Relationships are never easy to master. When you add kids into the mix, many couples find themselves wondering how to keep their relationship after a baby strong or maybe just alive at all!
In fact, I like to think my husband and I had a pretty strong foundation before having our first child. What about you and your partner?
Then, here comes baby and here comes the unsettling amount of issues we began to face!
The good news is, there are definitely ways you can work towards improving your relationship after baby, ready to hear 3 really important ways?
1 – Acknowledge you may have relationship problems after having a baby.
Yup. It’s true and it’s far too common.
In fact, according to research by John Gottman, Ph.D. “After having a baby, 67 percent of couples see their marital satisfaction plummet”, published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
So, what kind of problems do couples face after having a baby?
- Increased arguments
- Resentment towards one another
- Lack of communicating
- Decrease in romance
- Getting stuck in a repetitive routine (not doing anything spontaneous)
- Not spending time together
This list is just highlighting SOME of the issues couples can face. However, there’s definitely a lot that could still happen!
Start taking a proactive approach as to how you can PREVENT these things from happening.
For example, if you can tell you’re someone who will likely be sucked into spending every minute with your baby (which isn’t wrong), try to actively plan out a date night just once a month.
If you’re someone who will let the physical attention go to the last on the list, make it a point to simply hug, kiss, or hold your partner’s hand a few times each day!
Learn or re-learn each other’s love languages so you know how to best show love and affection to your partner in a season where time is short.
Taking a proactive approach is one of the BEST ways you can be prepared and overcome these types of problems!
And if you find yourself feeling like these problems are beginning to get out of control, it might be time to consider seeking professional help.
2 – Be aware you’ll probably have different parenting styles
Parenting is such a unique time in a couple’s lives as they’re learning how to care and parent over a new little life!
One thing that’s for certain is it’s pretty uncommon both you and your partner will have the EXACT same parenting style.
Unfortunately, this can lead to some built-up resentment or issues if you aren’t communicating with one another.
The first step to accepting this is to start talking about your parenting styles long before your baby is even born!
Get an idea of how you and your partner would handle situations such as:
- Who will be responsible for baby feedings (just mom, both, or your partner?)
- Do you believe in time-outs? How would you handle tantrums once baby is older?
- Who’s going to be getting up in the middle of the night for your baby? (Will it be a shared duty?)
- What’re your expectations for one another?
If you can take the time to answer these types of questions ahead of time, you can really get a feel for one another’s parenting approach!
You might find your partner is way more relaxed about things than you or it could be the other way around! Maybe you both do parent pretty similarly after all!
Again, the key is to tackle these issues AHEAD OF TIME, so that you can spend your time being happy with your relationship after your baby is born!
3 – Actively put effort into keeping the romance alive after baby
Oh yes, we’re going to talk about romance because, well, it’s important.
Considering that some of the romantic challenges parents will face after having a baby stem from things such as:
- Being SUPER tired/exhausted
- Possibly financial stress to support the family
- Hormonal changes (for both parents)
- Physical bodily changes (for mom)
- Feeling lonely or isolated (for both parents)
It’s pretty easy to imagine just how EASY it is to let the romance die down.
That being said, it’s up to BOTH sides to make sure they’re actively putting in the effort to keep that romance alive!
Now, I’m definitely not just talking about sex, although sex can change in big ways after having a child. Sex can be tough for moms to work up to after giving birth, so partners, please be understanding if she needs some extra recovery time.
However, romance doesn’t always need to equate to sex, right?
Romance can be performing an act of appreciation for one another. It can be going out of your way to give your partner a nice big kiss when they get home from work. It could be holding onto their hand as you walk through the grocery store together.
Some other ways you can show romance to one another:
- Schedule date nights out in advance.
- Ask each other how your days been every morning/night (open communication).
- Vocalize 1 thing you appreciate about one another daily.
- Kiss your partner before they leave for work AND once they get home.
- Offer up a massage after a long day (extra tip – making your partner a little coupon book to redeem for acts of service/romance makes for a great holiday/birthday gift!).
- Tell your partner you love them, every single day!
As you can tell, there are ample ways YOU can put some extra effort into keeping the romance alive in your relationship even after the baby is born!
Remember, when it comes to working on your relationship, I think we can all acknowledge it’s not a walk in the park, but it is so worth it!
Raising a family with a healthy foundation starts with you, the parents!
YOU set the example for your little ones who will grow up to eventually absorb and mimic the behaviors they see, so why not work to make sure they’re seeing positive & loving behaviors.
There you have it, 3 Ways to Keep Your RELATIONSHIP After a Baby STRONG!
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Karissa Whitman is the owner & blogger of FitMommyStrong, a site dedicated to providing education, support, and resources for new & expecting moms. Karissa lives in San Diego, CA with her little boys, husband and their 2 big furbabies!