- Psychologist say that the number one tip to remember for new parents is this: Parents think the right thing to do is to, “Put the baby first” Right? Actually wrong. Your relationship is what comes first and instead your bringing the baby into the coupled relationship. If your relationship falls apart that’s not good for the baby. It’s easier said than done but we’ve got to keep the main thing the main thing.
1 Corinthians 14:40 “Let everything be done decently and in order.”
Having a baby is a supremely joyous occasion for most couples, but it is also a major life event. For seasoned moms that have two or more kids, you’ve been there done that, have the tee shirt and know what to expect. For new moms it is indeed a totally new experience. New parents struggle with physical and emotional pressures including sleep deprivation, fatigue, pain, lowered sexual desire, violated expectations, changing roles and identities and sometimes depression. 3 years after the birth of a child, two thirds of couples will experience a significant drop in relationship quality, and have dramatic increase in conflict and hostility says Carolyn Pirak, National program director and parent educator for the Seattle based ” Bring Baby Home Project”.
In our society there is little support for parents during this vulnerable time. Just as you wouldn’t approach labor and delivery without knowing what to expect neither should you enter parenthood without understanding how it will affect your relationship. One of the most frequent mistakes Pirak sees is parents assuming the transition will be easy. This means they’re surprised by the challenges and assume that something must be wrong with the relationship. Well no, this is what you’ve signed up for, join the club. There’s been a major change in your life, and now an adjusting period will take place.
7 Tips to help keep intimacy in your Relationship
- Take a romantic stroll during your child’s nap time, the fresh air is good for your child while he is sleeping in the stroller and you and your partner can take a nice long stroll and get some quiet time until the baby awakes. Hey you have to get it in where you can.
- Show affection just because – Acts of love and kindness don’t take a lot of effort or time but they do show your partner you love him and you care. Remember when you used to call just to say hi, that doesn’t need to stop, nor the text messages or sticky love notes on the bathroom mirror. Experiment with doing something loving for your partner once a week.
- Take ten minutes to connect each day it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on in your partners world outside of home when the baby comes. Conversations and attention tend to revolve around your children. Take ten minutes where you DO NOT discuss the baby, instead ask your spouse about his day and let him ask about your day, make a habit of doing it at a time when you can give each other your undivided attention. You’ll be surprised at how a little empathy can go a long way in keeping you guys connected.
- Date Night – After the baby comes date night becomes more complex, organizing baby sitters, bottles, bedtimes, can sometimes seems like a hassle, but do not neglect it. It will not be good for your relationship, which believe or not even with the baby your couple relationship is your top priority.
- Expect plans to change – Your going to have to be flexible. All the planning in the world can’t change a sick baby or a sleepless night. Many times the best laid plans will fall to pieces, don’t be discouraged just keep trying.
- Plan ahead – Before kids, you could go out on a date whenever you wanted or stay up all night chatting. With a new baby, it takes a lot of planning ahead to make any of that happen. But it can still be done. You now have a new normal. Your life will revolve around the baby’s schedule. So that means you are going to have to make good use of the baby’s nap times to have time for yourself and your husband. Make use of the baby’s grandparents to give the couple a night off.
- Eventually when you are able to leave your child for a couple hours your date nights will evolve. However, if you can’t leave your child, make a date night at home. The idea is to make alone time with your spouse a regular occurrence, one that is prioritized and doesn’t get bumped aside.