When their new baby arrives, first-time parents often feel like they’re in the middle of a storm. For the first few months of this new phase of their life, new parents are inundated with learning about parenting, about each other, and of course, about their new bundle of joy. In these first few months, new parents will be busying themselves with books upon books about caring for the baby, proper love and care for the baby, which baby “firsts” they should chronicle, among other things.
On top of that, they’ll find themselves with an endless list of chores, from laundry and diaper runs to bottle cleaning and diaper changes. They’ll develop eye bags as they learn how to take shifts at night so that one parent is always awake and alert to tend to baby’s every whim.
And while it is a beautiful journey, too often new parents forget to nurture a very important aspect of their family in the process: their own relationship. With everything going on, how can new parents still maintain their love and passion for each other while caring for a new member of their relationship?
Here we look at five simple things new couples can do to keep their romance alive even with the birth of their new child.
Take Each Other Out on a Date
Many couples were busy enough before the baby was born, but when the little one comes, most new parents will find their timetables even more swamped: between working, feeding, cleaning, feeding, caring, feeding, playing, feeding, and the occasional sleep, new parents will find very little “quality” time for themselves.
But all is not lost! With proper time management, couples can find even just a couple of hours every week to spend time together and show their love and appreciation for one another. But this needs to be a habit: find the time, schedule a date, and STICK WITH IT. Make date nights a regular thing, and it will do wonders for your marriage.
This can be as simple as planning a coffee date in between feedings or when you can find a babysitter or relative to care for the baby for an hour or so. Over time, this can evolve into romantic dinner dates or even movie nights when the baby can be left alone for more than just a couple of hours.
These date nights don’t have to be elaborate, just something that will help you and your partner reconnect in a meaningful way and remind each other why you fell in love in the first place.
Find Quality Time In Between Quiet Time
There’s no greater music to the ears of new parents than the silence that comes from their new baby taking a nap. This is the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to take some quality time together.
A quick stroll in your yard or down the street is a great way to eke out some exercise during this time, or even just a great excuse to go outside and get some fresh air. You can use this time to vent, relax, or just talk to one another and find out how your partner is doing.
Shower Each Other with Affection
A lot of new couples fall into the trap of routine: wake up, check on baby, go to work, come home, check on baby, sleep, repeat ad nauseam. While it’s good to have a semblance of structure in your life, it shouldn’t be at the expense of not showing your partner how much they mean to you and how much you love them.
Never forget to shower your loved one with affection, just like you used to. Or, alternatively, find new ways to express your love, like leaving love notes for your partner to find, or random “I love you”’s during the day, or even cooking your partner’s favorite meal. The possibilities are as endless as your love for one another.
Give Each Other Time to Rest
One of the core aspects of parenthood is partnership, and that’s how new parents should approach it, as equal partners. So, from time to time, give your partner the day-off while you take care of the baby. Well, maybe not the whole day off, but try to find a whole afternoon where your partner is free to do whatever they want, whether it’s hang out with their friends, take a quick nap, or spend time with their hobby.
Not only does this give your partner the opportunity to unwind, it also shows your partner that you appreciate their efforts and that their needs are just as important as yours. Your partner will eventually return the favor, and it can be a great system for the two of you to have some “me” time too!
Remain Connected to Each Other
In between the baby and work, it can be easy to lose each other in the minutiae of your new lives. Many new parents find all their conversations will start revolving around either the new baby or financial issues, while conversations about each other’s lives outside of the home fall to the wayside.
While this is normal, it’s also an unhealthy way to go about things. Luckily, however, it’s also an easy problem to fix. Find time throughout the day, even just five minutes, to sit down and talk about what’s going on in your partner’s head and their life outside of being a parent. Give each other the undivided attention that you each deserve and listen to each other without judgment or criticism. Show empathy as often as possible and always find ways to be a source of comfort for each other.
Time becomes a valuable commodity the minute you become a parent. While it’s tempting to make your world revolve completely around your new child, it doesn’t mean that you need to abandon your sense of identity, both as a person and as a partner. Not only will finding time to be romantic to one another be beneficial for you and your partner, it’s also good for your child to grow up in a house that is filled with love, affection, and happiness.