Did the spark in your relationship fizzle out after having kids? I know sometimes life gets in the way and your relationship takes the back burner, but there is a cure. Savannah is here to give you her prescription to keeping your relationship exciting, even after starting a family. I know my own personal relationship takes some hits sometimes because of the busy hectic life with a toddler. Let’s be honest, as mothers the last thing we want to do is continue housework after the kids go to bed. But someone has to do it, right? Unfortunately that usually means the romantic aspect of our relationship gets pushed to the side most days. Here are 9 Secrets To Keep The Relationship Alive After The Baby Arrives
Savannah Esposito is a mother and wife with an extensive background in psychology. She created Millennial Mrs. and Mom for parents and those in relationships as a place to come and learn about yourself and those around you, and gain the connected, intimate, healthy relationships you desire
Many couples are so excited to create a family, but in the back of their minds they often might fear the drop of intimacy once baby arrives. Why wouldn’t they when society practically tells us that once a baby enters the picture your relationship (and sex life) are forgotten and on the back burner. Sadly, it seems like couples fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Psych 101: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy is when an individual has a belief about the future and the belief comes true because they had that belief in the first place.
For example, when one believes that sex is non-existent post children, then the individual might act in ways that actually reinforce their belief, like not putting in effort to create intimacy and anticipation and then sex does not happen. Then they say to themselves, “See, I knew our marriage would be sexless after we had kids.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let me share some tips and tricks that will help you keep your romance, connection, and spark alive!
Rx: Date Nights, take twice monthly
Date nights often are forgotten once a newborn enters the picture. It can be challenging to leave the house, get a sitter, put money aside for those date nights, but it’s worth it. If money is a worry, try having one date night out a month and one date night in. For the date night in, dress up, cook a favorite meal together over some drinks, set up the dining room table, light a fire, play romantic music, and enjoy a romantic evening together once the kids are asleep.
Date nights out can be anything from going to a movie, to dinner, maybe a romantic drive with a picnic. The point is to be creative, fun, and remember the times you used to have. What were some of your favorite dates from the past? Write them all down, and some that you still want to experience, put them in a jar and shake the jar up. Once the time of the month comes for a date night, pick one of the dates from the jar. This adds spontaneity to your date nights and keeps the excitement and anticipation alive.
Rx: 15 Minutes Quality Time, take once daily
With all the errands, laundry, and cooking to be done sometimes it’s hard to get in time to really sit down with your spouse and connect. Post pregnancy doctors’ orders are to wait six weeks to have sex, so that means those first six weeks are important to keep romance and connection alive. What better way to do so than to sit down and really connect with your spouse for just 15 minutes? That can be talking about the high lights of your day, the low points, some goals you have, or something you accomplished. Truly it can be anything, but the goal is to create the emotional intimacy and keep that alive, especially during the six weeks post-partum.
Rx: Get Involved with a Hobby, take once weekly
Time can be hard to come by with a baby, but finding 30 minutes a week to do something with your spouse can make a huge difference. For myself, my husband and I run Millennial Mrs. and Mom together. When we are working on our articles, updating the site, creating excel sheets, even though we are working, we are spending quality time together, having fun, and really creating that team mentality that is so important in marriage. For you and your spouse think of the things you both enjoy. Is it bowling? Playing poker? Mini-golf? Bike riding? Taking walks? Whatever the activity or hobby is, just make sure it’s something you both enjoy, look forward to, and can bond over.
Rx: Romantic Weekend Getaway, take once per year
Taking the time out to spend some true alone time together is important. These days vacations can be thousands of dollars depending on location, hotels, and activities. Instead of a long vacation that you have to take a plane to get to, try a weekend getaway within a couple hours of where you live.
Start thinking of locations that are within a four-hour drive that you’ve always wanted to go to or re-visit and start planning. Maybe it’s for your wedding anniversary or the anniversary of when you met your spouse, or maybe it’s a valentine’s getaway. Whatever date your celebrating, start planning financially and put away $200 per month or whatever you can afford to save for this trip.
