and your partner.
8 Turn Off Technology
Many of us are guilty of winding down at the end of a busy day by turning on the T.V. or catching up on social media. Although technology provides you with a mindless activity to relax before bed, try turning off your technology and instead focus on your partner. You’ll be surprised how much can change in your relationship simply by shifting your gaze from your phone to your partner.
Talk about your days, play a board game, make a midnight snack and have a picnic in the living room. The simple act of removing technology from your nightly routine will do wonders to bring you and your significant other together.
7 Make Love To Stay In Love
Isn’t it funny that in order to make a baby we have to make love, yet it becomes the last thing we want to do once baby arrives? Naturally most new moms need time to recover physically before sex is an option, but be mindful that you don’t let the necessary pause become a habit. It’s easy to push sex to the bottom of your to-do list and even easier to convince yourself that you are too tired.
This way of thinking can be detrimental to a relationship since sexual intimacy connects you as a couple. Next time you find yourself rolling over and turning off the light, remind yourself of the good that comes from sex with your partner (think stress relief and sexual satisfaction). If you’re honest with yourself there probably was never a time when you regretting getting frisky with your partner. Leave your excuses at the door and make love to stay in love.
6 Say Thank You
A simple thank you goes a long way and a lack of one can be detrimental to your relationship. It’s easy to become accustomed to what your partner does for you, which can make it difficult to recognize their efforts. Try your best not to take your partner for granted.
Nothing makes a person feel less valued than going out of their way to do something nice for their partner, only to be left unrecognized. Next time your wife makes you coffee this morning, say thank you. Or the next time your husband picks up pizza on the way home from work, say thank you. Two simple words can go really far, make use of them!
5 Choose Your Battles
Running on little sleep can make even the best of us a little cranky and when you’re cranky even the smallest things can set you off. Something as simple as your partner throwing their clothes on the floor beside the hamper, rather than in the hamper can be enough to drive you insane. Try and remain calm. You are both tired and easily agitated.
Your partner might be biting their tongue about some things you have been doing too. So, rather than constantly bickering and allowing your baby’s first few months to be filled with negative energy, take a step back. Don’t fret the small stuff; it’s not important in the grand scheme of things. Choose your battles wisely and you will likely notice a more harmonious household.
4 The Magic Of Massage
Stress, lack of sleep and constantly holding your baby can wreak havoc on your body. Try winding down at the end of the day by giving each other massages. Even an amateur massage from your partner can benefit you in the following ways:
- Decrease anxiety
- Relieve headaches
- Treat stress-related insomnia
- Aid in muscle and joint pain
Next time you and your partner have some alone time, consider giving each other massages, you never know where it could lead.
Don’t lose sight of what brought the two of you together in the first place. Once you’ve put your kids to bed bring out the old photo albums and reminisce about the days when it was just the two of you. Remember what drew you to each other.
It’s easy to get lost in your new roles as mother and father, and lose sight of your roles as husband and wife. Take the time to think about the past, when it was just the two of you falling in love.
We often try to handle everything on our own and feel guilty if we have to ask for help. Stifling your feelings can be dangerous for your relationship and may create resentment down the line. Let your partner know if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Although many of us wish our partners were mind readers, they sadly are not. Your partner can’t help you if he or she doesn’t know you are struggling. Make sure you maintain lines of communication to decrease the likelihood of developing negative feelings towards your partner.
1 Be Patient
Your relationship will likely change a bit once you bring a tiny human into the mix, but it doesn’t have to change in a bad way. Be patient with your partner and yourself. Allow your family a couple of months to become readjusted to your new addition. As long as you and your significant other are willing to make an effort to be together and stay connected, becoming parents can make the two of you an even stronger couple.