Keeping the Spark Alive in Your Marriage Post Baby
Welcoming a new baby into your life deepens the bond between husband and wife in so many beautiful ways. Seeing your partner in their new role as “parent” creates new feelings of admiration, appreciation, and affection. But a new infant can also put strain on your relationship. Sleepless nights, sharing the responsibilities, and different parenting styles can all create tension and unrest in any partnership. The good news is, this is completely normal! The better news is it’s fixable. Fostering the bond and love that you and your partner shared prior to baby is the first step in keeping the spark alive and discovering a newfound appreciation for your partner.
1. Plan Date Nights
Planning date nights is a key ingredient to any successful marriage. While this is true long after your baby has grown, it’s especially true during those first few months and years of life. And even more so if you’re first time parents. Just think. Overnight your life transformed from just the two of you being able to spontaneously run off to dinner, take a long weekend, or get together with friends. Now, your entire life revolves around this crying, tiny little person. Making time to reconnect with your partner outside the house and away from parental obligations is the perfect way to remind yourself why you fell in love in the first place. It gives you the chance to talk without interruption, hold hands, finish your hot meal, and simply be together. These breaks will help strengthen your partnership and bond when you return to the throws of parenthood. If you’re not comfortable leaving your infant with a babysitter, ask a family member or close friend to sit with your child for a couple of hours so that you and your partner can get away. When all else fails, plan a date night right at home! After your little one is in bed, light some candles, cook a nice meal, and sit down together to enjoy it in peace and quiet.
2. Capitalize on the “Little” Moments
Not every form of reconnecting needs to be a grand gesture or well-laid plan. Taking advantage of small moments in time where you and your partner can show love and affection are just as important. These times are as simple as enjoying coffee together in the morning before your infant wakes, taking a walk together while the baby naps in the stroller, or meeting for lunch. Even holding hands while driving in the car, sending sweet text messages throughout the day, or sneaking in a phone call are all small gestures that go a long way toward solidifying your bond.
3. Communicate Honestly
It’s not secret that communication is key in any marriage or partnership. But communicating calmly and honestly with your partner after your baby is born is a great way to keep the spark alive. You may not think of communicating as something exciting or sexy, but it can be. Letting your partner know exactly how you’re feeling and what you need opens up the lines of communication and creates a more intimate connection. Tell your partner if you miss them, need help with the baby, or are feeling insecure or sad. Outside of your roles as parents, both you and your partner are each other’s best friend. Let your partner help you and be willing to help them. You’ll be surprised as how much this strengthens your bond.
4. Give Your Partner a Break
When it comes to life after baby, the only thing better than flowers is giving your partner a baby-break. This means surprising your significant other by taking the day off from work, hiring a babysitter, or eliciting the help of family and friends to give your partner a break. Motherhood can be exhausting and overwhelming. Surprising any new mom with a spa day, manicure and pedicure, or simply a free day to spend however she sees fit, is one of the most precious gifts you can give. This break will help her collect herself mentally, emotionally, and physically. By scheduling a break for your partner you’re showing that you’re intune with their feelings and needs, which is an extremely attractive quality. They will most certainly appreciate your efforts and find their own special way to thank you.
Before there was baby there was you and your partner. Your relationship is the foundation of your child’s development and happiness. Without a strong foundation, any relationship will struggle. Don’t get lost in the chaotic world of parenthood and forget to foster the unique bond you and your partner shared prior to becoming parents. Planning date nights, walks, or even slipping a note into their lunchbox, are all perfect ways to show your partner you care and that your love is still strong. And remember, your baby will only benefit from the love and affection you and your partner share.
I am a 32-year-old mother and wife of a police officer living in NJ.
I have my MFA in creative nonfiction and 10 years writing experience.
When I'm not writing I enjoy hot yoga, cardio kickboxing, running, and camping.
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