Guest Blog – How Couples Can Get Their Groove Back After the Baby Arrives
Guest Blog by Jenna Sherman of Parent-Leaders.com
A new baby can upend your life in ways you never imagined. And though it’s natural that your focus is on your little one, more time with the baby usually means less time with your partner. Often, new parents begin to argue or drift apart in the first few months after the baby is born. If your relationship with your spouse or partner isn’t what it used to be, you can make an effort to get back on track with these helpful tips.
Try to Communicate Better
A 2017 psychology study on marital satisfaction indicates that couples are less happy after they become parents, but that doesn’t mean you have to argue all the time. Arguments may arise because you are stressed out about finances, worried about the baby, or just plain exhausted. Whatever the reason, you need to practice a little more patience with your partner and try to communicate better. You might disagree about parenting issues, be frustrated with your in-laws interfering, or feel your partner isn’t helping around the house. But you should refrain from snapping, yelling, or arguing, and take a moment to express your concerns without judgment or accusations. Communication is the key to staying on the same page with your partner.
Take Some Time Out to Reconnect
After the baby arrives, “couple time” becomes “family time.” You are rarely without your baby, and even when you are, the conversation is usually about the baby. Plan date nights and other activities that allow you to spend time as a couple and rekindle your romance. Date nights don’t have to be a candlelight dinner at a fine restaurant. These dates can be picnicking in front of the fireplace in your living room after your wee one is asleep. Try to get a sitter and go out once a month to do something interesting or unique, if at all possible. However, if that just can’t happen, then don’t cancel the date. Playing a board game, watching Netflix, or even cooking a meal together without any other distractions can allow you time to reconnect.
Although it’s recommended to wait six weeks after giving birth before having sex, some couples don’t have sex for many months. However, you should remember that intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean intercourse. New parents can be hesitant about sex right after the baby is born for a number of reasons; perhaps, you are worried about the physical changes your body has gone through or your partner is fearful that you aren’t healed. You might be feeling more frumpy than sexy. If so, you can add a spark with a flirty yet comfortable nightgown.
Know you don’t need to rush into intercourse. Intimacy can be taking a nap together and holding each other while your baby naps. It can be cuddling on the couch watching your favorite show after dinner. Beyond physical intimacy, emotional, intellectual, and other types of intimacy are important to relationships. Redefine your expectations and know that your partner still loves you and finds you desirable.
Give Each Other Downtime
The demands on new parents can be exhausting. A University of Warwick study indicates new parents face six years of disrupted sleep. So, it’s no wonder you may feel like you don’t even have five minutes to relax and breathe. Give each other small breaks every day, if possible. Just 30 minutes to take a walk, get a coffee, or take a catnap can be worthwhile. Once a month, give your partner a totally free day off from parenting (and they should reciprocate on another day of the month). This opportunity to recharge your batteries will allow you to return to your baby and your partner with a fresh, new outlook.
New parents are often concerned about the lack of intimacy and couple time after the baby is born. But with a little communication and some ingenuity when it comes to date nights, you can rejuvenate your relationship and become a happier partner and parent.
Call (605) 951-9330 today to connect with Certified CAPPA Postpartum Doula Shannon Ward for all your postpartum needs.
Photo via Pixabay