How do I keep my relationship strong now that we have a baby?
Real Mom Problem
“The first year after my oldest daughter was born was awful between my husband and me. There were some good moments but mostly it was very tense and stressful.”
- 1. Spend time alone together every day, even if you only have 10 minutes while the baby naps
- 2. Be sure you are communicating what you want and need to your significant other
- 3. Don't feel bad accepting help with the baby when you can get it so you can have a night out -- or in!
- 4. Split the housework up so that you're not doing everything alone
Real Mom Solutions
Bringing a baby into the world is a huge change in your life. Some couples have an easier time adjusting than others, but there are many things you can do to keep your relationship strong after baby arrives. Start with these tips from fellow moms.
Make Time for Each Other
We make date nights every Friday. It's our connecting time with no kids.
We always make sure to kiss enough and hug and talk throughout the day.
My husband and I have started waking up earlier and just enjoying some early morning alone time and eating a really nice breakfast together. We also give each other an hour or so after the little one has gone to bed to stay up and have a glass of wine together.
My grandmother told me before I got married to always remember that he was the man I chose and that someday the children we raised would grow up and leave and it would just be me and him again. We don't want to be two friendly strangers when that happens.
Having a baby does impact the relationship, but you have to make your relationship a priority also. Little things count when time is a commodity. For instance, my husband went out of his way the other night to tell me goodnight and sweet dreams and gave me a kiss... made me feel special just with a small gesture.
We do things together when he's not working, such as wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. We lose sleep, and we wake up early, but we still always find time to be with each other -- even if it's just sitting down at the table for dinner together.
Accept Help When You Can Get It
If you have family or friends who will babysit, don't hesitate to use them every week or two so you can have a date night.
If someone you trust offers to help with anything, always, always accept! You'll need as much help as you can get -- at least until you get the hang of things.
It doesn't hurt a child to spend a couple of hours here and there playing with a babysitter while mom and dad go have dinner and focus on each other for a while.
Be Sure to Communicate
Discuss childcare expectations so you will not resent him if he doesn't participate as much as you expected he would.
Things DO get easier. You just need to always make sure you're communicating. When you need help, ASK. Dads don't always know what to do with a newborn (I know for my husband, he was always a little nervous when the boys were teeny).
I made an effort not to talk about the baby every time we talked and to ask him about his day first before I told him what cute little something the baby did during the day.
We have started marriage counseling to make our relationship better. We need that time to just talk through things and get things off of our chests. We are stronger and happier now than we have ever been!