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The arrival of a baby turns a couple into a family. Every minute of the day changes for most new parents as they adjust their lifestyle to meet the needs of their little one(s).
The decision to have a child often arises out of the desire to become closer to a partner, but the reality of a baby in the home can cause conflict and make couples into just parents instead of lovers.
However, with a little effort, it is possible to stay sweethearts and not become solely known as Mom and Dad. Here are seven tips to keep a stable relationship following having a baby.
1. Share the Responsibilities
Before a baby arrives the parents-to-be should discuss how they will share chores and baby care. Many mothers return to work shortly after they give birth. The constant to-do list at work and home will cause most to suffer from burnout if they do not have help at home.
Even if you plan to stay home, help is necessary. Life as the caregiver of a newborn is overwhelming especially when combined with post-pregnancy hormones, late-night feedings, toddler sleep regression and the isolation that many new mothers feel because they are too tired to socialize. People that need to choose between taking a shower or washing the dishes will have no time or interest in romantic thoughts about their loved ones.
Bitterness over uneven responsibilities can create rifts between partners. Share the effort of diaper duty, dishes, and feedings. Even the choice to breastfeed does not mean that the mom is the only one that needs to wake up at 3 AM. The dad can collect the baby, change the diaper, and put the baby back in bed after the feeding.
2. Practice More Forgiveness
Exhaustion will make you and your spouse short-tempered. New parents forget things and make mistakes. Not everyone adjusts to the new normal in the same way.
The first couple of years as parents enables people to learn so much about their partner, and not all the new information is positive. Forgive each other for mistakes, take a deep breath before any response, and give as much patience to them as you would to the baby.
3. Keep Bedrooms Private Places
The baby needs to sleep in the nursery and the parents need to remain in their bedroom. It is very easy to give in and bring a baby to your bed so they will go to sleep faster. It is also easy to nap on a bed in the nursery to be nearby for the little one.
Unfortunately, these moments easily become routines that are not simple to break. A parent’s bedroom needs to remain their oasis from the world. Establishing this rule from the start will make it much easier to have the privacy all couples need.
4. Use Your Names
Nearly all parents refer to their partner as mom or dad when talking to their children. Avoid the tendency to use those names when talking to each other.
Happy couples do not parent each other. It is easier to remain a passionate couple when you use real names or romantic nicknames instead.
5. Have Private Time Together
Choose one day a week for private time and stick to the plan. Be creative if sitters are a concern. Have breakfast at a local diner before work or meet for lunch during a workday when the baby is already in daycare. Ask a friend with children to swap babysitting duties once a week so you and your friend can each have a date night with a partner.
Private time does not have to mean spending money on dinner and dancing if there are limited money and energy. Get groceries together or run other errands or go to the park and enjoy an uninterrupted conversation in a calm setting. Find creative solutions for whatever the roadblocks are to your alone time.
6. Have Your Time Apart
Time away from your husband and your baby makes it easier to put the chaos into perspective. The time could include a day at home alone to nap and watch a movie, or it could mean an evening out with friends.
The break lets people have a moment to feel like themselves. Avoid using the excuse that work is the time away because the break should also be time away from responsibility. Need more ideas, click here for some self-care ideas.
7. Make an Effort to Keep your Relationship Stable
Relationships do not stay healthy without effort. Remind yourself to give a hug and kiss to your love when you part for the day or go to bed at night.
Celebrate birthdays, do not ignore them at Christmas so you can give all the money and effort to the baby. Sometimes it is okay to let the baby fuss a little so you can snuggle with your sweetie longer.
Do you know how to keep your marriage stable after kids?
Remember how you treated them when first dating or first married and strive to show that same level of appreciation and affection. Yes, your exhaustion makes this seem impossible, but it really takes only a few extra minutes a day.
Happy parents raise healthier, happier, and more secure children. The effort to maintain a stable relationship with a partner after a baby arrives is never selfish or a waste of time. Staying in love and appreciating the other parent of your child is the best gift you can give to your children and to yourself.
Guest Post by Ivana Davies:
My name is Ivana Davies and I’m an educator turned stay-at-home mom to a beautiful 7-year-old girl and a playful 5-year-old boy. Since I didn’t have a clue about raising kids, I had to learn it all in a hard way. I managed to find so much information online, and that inspired me to turn to my blog to share my experiences and struggles as a mom. Being a mom is not easy. In fact, it can sometimes be pretty isolating.
My blog, Find Your Mom Tribe, is here to help you connect with other moms, as well as to share mom hacks, information, and tools to help you on this parenting journey. You can catch up with us on Facebook and Pinterest.