Rx: Show Affection, take throughout the day as needed
Affection is extremely important in keeping those “good feelings” alive. Couples can go without sex but not without affection. Affection is very important in keeping you and your partner close. Given that postpartum sex is off the table, increase your physical affection. Try holding hands more, putting your arms around each other, and my personal favorite – cuddling on the couch. Even have those high school couch make-out sessions to keep the relationship alive! The goal here is to enjoy each other and with each touch it’s a reminder that you are still interested and desire them. Body image can go down the drain for women who have just had a baby, so if you grab your wife and pull her in for a passionate kiss or make out session, it will show her you still are in love with her.
Rx: Prioritize Sleep, take once every night
This one is going to be challenging, but it can be done! For moms who breastfeed they need all the help they can get given they are literally the food source for their little one. For moms who bottle feed, the other partner has a chance to step up and impress by taking the night shift.
My husband, Jak, has been a huge help once we had our son. We talked about being a team as parents long before our son arrived, but one thing was sure – Jak was taking the night shift. I was going to be home all day with our son, which meant I was up, taking care of our son, running Millennial, taking online classes, and doing my best to keep the house clean. I was never resting. Jak stepped up and took over taking care of our son once he got home. He would feed and change our son, we would all spend family time together, we would cook dinner together, and I’d put our son down to bed, and then once night hit, if our son woke, Jak got up and took care of him.
Try getting to bed between the hours of 8 pm and 11 pm. Putting your child down between 6-7 pm allows for you and your spouse to have couple time before going to bed. Just like your child, you need sleep as well, which means between 6-8 hours a night. That can be a challenge with a baby that wakes, but there are tricks to getting your baby to sleep through the night, so once you learn those, you will be getting restful nights sooner than you think!
Rx: Flirt, take throughout the day as needed
What can I say? Flirting is so simple. Send a quick text, accidently bump into them, give them that flirty smile when talking about sex. Think back to all those tricks and flirty things you did when you met them. Remember them? Well, try them out again, especially if you haven’t flirted in a while.
Flirting is sexy and fun and can really lighten the mood when there is stress. I know that personally I don’t always flirt as much as I should, but when I do, it pays off. So, try that thing you know your partner loves, be cute and tease your partner a bit, build the anticipation for some sexy fun you want to have. Anything to get the mind and heart going again.
Rx: Spoil Your Spouse, take weekly as needed
When I say spoil your spouse, don’t freak out and think you have to go spend a bunch of money on them, that’s not what I am saying. Spoiling your spouse can take many forms. Massages, taking out the trash, cooking, date nights, little surprises, love notes, etc.
My husband spoils me with massages. I absolutely love them, and whenever we watch TV, he will be giving me a back massage and that helps me relax, and sometimes he even treats me to a back or head massage right before bed to help me fall asleep. I spoil my husband with coffee. He loves coffee, so I have made sure there is always a budget for coffee and will make sure coffee is made for him when he gets home if we are having meeting, or will agree to going out to get coffee together.
Think about you and your spouse. What do each of you love and enjoy? Whatever it is, try starting to do that thing once a week and see how they react. If they have a positive reaction, try incorporating it twice a week – especially during a stressful time, they really would appreciate it will show you care about the relationship.
Rx: Shower Together, take twice weekly
Just because you have now added a member to the family doesn’t mean sex and intimacy is gone forever. Sex might not be medically safe just yet, but having some fun in the shower is perfectly fine! And even if nothing sexual happens, just showering together can be something relaxing and fun.
For my husband and I, we know that our week is crazy packed, and sometimes we know the only time we will have together is our shower time, so we take advantage of that. If we can indulge time wise we can wash each other’s hair, give each other massages and really enjoy our time.
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I know I will be using these tips myself to help get my relationship back on track. And I can’t wait to see the fire between us ignite again.
Comment if you have tried any of these tips and let us know how it helped your relationship!
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