HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP POST BABY
When you are expecting your first child, everyone will make it a point to tell you about how important it is to try and make them stick to a routine. A sound piece of advice of course, but there is a very important part missing in this advice. As much as it is important to establish a routine for your child, it is equally important to establish a new routine for your couple too.
Many couples complain about not feeling fulfilled with their relationship especially in the first 3 years post baby. Now that’s a long time to be dissatisfied! Here are some tips on how you can make sure your relationship doesn’t feel too much of a hit.
New Routine for your couple
Many couples underestimate the time and energy it takes to care for a newborn or a toddler. If pre-baby you had no care in the world about spending quality time together because there was always tomorrow, now tomorrow could be too late. Set up a new routine for yourselves. Make sure you maximize your alone time as a couple. If the baby is napping, grab a drink at your kitchen table and have a meaningful conversation. Make sure you kiss each other goodbye and goodnight every day.
A new routine for you
If one partner is at home caring for the baby whilst the other is at work most of the time, make sure you give each other time for yourselves. For example, on Tuesday after work one partner will care of the baby whilst the other will have some quality self-care time – ideally out of the house to really destress. And vice versa. Maybe the partner who is working will allow himself/herself to go for a drink with some colleagues before returning home. Ideally you choose specific days and stick to them otherwise chances are this won’t work for long, if at all. If you both parties of the couple are happy, they will be happier when they are together.
Plan them and see them through. Many couples feel selfish or guilty when asking someone else to take care of their child whilst they go out for some down time. Our advice is not to underestimate the importance of such dates. Make sure you plan in advance. For example, if you intend to go out on a date once a month, fix a date and stick to it. Book a sitter and unwind together – you both need it and deserve it. Also, if your budget is a bit tight, you don’t need to splash out on meals at fancy restaurants. Go for a drive, a walk by the seaside, a picnic – anything as long as it is just the two of you.
Make your weekends count
Just because a new member of the family has just joined, it doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck inside. Especially at weekends, plan things you can do with your child as a family unit. This will help both the parents and the child bond even more. Again, planning is essential although flexibility is also key! Go to a park, for a swim etc… Family time will be even more enjoyable once you strike the right balance.
In brief, you need to rethink your daily routines. Planning is of utmost importance and making sure everyone gets his fair share of attention and relaxation is a recipe for a successful relationship as well as a successful family life.