You & Me (and a crying baby) Keeping the romance alive


Photo Credit: JBYLER Photography renamed Imagery Elixir

Caring for a baby is one of the most physically and emotionally draining (yet rewarding) jobs on the planet.  Sleep and privacy become quite scarce after the arrival of your little bundle of joy.  The uninterrupted conversations and romantic dinners tend to become a distant memory.  The weekend getaways often turn out more stressful than relaxing.  However, a baby does not have to mean the decline of romance in your marriage.  In fact, the joint task of raising a child together can be an enriching experience.  There are a few things to keep in mind when attempting to keep a close relationship with your spouse while navigating the winding road of parenthood.  

Set aside time alone with your spouse.  Depending on your situation, this may take a significant amount of planning.  My dear hubby and I have always lived hundreds of miles away from family.  I am one of those helicopter moms who rarely leaves their baby with a sitter.  However, we have come up with ways to still have "date nights" in our current situation.  After Cupcake goes to sleep at night, we often enjoy dinner and a movie together...at home.  Obviously, this is not quite the same as going out on an actual date, but in a pinch it works!  

Remind yourself why you fell in love.  When you have not slept in days and your spouse has spit up on their shirt (this will happen), it is easy to forget what a truly fabulous person you have married.  When you start taking each other for granted, it is often beneficial to think back to the things that first attracted you to them when you met.  It is also fun include your spouse in this by reminiscing on your first dates or looking through old photos together.  

Don't feel guilty for focusing on your relationship.  As a new parent, it is easy to feel guilty about focusing on anything other than the tiny human that you have been entrusted with.  However, the greatest gift that you can give your child is a loving relationship between their parents.  Investing time and effort into your marriage is anything but selfish.

Communicate throughout the day. While it may be fun to text cute photos of your little love to your spouse throughout the day, it is also important to communicate in a loving manner.  Send them a text telling them what you love about them or leave an encouraging note in their car.  Let them know that you still see them as your lover and friend.  

Do things for each other.  One thing that has been very helpful in my relationship since having a baby was our "Things For Each Other" lists.  We each wrote down a list of things that the other could do that would make us feel appreciated and loved.  This list included things that cost money, such as flowers, and things that did not cost money, such as waking up an extra night with the baby.  Each week we would randomly pick something off the list to do for the other.  This was one of the best things we did for our relationship after having a baby.

Appreciate each other's need for alone time. Privacy is non-existing after having a baby.  The constant presence of another can be quite exhausting.  It is vital that each of you have the opportunity to have alone or leisure time on a regular basis.  This can be done by periodically staying home with the baby while the other goes out.  It will only make your together time more valuable and appreciated.

Find baby-friendly activities you can enjoy together.  During the first few months after our baby arrived, we began running together.  The stroller ride was soothing to our little one, and we enjoyed the time together.  It was a great activity that included the baby, and it brought us together as couple.  There are many similar activities that can include a baby with a little effort... and it is worth the effort.

Don't take your exhaustion out on your spouse.  Bringing home a newborn and exhaustion go hand in hand.  You will inevitably feel grumpy and overwhelmed.  Try to keep in mind that you spouse is likely feeling the same way.  Many new mothers experience feelings of resentment because they feel that they are doing most of the work (such as waking up multiple times a night to breastfeed).  It is much more beneficial to explain how you are feeling or ask for help than to snap at your spouse or blame them for your exhaustion.

Remember it won't last forever.  While eighteen years may sound like an eternity, your baby will eventually grow up and leave home (hopefullyJ).  Think of keeping the romance alive as a long term investment.  With a little effort and determination your marriage can survive the ups and down of parenthood and grow stronger during the process.

10 comments

  1. What great advice! My husband and I went through a rough patch a couple years ago and we made a commitment then to go out TOGETHER at least once per month and to go out ALONE (well, with friends) at least once per month. It has made a huge difference! It also means so much to me when he sends a random "I love you" or "I'm thinking of you" text! Those little things all help you stay connected. It is HARD when you have kids. We have 4, a preschooler, a 4th grader, a middle schooler, and a high schooler! But as my husband always says, eventually your kids grow up and you are stuck with each other alone! So OUR relationship is even MORE important than the ones with our kids. Not that they aren't important, cuz our kids mean the WORLD to both of us! But we know that someday they will go off on their own and we are in it for life after kids! LOL

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    1. P.S. Thanks for linking up with #BlogDiggity again this week! :)

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  2. I think this is all really good advice, I will be keeping it in mind for the future!

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  3. Lately I've been writing a list of what I need to do each day in each area of responsibility I have - and Phillip gets his very own category. So at least one thing a day will be done for/with him!

    Stopping by from Monday Madness, thanks for the thoughts.

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  4. I think the 'remember it won't last forever' is the best advice - it really is a short period of time, even if it doesn't seem like that at the time. #brilliantblogposts

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  5. Great post. i will share it on my Face Book page The guilt Free Guide to Motherhood. Your tips are spot on. communication is everything. Where resentments build up or things are left unsaid, is where problems creep in. Giving each other alone time too is so valuable. We still do it even though our boys are older. We both feel the need of it and we both massively appreciate each other for the time we get. #Brilliantblogposts

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  6. This is so true. It's easy to go through the day without saying a word to each other, and just run around past each other getting things done for the kids or around the house. We don't have nearby family so we rely on friends to babysit, but we have just pledged to get out as a couple every couple of months. I've also got better at having 'me-time'! :) x #BrilliantBlogPosts

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  7. Some great tips, I'd definitely agree with the first one. Even now, when our children are 10 and 6, we have date nights at home. But if I'm honest we enjoy that more because we get to talk and enjoy a movie together rather than surrounded by lots of strangers. It does get easier once the children aren't completely dependent on you for everything but it is definitely important to stay close and connected as partners not just parents.

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  8. What a great idea to have a little running list of things your other half could do for you. Sometimes we all want to be a little spoiled or taken care of but it's so hard to read each other's minds (and who has the time for guesswork when there's a new arrival on the scene!)

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